Today Ted speaks with David LaFollette of Tandem Product Solutions, a home appliance, product based, solution company with years of experience in all aspects of distribution, product placement, logistics and product implementation, servicing the independent appliance channel. From 1988 to 2006, David served as President of Standards of Excellence.

David speaks on the growth and evolution of the appliance space over the past two decades. He explains how independent businesses continue to thrive alongside big box stores. Because margins are always small when it comes to appliances, the true value proposition that sets one store apart from another is the level of knowledge of its salespeople.

In the latter half of the conversation, David offers his thoughts on succeeding as a business owner by injecting a healthy dose of humanity into every interaction and solution-oriented thinking into every decision one makes.

Topics Discussed

  • David’s career from Monarch onwards
  • Who runs the appliance world today
  • How consumers shop for appliances
  • David’s newest venture
  • Learning from his experience at Monarch and the implosion of Sears
  • Becoming “dumb enough to try something and smart enough to pull it off”
  • Treating people right
  • What David is most excited for
  • Embracing your individual sovereignty

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Key Quotes from Episode

  • If you’re looking from a unit sales standpoint, people always turn to the big box stores. But independents, collectively, are just the biggest resource for appliances.
  • The general consumer is really savvy when it comes to appliances because they can look up everything on the web.
  • The road is littered with good companies that have bought great companies and destroyed them. A lot of it is simply due to infrastructure or pulling you into their way of doing business.
  • You’ve got to be dumb enough to try something and smart enough to pull it off.

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