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Offering information and fun for the appliance repair industry and interested do-it-yourselfers since 2013.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday WL May Profile : Josh Danford

Reprinted from:What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 2
Josh Danford was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. After several years in military school, Josh found his passion for music, and at the age of 19, relocated to Seattle. Just a few weeks after making the move, he began working at WL May Co. Josh, now 24, plays in, manages, and tours with several Seattle bands, ranging from Alternative Blues Rock to Heavy Metal. When asked who he compared himself to, Josh said, "As a bassist, if I had to compare myself to anyone musically it would be a toss-up between Tim Commerford (Rage Against the Machine) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)." Josh is fast approaching his 6th year with W.L. May Co. and can always be counted on to consistently provide an enjoyable and positive customer experience at the WL May Co Seattle branch.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Replacement Icemakers

Happy Spring, Everyone!

With the advent of warmer weather on the horizon (and, hopefully it shows up soon!), those icemakers are going to be working overtime.  And, unfortunately, some will give up the ghost and have to be replaced.  I know I have a problem sometimes figuring out which icemaker goes in which refrigerator when it is not on the normal parts breakdown, so we have developed a cheat sheet for them so we don't have to call constantly.  (Just a little hint - when they are listed they are usually at the very bottom of the parts list under non-illustrated parts).


If the icemaker is in the freezer section and the module part number is W10190935 then the replacement icemaker is 4317943.

If the icemaker is in the door and takes module 8201515 then the icemaker is 2198597.  This is for the 25 or 27 cubic foot models.  If it is a 22 cubic model then the icemaker is W10190961.

And if you have one of those 5 cube icemakers the latest number subs to the W10190961.


Most popular replacement is 5303918277 although check first - there are a few odd ones out there.

                                                             Creative Commons license on image.


Most popular is WR30X10093 - again, check your look-ups or call your W L May account manager.

Next week:  Vocabulary (Doesn't it bug you that there are 3 different names for one part?)

If anyone has a subject that they'd like me to address, please let me know - have a great week!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Food Friday-Refrigerator Safety

Usually when there is a consumer reports TV news story that relates to appliances, I don't approve. Frequently, they will find a company that is a disgrace to the industry and then make the whole service industry look like a bunch of crooks. This is a little better balanced piece about "dorm size" refrigerators and their limitations. If you would like to test your own refrigerator, W.L. May stocks a variety of thermometers to help you out.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kelly's Korner-Superhero Book- Restring Elements

Hey, all you Superheroes!

Do you have your Superhero Book started yet?  If not, why not?  Well, here are a few more things to add to it.

Do you ever get frustrated when you KNOW that there is a restring kit available for a dryer and you have to call to find out what it is?  Well, here's some help:

For Electrolux:

If the whole heater assembly is 131475320 or 131553900 the restring kit for that is part number 5300622034 and this has the 5/16" terminals.

The other restring kit is 530622032 and has 1/4" terminals.

And if you are working with GE, here ya go with that:

If assembly is WE11X103 then the restring is WE11X203 (that one is easy to remember)
If assembly is WE11M23 then the restring is WE11X10007

Now is also the time to take all those cheat sheet, postie notes and print outs that you have pinned, stapled or taped to your walls and desk and get them all organized and in your Book.  You may get your area cleaned up enough that people will wonder if you are going on vacation!  Never happens at my desk!

Have a SUPER week and there will be more next week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Motivation: Do YOU offer better Service than A Taxi Driver?

Customer service is more than just giving your customers what they expect in a friendly manner. Naturally, you do want to give them what they expect and you definitely want to be friendly. If you want to provide stunning customer service, you really need to surprise them in a good way. You don't need to have a big staff or a huge budget. Consider what your customer would like and might not ask. Things like shoe covers, a professional look, offering them relevant accesories can go a long way. The video we are sharing today talks about the extra steps a taxi driver takes to make sure he is giving the best customer service available. How do YOU go the extra mile when serving your customers? Tell us about in the comments.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy St. Patricks Day weekend!

W.L. May company would like to wish you and your family the luck o' the Irish this weekend. Here is a nice recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Web Tools Wednesday: Facebook for Beginners

Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Facebook. Facebook this, Facebook that. It seems like everywhere you turn these days people are talking about Facebook.What is Facebook, and does it have a place in the way your business goes to market?

In case you somehow don't know, Facebook is the world largest social network. As of March 11 of this year they report 963,812,360 users worldwide and almost half of them are in the United States! What are all of those people doing? Well, they are sharing what they are doing and what they like with their friends and they are seeing what their friends like and are doing. In other words, they are communicating with each other. Like any form of communicating, some is serious, some is joking, some is important and relevant and some of it is just chatter. But it is communicating, and isn't that what you want to do with your customers?

How this works is the users post to their status update whatever it is that they want to share, such as comments, pictures, links, etc. Facebook then takes what it considers to be the most interesting posts and presents them in a timeline that is constantly updated as new items are posted. Each user sees a different timeline based on who their friends are and the subjects they have clicked the "like" button on. You can then indicate that you "like" what has been shared by clicking on a "like" button at the bottom of the the post, or you add your own 2 cents by commenting at the bottom of a given post. This is where communication occurs.

There is no charge for setting up a Facebook account. When you create an account with Facebook, you will create a profile for yourself-as an individual. If you are approaching Facebook as a tool with your business, you might be tempted to set up an account in the name of your business. I would recommend against that. Facebook allows you to create a page for your business separate from your personal profile. In fact, to set up your account where your main profile is your business actually violates the Facebook terms of service. If they catch you, they can close down your account and all of your work on the site would be lost.The thing to do is to set up a profile for yourself as an individual, then create a Facebook page for your your business-take the time to make fill out your business pages profile. Include hours, what sort of business you do, areas you cover, brands serviced, and any other about your company you would like to share. You will also be able to include a picture for the header at the top of your page as well as your "Face" that will show up alongside all of your posts. This will introduce yourself to people who visit your page. Creating your business page allows you to stay within the Facebook terms of service. It also has an advantage in that Facebook pages are publicly viewable and can show up on search engines, like Google or Bing. You want that!

Now that your page has been created you will want to get involved. Take some time to find and "like" pages that are relevant to your business or would be of interest to your target customer. For example, our timeline includes customers, suppliers, and a few local sports teams and news outlets. Now why would we include the sports teams and local news? It's because if we find a post worth commenting on or "like"ing from them, our reply will reach everyone who follows them on Facebook which could be exposure to people who were unaware of WL May prior to that communication. A well known member of the United Servicers Association follows Susan G Komen Run for the Cure and the local sports radio station. By doing that he has found an way to reach many of the women and men in his community. What's nice is he is meeting them while their appliance is working (under good times) and it helps establish trust (which is essential to any sort of repair specialist). This works best (some would say it works ONLY) if you are engaging with other users. You don't wan't to just post ads about your business, take the time to post interesting items and to comment on others posts. An occasional advertising type of post is ok, but less than 20% of your activity should be that kind of thing (ideally much less).

As you can see, Facebook can help your business reach out to your community in a number of ways. However, Facebook is not a one-size-fits-all way of reaching your marketplace. It has a few disadvantages. First it does take some time to set things up and to monitor your page, although in my experience that process was fairly fun and interesting. Once you are set up, in order for someone to see your posts they need to take the time to visit your page and click on the "like" button. Also, once they do that they may not see every thing you post on their timeline. They will see all of your posts if they visit your page, but many Facebook users primarily read what shows up in their timeline. Luckily, Facebook says how it chooses what to include in timelines. The have an formula they use called "edgerank" which gives your post a score based on a number of variables such as if you include video or images, how many followers you have, how frequently you post, and how much interaction you have with other Facebook users. So, in order to effectively use Facebook you need to engage yourself with your customers or followers. Also, as of late, Facebook has tried to increase their income by requesting payment to make sure your posts show up in your followers timeline. Is this worthwhile? The jury is still out on that one, but it does remove the attractiveness of free from the equation.

Facebook is a complicated subject and a Google search of "using Facebook for business" yields almost 2 BILLION hits. Obviously, there is a lot to say on the subject and I am just scratching the surface. Ultimately, there is no replacement for quality work and good service. Facebook just gives your customers the opportunity to share their positive experiences with your company. And it allows you to share ideas and tips with your customers which makes you a trusted expert. And isn't that what you want? The more you show show yourself to be an expert the more your business will grow. Don't be afraid to try something new and good luck out there!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Beginning Steps to Being a Superhero

Hi, Everyone!

Do you ever wonder how we know what we know?  How would you like to be a superhero to your customers, boss or co-workers? 

In the 12 years that I’ve worked for W L May I have compiled a Book of Obscure Knowledge that I’ve gleaned from numerous sources – OEM’s, customers, co-workers and the internet (Google can be your best friend!).  I have amazed and astounded my customers and co-workers by having info on hand that sometimes has taken me days to find and I want to share these secrets with you!

This is what I have – just a 3-ring binder with tabs.  That’s it – very low tech, although I’m sure you more technically savvy people can do the same on your iPads or notebooks.  Each tab has the name of the manufacturer (Electrolux, GE, Whirlpool, Maytag {and, yes, even though these are now the same company I still have them separate}, etc.) and I have a miscellaneous tab (for all the other stuff!). Anything I print off the IPL, Repairclinic, etc., goes under the appropriate tab.

                                                         Creative Commons license on image.

Like the repair kit for the Maytag refrigerator dispensers 8201756 (go to Repairclinic.com and print this page for your book).  Or if you can’t find the defrost thermostat for a Whirlpool refrigerator (ex: RT14ZKYGW00) - on the liner parts page you see a wiring harness #21 part number 2192096 – that little round doohickey on the harness is the defrost thermostat and is part number 4387490.  Wow!  Look!  Here’s a few things to start your book with!

Under each tab I also have a miscellaneous sheet for just those one-liners (ta-da, dum) like Frigidaire Turquoise Sky paint pen 5304468815, or Z shelf for GE refer/freezers WR71X2086 (hey, there’s a couple more for you to start with!).

You may not know the answers off the top of your head but knowing where to look and compiling this information may just boost you into the superhero category!  And, of course, W L May is your #1 information source.  I will be continuing to share these helpful hints with you, so get your book started!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Closing Thoughts on ASTI 2013

As I sit here, in my own kitchen, enjoying a cup of good coffee, I find myself reflecting on my experience at ASTI 2013. It always is a great experience attending an event with so many servicers  seeking knowledge that will help themselves and their business.

W.L. May Co is committed to the success of the Appliance Service Industry, as is evidenced by our sponsorships of both USA Regional Service Meetings and the National ASTI Convention. Our commitment is solidified when we witness the excitement and growth that a servicer experiences by taking advantage of the opportunities afforded them at these meetings. To that end, I'd like to give a special "shout out" to one particular servicer that has taken advantage of these opportunities and has reaped the benefits for it; Justin Duby from T & N Appliance in Grants Pass, OR.

Justin, seen here at ASTI 2013 with Todd Shepard of W.L. May Co, was an attendee at our Regional Service Meeting held in Portland, OR. He shared with us that upon his return to work after the RSM, he implemented many of the ideas he learned. The changes he made, in a short period of time, served to  substantially increase the amount of business he conducted due to his improved time management and efficiencies. When Justin was sharing this info, you could just see the excitement in his eyes; an excitement that transfers to us because it is precisely why we are proud sponsors of these events; to provide an educational experience that will transform a servicers business in ways that lead to increased success. Congratulations Justin!!!!

Our commitment does not end here. Look forward to several Regional Service Meetings to be held during 2013; the planning has already started. When we have more details we will share them with you. It is our hope and desire to provide  you educational opportunities that, if taken advantage of, will help you to reach the levels of success you desire.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Dishwasher

Did you know that today is the birthday of the dishwasher? According to the U.S. Census Bureau:
Friday, March 8th. The inventor of the first practical automatic dishwasher was born on this date in 1839 and was perhaps an unlikely candidate for the distinction. Josephine Cochrane was a socialite and devised the dishwasher out of some annoyance at how her domestic staff damaged her china. Awarded a patent in 1886, Cochrane sold her machines in the 1890s mainly to restaurants and hotels. Her company eventually became KitchenAid, now part of the Whirlpool Corporation. In 2011, the Census Bureau's American Housing Survey found that of the nation's more than 132 million housing units, almost 86 million had automatic dishwashers. They are sold at the nation's more than 16,000 household appliance stores.
Creative Commons license on image.

Is this the End? Or Just the Beginning?

As I sit here waiting for the airport shuttle to begin the journey home to Portland, I find myself thinking "another ASTI has ended, and it's time to go back to work. But, is it really the end? Or just the beginning?

I'm reminded of a story Justin from T & N Appliance recently shared with me. He said that when he returned from an RSM he attended, he implemented many of the "tools he learned" while attending classes. Once he made these changes, his business "went through the roof". He has been pumped up about his changes and the benefits of those changes.

So, as I sit here waiting for our shuttle, I now am thinking this is just the beginning. You see, we all control our business future. We can take what we have learned and utilize our new tools, or we can choose to basically ignore them and go back to our "same old ways".  I choose to make the changes that will transform "my business" so I may reach heights not enjoyed before. I hope you make this same decision.

I hope to see many of you at the RSM's that W.L May Co will be sponsoring during 2013...

Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors Phone on location.

Friday Featured Client: T & N Appliance Repair

Reposted from What's Cooking Vol.1 No.1-Tom, of T & N Appliance Repair, has been a staple of the Grants Pass, OR community for more than 30 years. He's actively grooming his grandson Justin to take over the business. The entire family are avid stock car racing fans, and they enjoy watching Justin frequently race dirt tracks; it truly is a family affair. Justin feels the internet has been instrumental in helping his business grow by leaps and bounds. Utilizing the W.L. May Co Web page and Mobile Access on his smart phone, has enabled Justin to complete more jobs with increased efficiency, and has stated "W.L. May is the best tool in my tool bag".


Thursday, March 7, 2013

ASTI report

Wow!! What a day yesterday was.. We met several new "friends", and were able to visit with many old ones. It was cool visiting with Patty and Cody Husk from Cody's in Eagle ID, Justin Duby from T& N in Grants Pass, OR, David Schnelli from Glenwood Appliance in Eugene, OR, and Adam Butcher, one of the industry's future "rock stars" out of Cleveland, OH.

Todd attended a class called Business Efficiencies with Cutting Edge Technologies, presented by Adam Butcher. Adam outlines many of the ways he has made his business much more efficient and profitable. His ideas are truly "cutting edge". I was able to attend a class that outlined the many reasons a membership in USA is an investment in your future success that should be made; your return on that investment is limitless.

Finally the evening found Todd and I manning our booth and sharing our customer centered educational based philosophy. We realize that education, both technological training, and business concepts training, will take an Appliance Service Company to the next level of success..

We're excited to see what great things are in store for us today.

Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors Phone on location.

Tip for Thursday: Preconceived Notions

A few years ago the ASTI (Appliance Service Technical Institute) was being held, like this year, in Orlando. Being in Florida, our representatives Todd and Bradley expected warm weather-especially when compared to chilly and damp Portland in winter. As a result they packed a wardrobe that would have worked well for a sunny spring day. To their surprise, it was an extra cold week in Orlando and the weather here in Portland was warmer. As a result they spent the week shivering when they went outdoors. Why am I telling you this story? They could have been dressed for cool weather, as Portlanders they certainly had warm coats they could have taken. It was Florida. Florida is usually warm. Their preconceived notions were wrong.
If you do appliance repair for a living preconceived notions can take money right out of your pocket. For example, a lot of times I will hear a servicer saying, before consulting with the client, that their consumer likely won't have a job done because a pricey part was involved in the job. Yet time and again the consumer proves them wrong and has the job done. Other times a technician will assume that a part is no longer available because it is a piece for an older machine. This preconceived notion is also not always correct.
It is true that OFTEN Florida is warmer than Oregon. It is also true that OFTEN a pricey part will make a consumer consider replacement over repair or that an older machine may have a lot of discontinued parts. Experience can blind us into assuming that what is OFTEN true is what is ALWAYS true. So when you go to Florida take along a jacket. When you are looking at an expensive repair job offer your quote with confidence. And when you are dealing with an older appliance take the time to verify availability.
You might be surprised at the results if you can remove your preconceived notions and approach each service call with a positive attitude. Customers will surprise you - I promise. And like they like to say in the lottery ads-you can't win if you don't play!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why Join USA?

Just got through a class conducted by Paul McDonald, past president of USA. Paul discussed the many reasons why a USA membership is or should be "one of your best tools" in your tool box. As members, you have access to an extensive library of service manuals and information, a Chat Line used to help with those tough situations you find yourself in, peer groups, and a whole host of other tools to assist you and your businesses' success. It truly is an investment in yourself and the future success of your business.
                                      Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors Phone on location.

Let the Show Begin

After all the preparation. After all the traveling. After all the excitement and anticipation, it's time to "let the show begin".. This mornings breakfast was highlighted by the Keynote Speaker, Dean Landers, past President of USA.. Dean encouraged everyone to really think about why they do what they do.. That only by knowing the answer can one fully reach their potential.. Once you do that, everyone around you "wins"; you, your family, employees, and your customers as well.. Why do you do what you do?
                                      Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors Phone on location.

Wednesday Web Tools: Where to find free images for your blog or Facebook

I recently read a blog post that left me a little concerned. The post was written by a "mommy blogger", who was sharing a cautionary tale. Her blog was a personal journal kind of site, not a for-profit business site. To keep her blog visually interesting, she liked to put some pictures on it to go with her writing. Sometimes she would use Google images to find pictures to use. Makes sense. Its easy, very searchable, and easy to download too. Then something went wrong. She got a letter from the attorney of a professional photographer. Now you might think that since she was just running a blog as a hobby that an apology and removal of the offending images would take care of the problem. It didn't. In the end, she ended up paying several hundred dollars to the photographer for the unauthorized use of the images.

Scary story. The reason I mention it is because this did not have to happen to her. She could have used pictures that she took herself. Unless she is as bad a photographer as I am. So what to do? Luckily, there are some inexpensive options out there. Even luckier, there are some free options too. Here are some of my favorites of those free options:

  • Flickr Creative Commons-I think just about everyone on the internet knows what Flickr is. Any image on Flickr has the potential to be used, but make sure you have permission from the photographer to do so. Some photographers have already given you permission by way of a creative commons license. Make sure you read the license on the images page regarding its terms of use.
  • Wikimedia Commons-This is a hit and miss option. Images are public domain that are used in Wikipedia. Some good stuff here although often more of a historical nature.
  • Morgue File- I really like this site. They have lots of varied images available. The only catch is that images from here need to be modified if they are used.
  • FreeDigitalPhotos.Net-Several thousand images are available from this site. You are freee to use the small size images but larger versions require payment.
  • FreeMediaGOO.com-This site features an assortment of images, wallpapers and even some video clips. To be honest, I have not had the best success with their images matching my needs. Naturally, your mileage may vary.
  • Photo Rogue-This site offers a twist from most stock photo sites. In addition to their library of stock images for use, you can request an image. Photographers that frequent the site MIGHT respond with images to match your request. Obviously, this would give you the opportunity to have some more unique images than might be available from some other sites. 
  • stock.xchng VI-Over 100,000 images available here. The photographers set the terms, so read the fine print on an image you are interested in using.
  • FreePhotosBank-This site does have some free images available, but my experience is that far more images listed on this site link to Dreamstime.com, which is a good site for inexpensive, but not free, stock images.
  • Present Outlook-If you like the images with quotes like the kind we post on Motivation Mondays, then this site is for you. Lots if gorgeous photography with inspirational quotes. Oh and by the way, we make our own slides for Motivation Monday, so these will be different from the slides we have posted.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Tips: Creating a mobile service library

Recently, the Appliance Samurai posted a great idea for service techs. It involves using a bit of tech to have a functional service library on the job site. You'll need an Amazon Kindle as well as some basic computer skills. His explanation can be found here-with video.

Awesome Reflections

                                      Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors phone on location.

Time to rise and shine!!

After a great dinner with Krystle and Scott from Lake Appliance (Folsom, CA), and a great nights sleep, we are ready to get "the show on the road". Here is an early morning view of one of the many "casitas" found on the beautiful grounds of the Disney Coronado Resort here in Orlando.. Now, where can I get a cup of coffee..?
                                        Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors phone on location.

Monday, March 4, 2013

We Have Arrived...

After traveling all day, from the Northwest corner of Oregon, down to the Southeast Corner, Florida, we have arrived at ASTI 2013 .. We are understandably exhausted, and hoping to get a "second wind"... As any traveler knows, no longer do the airlines serve food on planes.. Time to get some dinner.. Here is our view from our hotel room...

Post forwarded from Bradley Cantors phone on location.

Our Journey Begins!!

Greetings!! Our cross country journey to Orlando,FL for ASTI 2013 has begun. It began at 3:15 AM as I picked up Todd at his house for the short trip to the Portland Airport. It's 4:40 in the morning, and here is a picture of Todd Shepard waiting with excitement as we are about to board our plane. We are surprised by how many travelers are here at the airport so early in the morning; security took us a half hour to get through. We are flying through Denver, then on to Orlando. We are excited because we know what awaits us..

Monday Munchable-Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole

Happy Monday! This morning we would like to invite you to visit our Facebook page where we are sharing a delicious recipe we found for Chicken-Mushroom-Sage Casserole. While you're there we'd love for you to check out our other posts with some information not on this blog. Of course, we'd also love for you to "like" our Facebook page if you find it to be of value.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Excitement Building!!

Todd Shepard and I are preparing for our trip to ASTI 2013..Our excitement continues to build as we accomplish each task needed for a successful trip. What excites us most, is the fact that we will be with so many Appliance Service people who understand the importance of education. We can't wait to see all of you at this year's gathering..

Fun Friday: The Home Electrical - 1915

The Museum of Innovation and Science in New York has a pretty vast online archive of historical industrial films. Many of these films were made by GE to introduce their customers to their new products. This one is almost 100 years old was used to introduce the concept of having electrical appliances in the home-an idea that was very cutting edge at the time. Electrical appliances, while modern marvels, were sort of scary to folks back then. So GE makes a point of showing how safe these machines were. I'm sure a modern fire marshall would have some issues with the exposed wires, but 1915 was a less regulated era. My favorite bit not really an appliance, but I like the electric car the shown in the film. Almost 100 years later and they are making a comeback. Spoiler alert: I also think its pretty funny how they gather around the electric heater at the close of the film. Enjoy!