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Hi, I’m Michael Grimshaw from All City Appliance. August 2017 is our 10-year anniversary in the home appliance repair business. I thought you might be interested in what we’ve been up to lately, and what you can look forward to in the next few years.
First off, I’m so sorry, but I need to share with you some bad news: Every month in the U.S, about 6 million home appliances get scrapped. Some get shredded, melted down and turned into other stuff. Others get buried in a landfill. In both cases any computers that came with the machines are still in there. Recycling post-consumer material is energy and labor intensive. For this reason it is often cheaper to manufacture with virgin materials.
Not so long ago, the average home appliance would spend 16-20 years in a home. They became intertwined with the memories of our youth, dependably performing the daily rituals of warming our dinners and cleaning our unmentionables. Today, home appliances get retired after only 6-10 years. Some will be scrapped sooner; some later. This shortened lifespan is costing homeowners and landlords about twice as much as it used to, to keep their freezers freezing and their clothes washers washing.
Now for some good news: In the next few years we intend to reverse this trend by introducing appliances designed to last indefinitely. The new machines will be as energy efficient as possible without sacrificing performance, convenience or cosmetic appeal. We’ll use reliable, yet inexpensive, off-the-shelf components to build machines with the lowest cost of ownership.
Every machine will have a born-on date, a five-year manufacturer’s warranty, and a sticker price comparable to more established brands with a five-year warranty added in. The best part? Free replacement parts forever. That’s right. If your refrigerator compressor wears out or the rollers in your dryer get noisy, we’ll send you new ones. For free. Forever. (Shipping and labor not included.)
This idea isn’t new. We don’t need to invent anything. We’ve had this technology for more than forty years.
So, what’s stopping us? Manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry with long lead times. To cause a fundamental shift in the appliance industry, we need to build millions of machines every month – enough to cut into the profits of the international manufacturers. To compete on price we need volume. Starting small isn’t an option.
Of course a Kickstarter campaign is the obvious choice. Some successful campaigns have raised tens of millions of dollars. But those were professionally produced and managed campaigns offering tangible, high-demand products that people can afford from their disposable income. Who would put $1000 down on a machine that only exists on paper? They may need a working refrigerator today. By the time their new machine is ready, they’ll have a two-year-old fridge they paid a lot of money for and six to eight more years before they need another one.
We’ve been working on this difficult puzzle for more than seven years and have developed a plan: we intend to earn the startup cost of the manufacturing facility. The plan involves creating two new revenue streams:
First: at All City Appliance we have a top-notch technician who is an independent business owner and a subcontractor. He owns his vehicle, his tools, his replacement parts, and the profit from every call he completes. He pays All City Appliance a flat fee for each service call he goes to. All City Appliance handles the advertising, marketing, branding, digital infrastructure and the customer service for his customers. Working part time, our new technician now earns more than he did as a full-time manager at his previous position. Attracting new clients and acting as his customer service department earns All City Appliance about $600 a month. Easily a win-win.
There are 33,000 home appliance repair technicians in the U.S. When All City Appliance functions as the customer service department for 10% of them, (or more precisely, for 10% of the requests for repair service) we’ll be earning enough to pay the mortgage on a property in southeastern Wisconsin suitable for a large manufacturing facility. About 200 operators, or service managers as we call them, will be able to handle that call volume. When we attract 15% of the calls, we can begin construction immediately. Calls will always be answered 24/7, by local, live operators.
Second: as a new level of service we’re offering, we’ll be with you, the customer, until you have a working machine. If your appliance cannot be repaired at a reasonable price we’ll arrange to have another machine delivered. We’ll offer professional buying advice based on reliability, desired features and purchase price, taking into account the details of your situation. Technicians get paid more if they fix your machine, so there’s a good incentive for them to repair it whenever possible.
So why the big announcement? To begin, we sincerely hope your appliances never break down and you never need to call for service. But repairs are inevitable, and hoping won’t convince your dishwasher to drain.
- First, we’re asking you to tell your friends and family about All City Appliance and let them know we offer more than simply the best service at any price. Please forward this website if it’s convenient.
- Second, consider saving our phone number in your contacts list. It’s 414-243-1579. If your friend ever needs a repair we’ll find a qualified technician in their area with the earliest available appointment that works with their schedule. We’ll even guarantee the quality of the service they receive – no matter which state your friend lives in, or which company the repair technician works for.
- Third, we invite you to subscribe to periodic email updates to keep track of the progress of the manufacturing facility. There will also be a weekly podcast for more in-depth conversations. Simply email us at Service@AllCityMilwaukee.com to get on the list.
- Fourth, we are offering you an opportunity to assist the project financially. For a limited time, and only until our funding goals are met, we will issue a store credit for 1.5 times the dollar amount donated. At some point in the next 10-15 years, you’ll need new appliances. A $100 gift will get you a $150 store credit for a new machine of our design: an indefinitely repairable machine with the lowest cost of ownership, a born-on date, and free replacement parts forever. A $1000 gift will get you a $1,500 credit on our machines. If you prefer to use your store credit for a repair you may. Though if spent on a repair, your gift retains the original value you gave us. This is not an investment in a legal sense, nor would your gift be tax-deductible. Even $20 would help immeasurably. We’re asking you to trust us to do the best job we can, as quickly as is reasonable, and to take responsibility for the results. Or — as our customers have experienced — the same thing we’ve been doing every single day for the last 10 years.
- Finally, as a thank you for your interest in what could be the most boring subject on the planet, everyone who emails us at Service@AllCityMilwaukee.com will receive a free gift. Just for asking, we’ll give you a store credit worth $10 off a repair or $15 off a new and improved machine. Make sure you call before you need a repair to secure your store credit.
To get started, we need a few thousand dollars and we need the phone to ring. After that we don’t expect any major obstacles. We’ll deliver our machines directly to our customers’ homes, eliminating the need for them to visit an appliance store. Our repair service network will serve double duty as the sales, service and distribution team for our new brand. We’ve been working on this for seven years, and we’re prepared to move as quickly as funding permits.
If all goes according to plan, we will begin production in late 2018. If you have any questions drop us an email at Service@AllCityMilwaukee.com.
Moving forward, we expect the repair network and manufacturing facility to each produce significant profits on an ongoing basis, which we will return to the community. We’ll feed the hungry, house the homeless, plant millions of trees, and solve any problem that can be solved with money.
What’s your superpower? We’ll need expert advice from hundreds of people with experience in customer service, communications, human resources, engineering, manufacturing, finance, real estate, graphic design, web development and many other fields. What’s the one thing you can do better than everyone you know? If you’d like to be a part of our team, please email us at Service@AllCityMilwaukee.com with your contact information and the area of your expertise.
The best customers on the planet deserve the best machines on the planet.
- We’re initiating a fundamental change in the home appliance industry by starting a new manufacturing company.
- We’re adopting a triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profits – in that order.
- We’re building long-lived machines with the lowest cost of ownership.
- We’re challenging other appliance manufacturing companies to do the same.
- We’re building a manufacturing facility capable of producing millions of large home appliances each month.
- To accomplish this goal, we’re creating a national network of repair technicians.
- We’re improving other small business owners’ profit margins and providing better service for our customers.
- Please email us to claim your free gift, or get a discounted price on a new machine by purchasing a store credit that will be worth 1.5 times more in a few years.
- Now hiring.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
All City Appliance