July/August 2020

Q: The ‘Right to Repair’ has really come to the forefront now – how is that affecting the industry and your business? Nick Viney: It’s something that has been talked about by the Government and various industry bodies for quite some time; it certainly now seems to have some teeth with various dates being banded around. For example, from April 2021 manufacturers of certain products have to make spare parts available for up to 10 years. It should be easier for appliances to be

repaired, with common tools and nothing specialist required. This movement is gaining a lot of momentum and it’s clear that manufacturers are starting to really get things in place. ASWO is already talking to some about supporting them with spare parts and logistics solutions. Markus Pastor: The right to repair act has

been tremendously positive for us and it really supports our vision for the future, which is that we need to save as many appliances as we can and pollute as less as possible. ASWO is the service hub – dedicated to protecting people’s life qualities and their environment for the next 200 years. The feedback we get from our customers,

which is a huge compliment, is that whenever they look into our database, they say if ASWO doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist! We have struggled in the past where we

weren’t allowed to get certain spare parts and we were confounded to prices that were completely out of reach, but hopefully as legislation comes in repairing will be easier and we’ll encounter less barriers.

Q:What’s the potential for ASWO in the future then? NV: The potential for us is massive because of our unique position of supporting manufacturers and the repair industry – there’s never any conflict there. The sole purpose of ASWO is to support the electrical repair industry with parts and information.

Q: How does ASWO work with its partners in the electrical retail industry across UK then? NV: A lot of manufacturers share their technical data with us, which is a real strength of our company. Not many support companies like ours have the European footprint like we do, so products that are heading out of the UK have to have spare parts provision. We have that platform. Across Europe our work is also to enable

the retail trade to provide spare parts to end consumers, whether through direct delivery or an off-the-shelf solution, with ASWO always remaining anonymous to the end consumer. This enables the retailer to provide a service

Nick Viney

Markus Pastor

to the customer themselves and allows them to retain the margin if the part has to be paid for. Whether it’s a bulb for the fridge or full- blown new compressor gas repair, the indies – more so than the big chains – will have local customers for life and will really want to support them and hold on to them. MP: Repair professionals and retailers have

a chance to generate new revenue by connecting with their customers through a service. It’s the opportunity to gain customer loyalty – if you are the helping hand the first time and the customer has a positive experience, you will be their lifeline again and again. Our purpose is to help these partners offer the best level of service. So our goal is to pretty much plug our

system into the retailer’s existing infrastructure for them to be the best at whatever they do. Today we have 80,000 technicians and

professionals that we serve in Europe, and even the most isolated retailers that have never offered servicing or repairs before can become efficient in this area.

Q: Historically, ASWO’s foundation is in brown goods repair, but what is the biggest part of the business today? NV: From the UK perspective, white goods today would be our most dominant market, but we’re still very strong in our core brown goods repair business. MP: Simply focusing on white and brown

goods, I would say it’s a 60/40 split. Today with our range at 15 million SKUs we want to have everything that a technician would need to service a household. From TVs and hi fi systems, smart phones and computers, to dishwashers and microwaves. In the past, the brown goods sector suffered

when consumers started throwing products away rather than repairing them, so spare parts started to reduce. But now, thankfully, the trend is changing. NV: We do have a throwaway society still,

but there is a lot of momentum now towards repair. In times of austerity, people would generally think to repair before replacing – it’s an economical point of view, and that really fits with the ASWO ethos.

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