NEWS IN FOCUS
Jenkins Heads Up National Indoor RV Centers
Former Jayco Inc. executive Tadd Jenkins has been named president of National Indoor RV Centers (NIRVC), a seven-year-old motorized RV dealership based in Lewisville, Texas, that is becoming known for its unique approach to service and storage at its suburban Dallas headquarters and at new outlets in Atlanta and Phoenix, according to NIRVC CEO Brett Davis.
Davis described Jenkins, who last served as president of Jayco’s Motorhome Group and its upscale Entegra Coach line, as “a brand of his own,” an individual who has forged relationships with hundreds of coach owners at shows and rallies over the years.
Also joining NIRVC’s management team is new COO Shaun Huxford, another Jayco alum who previously handled service and parts distribution centers for ABC Bus Companies Inc.
Davis told RVBUSINESS.com the addition of Jenkins and Huxford, both of whom left Jayco in November during a management realignment at the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, will enable NIRVC to grow to the next level by adding at least one new store in 2017 and more down the road.
“I think it’s a very big deal,” said NIRVC’s Davis, a veteran investor and co-owner. “When we started this company, we never intended to be in sales. We did not sell coaches or RVs of any kind until three years ago. We were going to be storage and service only, and we still believe that whoever controls service will control the market, and we’re trying to open service centers in the travel patterns of high-end coach owners. So that, in part, is why we’ve also brought Shaun Huxford on board because we have to build an operationally robust company here so that a hamburger they (consumers) buy in Atlanta, if you will, tastes exactly the same in Phoenix.”
A former active member of industry trade associations who still owns a Chevrolet dealership in Rigby, Idaho, Jenkins told RVBUSINESS.com he will make his first appearance under the NIRVC banner at this week’s Good Sam RV Super Show, Feb. 23-26 at Arizona’s Phoenix International Raceway.
“I’m extremely excited about this new position from the standpoint that I will have the opportunity to continue to work to change the mindset of the RV industry in terms of service first,” said Jenkins, who will also represent NIRVC at the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) International Rally, March 7-10 in Chandler, Ariz. “Taking care of customers is primarily our role. You know, people have often asked in the past who our greatest competitor is, and I’ve always felt it was Disneyworld or other recreational activities.
“I figure people are going to recreate, and if we don’t give them that absolute paramount amazing experience they will recreate in some other fashion, and we can’t afford that as an industry,” said Jenkins, a co-founder in 1992 of Bish’s RV Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “And being affiliated with National Indoor RV Centers, we get to deliver on that promise over time. That’s what I’m most excited about – to help take an industry that I love to the next level.”
NIRVC’s service-centric business model, cultivated by an executive team of “very experienced businessmen inside and outside the RV industry,” hinges on providing customers with a white-glove, all-inclusive experience, a concept largely borne out of Davis’s own frustrations as a motorhome owner since the mid-1980’s. NIRVC’s game plan also calls for well lighted and secure storage space for at least 300 units at each store plus customer-friendly valet service and plenty of trained service technicians.
“Our slogan is ‘We Do It All,’ allowing owners to just pick up and drop off their coaches and let us handle the rest including prepping the coach before they take off on a trip,” said Davis, whose firm is a leading Entegra Coach and Newmar dealer. “When a customer calls, we check the tires, fill the fresh water tank and basically have it ready to go. When they return, they give us a list of everything they want done – which at times is quite lengthy – and any service issues including factory warranty or extended service plan work. It’s truly turnkey.
“We also developed a barcoding system to track each coach in storage and also to list any service requests,” added Davis. “Early on, that was a huge priority, and what we use now is pretty sophisticated. When we store a coach, it is equipped with a scan plug that identifies where it’s located and also all the work that the customer wants done. Our employees can use their cell phones to scan the bar code and retrieve all that information.”
In addition to on-site service, NIRVC also works with its customers once they’re on the road. “If a customer has a problem on the road, we encourage them to call us first,” said Davis. “We have a different team on call every night so they can almost always get through to a technician. A lot of times it’s an issue that can be handled with a work-around over the phone. In a small amount of cases we have to resort to get them help, and will help them find people in the area that can do the work.
“It’s all part of being the all-in-one solution for our customers. Our mission is to remove the hassles at every turn so that RVers can enjoy their coach.”
Online Editor Dave Barbulesco contributed to this report.