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Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Facts: Five Essential Stock Items for November

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We at W.L. May hope that you had a nice Halloween last night with plenty of tricks and treats and we also hope that you are enjoying the fall colors in your local area. With Halloween behind us, a glance at the calendar reminds us that we are heading into  the holiday season with Thanksgiving just a few short weeks away. When the pages of the calendar turns to November, the calls begin to come in for ranges. Unlike most of the year, when more recent appliances are the usual service call request, during Thanksgiving time people have a tendency to evoke nostalgia and go with what has always worked to create a memorable holiday. Often, this means an old range. Many of the more universal range parts are those found on electric ranges and that is what we will be concentrating on here. However, if you are in an area with more gas appliances you'll want to make sure you have an adequate supply of igniters on hand.

How can you be prepared, as a servicer, for those electric range calls? As we have previously stressed on this blog, you want to minimize return trips so a stock of "universal" parts for ranges can do wonders for your efficiency during the holiday season. So what should you have ready to go? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Bake and Broil elements. This is probably the most common request we get during Thanksgiving season every year. Sure, we stock a lot of elements, but you'll want to have some on hand yourself. We recommend reviewing your service history and at least make sure you have the most common ones on hand. If you have a brand that is particularly well represented in your area, you might want to include a few less common elements from that brand as well. If you need some suggestions, ask your W.L. May parts expert. We would be happy to help.
  • Surface Elements. Many ranges uses the same standard surface elements. Having these in your truck can mean the difference between completing a call and going back later. Whether you decide to use OEM surface units or a generic version, make sure you have some on hand.
  • Burner Receptacles. Don't forget that sometimes replacing a surface element also means replacing the receptacle. Again, many use the same receptacles. Don't let yourself be caught short.
  • Universal Thermostat and Surface Switches. We recommend using the OEM specified thermostats and switchs whenever possible. However on some old ranges they thermostat may be out of production. If that is the case a universal thermostat may save the day. We also stock a few universal switches that could come in handy on these older machines.
  • Drip Pans and Cleaners. The holidays are a time for entertaining and many people see this as an opportunity to spruce up and do some extra cleaning in the kitchen. If you are prepared with cleaning solutions and replacement drip pans, you may be surprised to find customers eager for those items. Beware of you own bias here. You might not be inclined to replace stained drip pans on your own range, however many customers appreciate the opportunity to replace their own drip pans. If you have them on hand, you can spare your customer from trying to find pans that fit (and probably don't) at their local big box store and , by the way, you will be increasing your own bottom line as well. Win-win!

The holidays also have a tendency so increase calls for dishwashers, icemakers, and trash compactors. Consider how you can prepare yourself with pieces for those items as well. We look forward to helping you solve some of the mysterious old appliance parts problems as you work your way to a delicious turkey dinner (or Tofurkey if you are so inclined). Just give us a call and we would be glad to help. So what do you find to be an essential stock item at this time of year? Please, let us know in the comments.

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