Back in August, we spoke with several Vendor Partners at PrimeTime about what they’re seeing in the industry. And not only were they transparent about challenges they’ve faced, but they were also laser focused on helping the channel’s Independent retailers prepare for the best possible Q4 – and 2024.
Below are our four top takeaways from those conversations, not just the challenges you should keep top of mind but also more details on how your partners are working to help you navigate them.
1. Product availability has been tough, but there are bright spots ahead.
We all know it’s been quite a disruptive year: for sales, foot traffic, consumer spending — you name it. And the channel’s manufacturers faced serious disruptions as well, namely when it came to product availability.
Bosch’s Josh Landry, head of sales, acknowledged that Bosch is well aware of their lack of product in prior months, citing production constraint carryovers from the global disruptions we’ve all been facing. But Bosch is proud to announce that their products are now readily available, and they feel confident meeting demand from now through 2024.
Another partner citing production challenges as their key issue was Temper-Sealy International’s Scott Warlick, vice president of buying groups. Echoing Landry’s viewpoints on supply chain issues, Warlick said TSI is empathetic of the issue and is constantly looking for ways to get retailers the supply they need, when they need it.
GE Appliance’s David Wilson, executive director of clothes care, also addressed his company’s challenges, which stepped not from supply chain shortages but instead demand constraints. That’s because GEA’s innovative 2-in-1 washer and dryer units have been selling like hotcakes, making it nearly impossible to recover inventory due to extremely high demand. That notwithstanding, Wilson says GEA is also striving to have its products readily available to retailers when they need them.
2. Delivery and installation can help drive revenue, especially with optimized operations.
Nationwide Marketing Group’s Service Leader’s Network has expanded its scope to help Members better serve their customers. Specifically, SLN is now also helping Members address their delivery and installation challenges head on. Mark Pollitz, NMG’s director of service, and Frank Sandtner, NMG’s senior director of business and financial services, shared that they are working to bring sustainable solutions to the channel to help address both the macro- and micro-challenges associated with delivery and installation.
Chief among the concerns retailers face? Both cost and third-party reliance, especially in our current economic situation, where both can become less reliable and transparent. But SLN is working to address those concerns and will be sharing, in the coming months, solutions for dealing with both, such as how to contract dependable third parties and ways to improve your ability to control the quality of contractors handling your valuable products. Stay tuned for more on this critical topic!
3. Making warranty work more profitable with one simple, digital solution.
SLN is also focused on the hot-button issue of warranties. And we’re excited to announce that we’ve built a portal to drive transparency for servicing dealers. Plus, it’s free to use!
Available on MemberNet exclusively for Members, the Warranty Comparison Platform allows servicers to add their warranty information by product and area and instantly see how their performance stacks up against other Members. All the data is anonymized, so there’s no personally identifying information about your store, but the insights you’ll receive can help you improve your negotiating power tremendously and get the best possible deal. Remember, rising tide lifts all ships, so make sure you check out this easy-to-use platform now.
4. Don’t forget to lean into vendor-sponsored marketing and training programs.
While at PrimeTime, it was clear that everyone was keenly focused on delivering better marketing and training opportunities for Members. From Wells Fargo to Whirlpool, we couldn’t walk past a booth without a discussion about what our Vendor Partners have been cooking up to help you drive more traffic and close more sales. Check out MemberNet and the Nationwide Learning Academy for more details and access to exclusive training and certification opportunities designed specifically for Nationwide Marketing Group Members.