Andrew Remm is executive vice president of Home Service Solutions, an organization that recruits and manages home improvement contractors for SFI programs in retail chains such as Sam's Clubs.
REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR: Does HSS have other large retail accounts besides Sam's?
Andrew Remm: Ultimately, we are a nationwide provider of many different home improvement products and services through a network of several thousand contractors. Besides Sam's Clubs, there are other retail chains, including Floor and Décor Outlets of America. We also do some work for The Home Depot. In terms of SFI, though, Sam's is our longest-running program.
RC: How do you find contractors to partner with?
A.R.: We're members of NAHB, the Remodelors Council, and NARI. We've also partnered with more than 60 manufacturers. They will often suggest high quality contractors who fit our criteria. Referral and word-of-mouth is another way.
RC: What criteria do you use in evaluating a home improvement company for participation in the Sam's program?
A.R.: We look for companies that have been in business at least five years, appropriately licensed and insured, and doing at least $1 million in annual sales. They must have a strong customer service culture. That's something they have to identify and sell us on. We look for a strong mix of the most popular products in the home improvement business. And we look at their financial stability.
RC: What do you require of them once they're in the store?
A.R.: In Sam's, they're required to staff the kiosks 40 hours a week and be consistently branded and identified as HSS. We have a whole manual of in-store do's and don'ts.
RC: How do you, or the retailer, control the selling process in the home?