Nexstar Network’s Strategic Partner Program earns members thousands of dollars each year in rebates. At the end of Nexstar’s fiscal year in 2015, more than a third of members were paying at least half of their dues or more with rebates. On top of that, nearly another quarter of members were paying their dues in full and then some. Josh Savage, Nexstar member and owner of Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, started using strategic partners after he had been a member for some time.
“I started focusing on it as we grew, and integrated Barnett VMI [vendor-managed inventory] into our operations,” Savage said. “The rebates now more than pay for our gold membership.”
Participating in the Strategic Partner Program means capturing the buying power of Nexstar’s network: Companies don’t have to be large to pay their dues through the program. Nexstar didn’t always have a program such as this, but in 1992, foresight by the founding board of directors jump-started a program. They envisioned the buying power of the progressive and profitable contractors that made up the network, said founding Nexstar member Dan Weltman, owner of Weltman Home Services.
“I see the Strategic Partner program as an integrated part of Nexstar membership,” Weltman said. “I do believe this is an underused benefit of Nexstar. We all need materials, trucks, office supplies, et cetera; can anyone give me a reason not to use them?”
Nexstar has partnerships with some of the top brands in the industry, so members can stick with their usual products and get money back simply for using them. Each year the Strategic Partner (SP) team organizes trade shows that feature the partners displaying new products, technology and training. The SP team, made up of Susan Tigner, Janet Wopinski and Jesse Rennie, also regularly keeps members updated on partner news and deals in addition to working with members one on one to get the most out of the partnerships.
Barnett, Ford, Goodman and ServiceTitan are just a handful of the more than 100 companies Nexstar partners with, and Nexstar is always adding more. Members can pick and choose which partners may work best for them. Matt Bergstrom, Nexstar Board of Directors Vice Chairman and owner of Thornton & Grooms, uses Barnett and Lennox.
“We worked both those vendors pretty hard before deciding to use them,” Bergstrom said. “That works well for us. Some of the vendors don’t work well for us, so we don’t use them, but whenever we need to find a new vendor relationship we include the Nexstar vendors in our process.”
Nexstar’s SP team advocates for members’ best interests while maintaining strong partnerships with vendors.
“Strategic partnerships give us more leverage on both pricing and servicing than I could get on my own,” Savage said. “If there is an issue with service, all we have to do is mention Susan and everything is taken care of.”
Get more details about the program at our Strategic Partner page.