Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group has launched a series of special initiatives designed to assist consortium members during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“In a matter of just a few short weeks, it seemed to many as though the situation was spinning out of control,” says Jon Robbins, executive director of HTSA. “But by analyzing the situation, drawing from our collective wisdom, and implementing new systems and processes – our members were better able to more effectively adapt to a fundamentally changed operating environment.”
Following the suspension of its spring conference, HTSA management has launched a series of aggressive actions designed to take control of a situation that seemed out of control – and to become the nexus of accurate information on necessary steps for members to take.
Vendor Assistance – HTSA management reached out to the consortium vendors to discuss the gravity of the situation and to mutually come to an agreement on various types of relief that these valued vendors could – and did – make available to all HTSA members.
Town Hall Meetings – HTSA managers realized that early in the spread of COVID-19, there was an accompanying proliferation of confusion, misinformation, and fear. In order to address concerns, collect information on local impact, and jointly discuss a new path forward, management launched a series of online “Town Hall” style meetings where all members were able to share their concerns, thoughts and suggestions. Those town hall meetings are continuing to be held to this day with multiple levels of dealer staff and management.
Online Information Clearinghouse – HTSA launched a private group on popular social site Reddit for all HTSA members. The group uses this site to share properly vetted and carefully curated content on COVID-19, as well as important business matters in an organized and useful way. Also, members can freely interact and share ideas with each other on an ongoing basis.
Expanded Online Education – Member training and education is one of the cornerstones of the organization and the group has led the industry in creating expert training and advanced educational programs for all of its members. HTSA is in the process of porting even more of its educational resources – including previous face-to-face courses – to online-based training that can be taken by members and their employees in this new work-from-home environment.
Member Fee Suspension – As a sign that “We’re all in this together,” HTSA’s Board of Directors have announced that – for the first time in its history – it is suspending member fees for the second quarter. The goal is to help members better adjust to the dramatic financial impact on their cash flow of the economic slowdown resulting from this pandemic.
Members have responded with great enthusiasm to the efforts of HTSA to keep them informed and to help them deal with the changed economic and operational landscape. This proactive approach has helped its members better adjust and adapt, with a new and stronger go-forward plan.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make further adjustments as necessary,” adds Robbins. “Our main goal is to position ourselves for what will undoubtedly be a period of extraordinary growth on the other side of this COVID-19 event. I can assure you, HTSA members will be fully prepared and ready.”