At the PARA Roundtable: Part 2
Jay Buchanan, Nebraska Furniture Mart
Steve Caldero, Ken Crane's Home Entertainment
Jeff Hipps, Sherwood America
Kerry Moyer, CEA
Vance Pflanz, Pflanz Electronics
Editor’s Note: The first part of CustomRetailer’s conversation with PARA members can be found in the September 2009 issue and online at customretailer.net.
CustomRetailer: Buying groups and distributors are playing an increasingly important role in the specialty dealer’s go-to-market arsenal. They make money for dealers, get the best deals and add to bottom lines. What is it about PARA efforts, such as the PARA Education Series, that can enhance these groups’ endeavors to help their dealer memberships better compete in today’s marketplace?
Vance Pflanz, president, Pflanz Electronics: I’m on the board of HES Brandsource. There was PARA Education at our HES Summit in March, and it met with great respect and a lot of enthusiasm about the seminars that were presented. People learned a lot. The sessions were well-attended, and it was really a win-win situation.
Kerry Moyer, senior director, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA): PARA also provided educational programming at the Specialty Electronics Nationwide Primetime event recently. We decided to take education on the road because we recognized that in today’s economy, you need to consolidate events, time and travel. And when we have the opportunity to speak to a large audience of dealers, we need to take advantage of that.
What we’re doing in those sessions is coming right down to what the core competency of PARA has always been about: education and information-sharing for the dealer. By taking our show, the PARA Education Series, on the road, we’re bringing recognized industry experts to the audiences that need to hear that message. For us, it’s important, because it reinforces PARA as an educational resource for dealers in the CE industry. Buying groups are focused on providing their members great bottom-line return, extra profitability and the best buys on the products they’re sourcing through the groups. But at the same time, we can enhance the value that they return to their members at their events by providing this educational programming. We tailor these sessions as time passes based on what changes in the marketplace. We look ahead, rather than looking behind and at where we’ve been in this down economy. We’re looking to equip dealers with information to help them compete in a retail marketplace that probably won’t ever be the same as it was in past years.