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Gordon Bros., AccuVal-LiquiTec form new appraisal group

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – Gordon Brothers Group’s Valuation & Advisory Services Division and AccuVal-LiquiTec have entered into a merger to form Gordon Brothers-AccuVal. The new group will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Gordon Brothers Group.

The new company will conduct more than $60 billion of appraisals annually, serving 18 countries from 25 offices globally. The merger will broaden the range of available services offered by the new firm, providing access to related disposition services through the broader Gordon Brothers Group organization, as well as debt financing through Gordon Brothers Finance Company.

The firm will be headquartered out of Gordon Brothers Group’s Boston office.

“This merger unlocks the most in-depth industry knowledge available today,” jointly stated Ann Merrill and Frank Grimaldi, formerly of Gordon Brothers Group’s Valuation & Advisory Services Division and now serving as COO and national sales manager, respectively, of Gordon Brothers-AccuVal. “We now have more ASA accredited appraisers than our competitors combined.”

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Ace Hardware center to teach customer service

BY CSA STAFF

Ace Hardware has always been known for its “helpful hardware folks” motto, but now the company is taking its customer service knowledge global.

The retailer has launched the Ace Center for Excellence, a new division designed to share the strategies and key principles of the brand's unparalleled commitment to customer service with businesses and organizations around the world. According to Ace, the center's goal is to help companies improve upon their customer experience based on Ace's award-winning approach through customized solutions, such as keynotes and workshops.

The Ace Center for Excellence was inspired by “Amaze Every Customer Every Time,” a book written by customer service expert and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Shep Hyken.

"Ace Hardware has set the standard in customer service and the launch of The Ace Center for Excellence is a perfect way for Ace to share their award-winning knowledge with other companies looking to improve upon their customer service best practices," said Hyken. "It will be thrilling to watch as the Ace team empowers other businesses to amaze each of their customers, every time."

The Ace Center for Excellence has comprised a team, not of outside speakers, but rather the actual Ace team who has been living the brand's promise to inspire and educate business associates in the way that Ace Hardware associates strive for every day, guiding them towards excellence in customer service and overall business reputation.

Ace Hardware executives will deliver customized workshops and keynotes to inspire the same dedication Ace has for providing amazing customer service and ultimately improving the business's bottom line. Customized keynotes and workshops include:

  • Developing a customized action plan to operationalize and improve customer service as it relates to the brand's promise
  • Assisting in building a company culture around a customer-first mindset
  • Teaching employees how to amaze customers through stellar service
  • Inspiring employees at all levels to lead and realize the impact they have on the business

For more information on The Ace Center for Excellence and how to schedule a workshop and/or keynote, please visit www.acecenterforexcellence.com.

Ace Hardware has more than 4,800 hardware stores locally owned and operated across the globe.

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Study: Retail top mobile advertising vertical

BY Dan Berthiaume

Baltimore – Retail was the largest vertical on the Millennial Media mobile advertising platform in 2014, followed by telecommunications and entertainment. According to the Millennial Media Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (S.M.A.R.T.) report, retail saw 49% year-over-year growth on the Millennial Media platform in 2014.

Growth in many verticals is coming from advertisers investing in functions such as video campaigns and rich media features. Due to its richer user experience, video ads see an average of five times the engagement when compared to standard banners. For some verticals, video ads drive exceptionally strong value, including retail, which saw an 628% increase in engagement in video ads above standard banners.

Campaign goals are dependent on the product or service being advertised. Retail was the vertical most frequently running “increased foot traffic” campaigns (33% of all increased foot traffic campaigns), as retailers running mobile campaigns are heavily focused on driving in-store visits and sales.

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