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

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Phone: 1-800-377-8881
Email: Sales@WLMay.Com

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Fun: Patriotic Fisher Paykel Washers

Here's a little appliance trick from down under in New Zealand. Apparently, at least on some Fisher Paykel machines, a test setting on the control panel will play the national anthems of the USA, Australia & New Zealand. Sounds to me like engineers had a little too much time on their hands!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Tech Tip: How To Alienate Customer and Drive Away Business

Usually here on the W.L. May blog we often try to share tips and suggestions to help build your business and be more profitable. Maybe that's not your thing. Today we offer some tips that can help if you want to drive away customers and lose repeat business.

  • Be hard to reach. Don't answer your phone and don't return calls. They say time is money. Don't let a potential customer take that away from you, after all they probably want your help or something.
  • Make an appointment-but don't show up on time. So that pesky customer managed to track you down, now what? To make sure they are unhappy, set up an appointment. This works best if it is an inconvenient time for them. Let them know they need to be there and then don't show. Don't bother calling either. They'll call you to reschedule if they want to get their machine fixed.
  • Arrive dirty and/or smelly. You know you are probably going to get dirty while you fix a machine, and honestly you were up kind of late last night so why bother showering and putting on clean clothes just to get dirty. Don't forget, you are doing them a favor by fixing their machine. So if you smudge some oil on their counter or smell like b.o. plenty, that is their problem. If you are smoker, light up while you do the repair. If they want to have a clean house they can clean after you leave. You do repairs, you aren't a maid!
  • Look like an amatuer. There are several ways to do this. First, don't wear a uniform. A uniform can make you look like a pro. Now think about your service vehicle. Leave off the identifying signs. Those will probably just cause others to call you for repairs. At  the home, make sure and park in their driveway. For real style points and to create that extra  "I don't care about you" effect, make sure your service vehicle is leaking fluids. 
  • Don't actually do a repair. Bang around a little bit. Scratch your head a bit and tell them what a unique problem they are having. Give them a real high quote for doing the job and suggest that they would be far better off to replace the unit. Give them an invoice for your "diagnosis" collect your fee preferably a high one and payable only in cash.

So that's it. While we are obviously kidding that you would want to hurt your business, it is true that if you follow these tips you can do a lot to chase away new business. If you would rather grow your business, look elsewhere on this blog for advice and check out our Facebook page for other news and tips as well.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Worth Considering: Are You Ready For A Heat Wave?

Creative Commons license on image.

Summer brings to mind thoughts of vacations, picnics, beaches, and ball parks. If you are in the appliance repair business summer also brings some predictable service calls. For those of you in the trade, you want to be ready BEFORE the first heat wave hits your community. Once things get hot and start breaking, your preparation will pay off. When the temperature rises so tempers can rise and patience often goes down. If you are not ready to complete the job in one day, your potential customer may well try to find someone who can. This is definitely one of the times you want to make sure your truck is well stocked. I'd recommend paying particular attention to your refrigerator parts. Are you ready to install an icemaker when your customer requests it? Not on the next day, but on the same day. Do you have the defrost components and motors for the types of refrigerators that are common to your area? If you do sealed system work are you ready with fittings, freon and start devices? Or maybe a universal compressor or one of the more common boards? I'm sure that I have probably forgotten at least one common warm weather request, so I ask you: are there other items that you stock to prepare for heat-wave business? If so, please share them in the comments section. Have a great summer and don't forget to drink plenty of water!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Inventory

Hey, All!

OK, start the groaning now because "inventory" has to be one of the most dreaded words around.  No one likes to crawl about to find and count the myriad parts that are on trucks, in stockrooms, garages, shelves, desks or wherever else you keep your parts.

But answer this:  Do you have any idea of how much money you have sitting there?  Maybe about tax time when you HAVE to account for your parts but how many times do you want to do that?  How many times have you ordered a part because "I know it's here somewhere, I just can't find it!" 

Now, I am the last one to preach about organization (at the best of times my desk looks like a hurricane hit it), but when parts are your bread and butter, it pays to keep track.  It may take awhile to get your truck, stockroom, garage, whatever, into shape and to inventory those parts and train yourself to keep up on it (kinda like cleaning the gutters on your house and just about as fun).  But when you realize the amount of time and money that this will save you, it will be worth it.

There is lots of software out there for you techno people (you probably have it on something you're using now but haven't utilized it) and it can integrate it into your invoicing and definitely make tax time a lesser burden.  Also, lots of storage containers for those parts are out there!

And those parts that you have no idea where you got them and haven't used and have no idea what they go to?  Try networking on the internet to get them to people who are looking for them.  There are lots of "antique" appliances out there people don't want to get rid of and parts are no longer available for them but they will hunt to the ends of the earth to find them to keep their beloved appliances.

Send me a postcard from your vacation with all the money you've "saved"!

Have a great week!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Fun: Ziggy vs The dryer

For a few years during the mid 00's there was an event held annually in Florida where competitors would bring homemade fighting robots to do battle. It looks like it was a fairly interesting event. I found the video below that features Ziggy, one of the super heavyweight class of robots, putting the hurt on a dryer. The video says it is washer, but its really a dryer. Regardless of that, here is some fun appliance destruction to wrap up your week. Have a fun weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Truck Stock Thursday: Safe-T-Elements

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, "Ranges, with or without ovens, accounted for the majority (58%) of home cooking fire incidents and even lager shares of civilian deaths (87%)." It's no surprise to find that the appliance in home with the most direct heat would start the most fires. Due to advances in technology, that number could be greatly reduced. Pioneering Technologies has created a great fire prevention solution with the Safe-T-Element. This electric range modification works by causing the element to cycle on and off keeping the element hot enough to cook as normal while staying just below the point of ignition. This has a side benefit of reducing electrical usage while it helps provide fire safety. Studies show that the majority of kitchen related house fires are in the homes of seniors, students, a low income residents. In many rental situations these are the tenants in the units. If you do service for, or own or operate a rental unit, the Safe-T-Element is a worthwhile investment for the extra layer of protection it provides to your property. Of course, the Safe-T-Element can help protect ANY home with an open coil electric range. Check out the video below and for more information or to order Safe-T-Elements, contact us at W.L. May Company.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday W.L. May Profile: Bridget Smart

Reprinted from: What's Cooking At W.L.May Volume 1 Issue 8-Bridget Smart, a native of Kalispell, MT, has seen more of the country than most, all before her 10th birthday. As a child she has lived in various cities; in addition to Kalispell, she's lived in Spokane, WA, Anchorage, AK, and Green Acres, WA, before her family "settled down" in Mukilteo, WA. A graduate of Everett's Mariner High School, known as the Marauders, she attended the University of Washington, receiving her degree in 2000, majoring in Physics/Astronomy.

Bridget and her husband Bob, an appliance technician himself, with their 11 year old daughter Sierra, currently reside in Auburn, WA. During her childhood, from the 4th grade through high school graduation, Bridget was an avid flute musician. Her early exposure to music led to diverse musical interests ranging from Classical, Punk, Rockabilly, Celtic, Jazz, and Blues. As is common to many Northwest residents, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking, and has a strong love for participating in "hot yoga"; performing yoga exercises in a room with a temperature of 105' and equally high humidity. Talk about working up a good sweat.

Employed at W.L. May Co since 2003, she has been known to "do it all". While she wears many hats, one of her main responsibilities is running the shipping and receiving department, as well as facilitating the Seattle delivery run. When asked what she likes best about her job, she responded, "I work with a bunch of great co-workers, and I have always liked to be helpful and resolve peoples' issues; it gives me satisfaction." Bridget is one of many valued employees at W.L. May Co, and if you are ever in the Seattle area, stop by, and introduce yourself; she would just love the opportunity to help find the correct part you are seeking.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Accessory Items

Hey, All!

Did you know that the major manufacturer's - GE, Whirlpool and Electolux - have accessory items available for your appliances?  Such things as dryer racks, small item holders for laundry and dishwashers, cleaners, touch-up paint, and more?

You can either go onto the respective websites and look under the Accessory headings and look for what you need.  Or contact your friendly parts distributor - W L May, of course - and we can find it for you.  Also, some accessory items for specific models are listed in the owner's manual for that appliance.

Some of my favorites are:

W10180464RP - this is a zippered mesh laundry bag and it is great for all those baby sock and other little unmentionables.

PM14X10056 - this is a cleaning brush set for dryer vents, refrigerator coils and other hard to reach spots

Dishwasher rack repair kits:  Blue is 5303310272 and white is 5303310273 - this is a kit of "goop" - quick drying plastic coating for those spots on the rack that the coating has come off and 25 tine tips for the points of the upright tines.

And, as always, W L May is here to help you look for whatever your customer needs.

Have a great week!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Fathers Day

As a bonus, here's a Fathers Day classic. Groucho Marx singing his Fathers Day song. Thanks YouTube!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: Service Commitment Integrity

The W.L. May logo has three words on it that define our mission at W.L. May. Those words are "Service, Commitment, Integrity". How do we live those words at W.L. May?

  • SERVICE  Service is at the core of everything that we do at W.L. May. That means that when you call us you will reach a live receptionist and not an automated menu. We take the time to help you research needed parts, even the ones that don't come up on the search word option of the research programs. We can work with you to consolidate orders and save you freight overhead, Shipping to your customer? No problem, we can do that too!
  • COMMITMENT Commitment refers to our commitment to your success. Whether in the appliance repair trade or just a weekend project, our commitment is to YOU. This means tips to help install parts. It means active participation in trade organizations that are working to educate the trade on matter both business and technically related. It's this blog, and Facebook and Twitter, It means providing you with the tools to run your company successfully. It means giving our all to serve you better.
  • INTEGRITY Integrity means a lot in a business that is as trust dependent as the appliance repair industry. We live that integrity by maintaining consistent pricing and maintaining a deep inventory. Our website shows you live actual inventory at that moment, not what was true several hours ago. Integrity means that when you have a credit due on your account it is given to you as quickly as possible. It sounds simple, but often overlooked: JDWYSYWD Just Do What You Say You Will Do. That's how we do things and it has served us well since 1923.
Our customers enjoy the service, commitment and integrity that we offer. If you haven't tried W.L. May as a source for your parts, let us show you the benefits of our approach to the part business. We'd love to help you out, and like they say in those late night TV ads: "Operators are standing by."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Web Tools Wednesday-Five Ways to Use a Smart Phone on Service Calls

More and more companies are using smart phones to make their technicians more efficient and productive. In case you didn't know or need some convincing as to why you might want to upgrade your old cell phone here are 5 ways appliance service people can use a smart phone to help run their service calls.

  1. Use your camera. Take a picture of the model number label. There are some techs who do this for every service call and save themselves a lot of writing. Even if you are in the habit of writing down the model number this is good insurance against damage to your notes. That camera can also come in handy for some of those hard to describe parts, just take the picture and let your part researcher see it for reference.
  2. Research parts on the fly. W.L. May Company has full illustrated part breakdowns optimized for mobile phone available to our account holders. You can see a breakdown of the machine, get the part number, share a quote with your customer, and place the order all from the field saving you office time at the end of the day. And if you are in a really sticky situation, you can always use the phone to contact the factory tech line.
    Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
  3. Help with scheduling, There are several apps that can help you with scheduling and/or to-do lists. Also, an appreciated courtesy would be to let the consumer know you are on  the way shortly before you arrive at the home. If you will be late or early for your appointment that would also likely merit a call of warning. You may not be able to control surprises that can throw off your schedule, but you can minimize the effect by respecting your clients time and communicating with your clients if you will not be there at the time you said you would.
    Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
  4. Maps and navigation. Years ago, when you didn't know where you were going, you could call the customer for directions or find it in the grid of  a Thomas Brothers map. These days life is so much easier when it comes to maps. You can even have a voice to guide you to your destination. Granted, dedicated GPS units have more features and may prove to be more useful depending on your needs, but the navigation included in most smart phones will do the job for you pretty well for many situations.
    Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
  5. Financial tools. There are a lot of financial tools available for smart phones. I know of several companies that are already using credit card processing apps to bill their service calls from the field. Also several banks offer check deposit options using the phones camera features. If you are going to use your phone for location based finances, make sure you are dealing with a reputable company with secured access and other means of security.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Superhero Book

Hey, All!

So how are you all doing on your Superhero Book?  Are you adding to it when you find something that you've never seen before?  It is real easy to think that you'll do it later, but I find that if I don't write it down or print it out now, it doesn't get done, then I kick myself when I need it later.  Don't procrastinate!

This came to mind the other day when I was looking for a kit that I KNOW Whirlpool puts out for refrigerator shelf support repair (4388540) and I couldn't find it because I HAD NOT WRITTEN IT DOWN!!!  I only like doing things twice if they are fun - finding information twice because of my laziness is not fun.

Of course, on the opposite side, a tech called me looking for a dispenser heater kit for a GE refrigerator, and before he could even finish explaining what he needed, I had the part number (WR49X10173) because I HAD WRITTEN IT DOWN!!!  Blew him away and I sat here and giggled.

There are sooo many things that the manufacturers come up with AFTER the appliances are in a consumer's home to fix issues that come up.  And they are usually not on whatever research material you are looking at.  We here at W L May are really good at ferreting out this information, so don't hesitate to give us a holler to find what you need.

Have a great week!  (Happy Birthday, Mom!)

PS:  As I'm sitting here writing this the ol' Book came in handy again - splash shield kit for Frigidaire Dishwashers (corner gaskets at bottom of door gasket)  154701001.  Three more part number for your Book!  K

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Featured Client: Ginno's Kitchen and Appliance Center

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 4-Ginno's Kitchen & Appliance Center, founded by John and Claudia Ginno, opened their doors over a half century ago. They are a family owned and operated business, and known as the North State's largest independent appliance dealer, as well as a complete kitchen and bath design center. Their original store opened in Chico, CA, along the northeast edge of the Sacramento Valley, one of the richest agricultural areas in the world.

In keeping with the "family owned" business, David and Gordon Ginno, sons of John and Claudia, became business partners with their parents in 1980. Upon John's retirement in 1983, David and Gordon took full ownership of their company. Seeking to capitalize on an already successful and growing business, they opened the largest Kitchen Design Center north of Sacramento. They believe their success is based on, among other things, the "ideals that quality, service, and reliability, as well as dedication to their customers' needs and ultimate satisfaction, were foremost in their business." Members of Ginno's management team indicate they rely on W.L. May Co to resolve their difficult part researches and they enjoy doing business with a distributor that "responds, follows through, and does so with great attitudes".

In her spare time, Nadene, manager of the Loomis location, enjoys working outside in her garden, and spending quality time with her family. She dreams of one day traveling to New Zealand. Sandi, Chico's parts manager, can often be found outdoors participating in a vast array of different water sports. She too, loves spending time with family, and loves to cook; her specialty being pork loins. Both managers see to it that their stores live up to Ginno's motto: "The Ginno's Advantage: Offering the Best Service, Best Selection and the Best Price!" If you're ever in Chico, stop by and introduce yourself; see for yourself what makes Ginno's one of the best.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Customer Dis-service

Here is a man on the street video of people sharing their bad customer service experiences. A few thoughts cam to mind as I watched this video. The first is that people seem to enjoy sharing their bad customer service stories with others. It seems true that if you give good service the customer will tell a friend, if you give bad service they will tell 4 friends. In a service oriented industry such as ours, where trust is essential, customer service is of particular importance because many folks ask their friends for recommendations. The second take away is that some folks can be pretty mean to the customer service provider if they are not happy. So keeping customers happy will make a happier day for you too, And lastly, almost a side note, is that people really appreciate a live person to answer the phone, not some automated phone system. That is why W.L.May Company still uses live switchboard receptionists. It's just a small part of the things we do to provide you with good service. Enjoy the video....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday W.L. May Profile: Todd Shepard

Reprinted from: What's Cooking At W.L.May Volume 1 Issue 6-Todd Shepard has lived almost a "vagabond lifestyle", having lived in many areas of the Country, from the eastern shores of Vermont, to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Rutland, VT, he was raised in Northfield, MA. As a high school student, Todd loved studying U.S History, and playing athletics; he was a member of the Northfield Mt. Hermon Hogs basketball team, playing center and power forward.

Upon graduation from high school, Todd enrolled at the College of Wooster, located about 50 miles southwest of Cleveland, Ohio where he majored in International Relations, with a minor in Spanish; his interest in Spanish fueled by the fact his father is a Spanish Professor. Once he earned his degree, Todd sought a "new adventure". Based on a fraternity brother's recommendation, Todd "loaded up the truck" and moved to Portland, OR.

Along with his wife Minnie, they are the proud parents of 2 highly educated and motivated children; a 20 year old daughter, Emily, enrolled at Oregon State University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Business, and a 17 year old son, Miles, involved in his high school's Debate Club and Theater. Todd has an extreme eclectic taste in music, from the Grateful Dead, jazz, blues, reggae, and all in between, including classical. In his free time, Todd loves spending time with his family and following basketball; he knows everyone's stats from high school players up, including professional players.

Todd has called W.L May Co home for almost 10 years. When asked what he likes most about working at W.L. May, he said he "enjoys connecting with my customers, helping them solve their problems, and providing service that allows them to be profitable. I always approach things from my customers' perspective, and try to do what's in their best interests." It is precisely what separates W.L. May Co from other Distributors; having the customers' best interest and success as their guiding principle. If you have the chance, give Todd a call; ask him what Paul Pierce's shooting percentage is; he'd probably know it, too.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Hey, All,

Did you know that you can usually get copies of  owner's manual on-line and download them to your computer or copy/email them for your customers?

Just go to the manufacturer's website (I'll have some listed below) and look for the tab for Customer Service or Support.  There should be a tab under that for manuals.  You will need to have the model number of the appliance.  Then just download the PDF file to your computer. 

Consumers:  This would also be a good time to make a file for each of your appliances and load the necessary information for each appliance (Brand, model number, serial number, date of purchase and scan in the warranty info, receipts, service calls, repair company, etc).  Wow!  Don't you feel organized now? 

Servicers:  You can also add these to your computer files for your customers.

Also, sometimes accessory items (stack kits, conversion kits, dryer racks, etc.) are listed in the owner's manual;  some of these are not listed in the parts lists.

Whirlpool:  http://www.whirlpool.com/manuals
Frigidaire:  http://www.frigidaire.com/Owner-Center/Product-Support-Manuals/
GE:  http://www.geappliances.com/service_and_support/literature/
Electrolux: http://www.electroluxappliances.com/Owner-Support/Product-Support/
Maytag:   http://www.maytag.com/manuals

Have a great week!