Rand McNally and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) are working together to “provide RVers easy access to RV dealers and service providers across a variety of platforms,” according to a press release.
The information, available this summer, will be included in new mobile phone apps and website maps and directions, as well as on board Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND GPS units.
“RVers have unique service needs while on the road and providing RV dealer information across North America in a variety of formats will certainly assist them whether it’s an emergency or a routine visit,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. “RVers will be assured of top-tier service provided by RVDA member organizations.”
As part of their agreement, Rand McNally will develop a dealer-locator application for iOS and Android mobile phones. The app will enable RVers to quickly access a listing of nearby RVDA member dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Each listing will include critical information such as hours of operation, contact information and services provided, as well as up-to-the-minute deals and specials available. Marketed by RVDA to their membership, this app will be available mid-summer, 2012.
RVDA dealer information also will be provided in Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND line of GPS devices. The product provides RV-specific navigation as well as services that RVers need while on the road such as campgrounds, pet-friendly locations, rest stops and service centers. The RVDA information will be available on GPS units shipping later this summer and as a download for current owners of the product.
In addition, RVDA dealer information will be integrated into Rand McNally’s Best of the Road website, “Best of RVing” microsite, and into maps and directions on randmcnally.com. Best of RVing (bestoftheroad.com/rv), launched in May, provides content designed to engage and inspire RVers, offering a variety of information for the experienced and novice RVer.
“We are excited to be working with Rand McNally, a trusted source of maps, directions, and navigation content to provide applications and information that is critical to the on-the-road experience,” said RVDA Chairman Andy Heck of Alpin Haus, in Amsterdam, N.Y. “The applications will enable RV enthusiasts to quickly access the information they need in a variety of formats – through phone, online, and navigation products.”
RVDA member dealers will be able to easily update their entries via an online portal specifically designed for the program. Updates will be regularly provided to all products and applications.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) board will consider adjusting the dates of the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo if the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) moves the National RV Trade Show dates to the late September/early October time frame. According to a news release, the RVDA board met on June 12 in Arlington, Va.
“The board considered the pros and cons of moving the convention dates to later in the year, if necessary, to help facilitate an earlier RVIA trade show,” said RVDA Chairman Andy Heck, owner of Alpin Haus in Amsterdam, N.Y. “Moving the dates of the convention several weeks later in the year would allow RVDA to keep the convention’s focus on continuing education and association business as well as explore new opportunities with our business partners.”
RVDA has an agreement to hold the convention at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2015, the convention is scheduled for Paris/Ballys. “As we prepare for what is shaping up to be an outstanding convention this year, the RVDA board is looking ahead and shows a willingness to work with RVIA on a schedule for industry events that reflects the needs of members in both organizations,” Heck said.
The RVDA board also approved a $2.86 million budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins on July 1. The budget includes funding for RVDA, RV Learning Center and RV Assistance Corp. programs for the next 12 months.
The leadership of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) threw a party Tuesday night (June 12) for Mike Molino, former president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), who stepped down April 2 after 16 years of service with the Fairfax, Va.-based trade association. Pictured are Molino with former RVDA Chairman Jeff Pastore (left), and his father, former RVDA Secretary John Pastore, both from Hartville RV Center, Hartville, Ohio. Molino, known for his leadership in helping develop the Go RVing campaign as well as RVDA’s Model Dealer Agreement and Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey, was succeeded by Phil Ingrassia, RVDA’s former vice president of communications. Among those speaking during the dinner at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va., emceed by former RVDA Chairman Bill Thomas, of Bill Thomas Camper Sales, Wentzville, Mo., were former RVDA chairmen Jerry Greer, of Jerry Greer RV near Columbus, Ohio, and Rick Horsey, of Parkview RV Center, Smyra, Del. Also paying tribute to Molino at the dinner, timed with RVIA Committee Week and an RVDA board meeting, were RVDA Vice President of Administration Ronnie Hepp, current RVDA Chairman Andy Heck of Alpin Haus, Amsterdam, N.Y., Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon and American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President Derrick Crandall. In his turn at the podium, Crandall presented Molino, who has been asked to provide some ongoing consultant services to RVDA, with an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol on behalf of U.S. Rep., R-Va., Frank Wolf in “deep appreciation for the service you have provided to the nation.”
Based on attendee feedback from last year’s RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Convention/Expo Committee is bringing back the parts and service management educational tracks in 2012. According to a press release, the tracks will offer several new speakers with “very different, never-before offered workshops.”
The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.
One of the new workshops is “Managing Parts Inventory for Results,” presented by Bob Bennett of BTS Consulting. RVDA said the workshop is a high-level view of the inventory management process for dealers and parts managers and will focus on how parts managers, through inventory management, are key contributors to customer satisfaction and fixed operations profitability. Key takeaways will include the true meaning of a lost sale in the parts department and the importance of managing possession costs and acquisition costs. This session is recommended for parts managers, as well as dealers and general managers.
More workshops will be announced as the convention approaches. Themed “The Road to Opportunity,” the convention will present educational super sessions designed to help dealers navigate the issues and opportunities they face today and presenting strategies to reach new customers through new technology and to harness the power of social media. This year’s conference also introduces a new series of fixed operations workshops for service and parts managers to improve efficiency and profitability.
The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.
Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext 103, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and receive regular updates. People can also get convention updates on LinkedIn professional networking services, Twitter and Facebook.
Editor’s Note: The following article on the Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) Survey appears in the current issue of RV Executive Today, a publication of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
Many manufacturers tell RVDA they use DSI results to adjust policies and procedures that affect dealers, so it’s extremely important for all dealers to fill out the survey. The DSI is not a scientific study, but it measures dealers’ attitudes about their manufacturers’ performance in eight key areas identified by RVDA’s Industry Relations Committee. Those areas include:
- Sales support
- Sales territory
- Vehicle design
- Vehicle reliability/quality
- Competitive price/value
- Parts support
- Dealership warranty support
- Overall dealer communications
RVDA will release the DSI results to Brand Committee chairmen in time for Partners in Progress meetings at the 2012 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Make sure to fill out the survey, preferably online so RVDA can process results faster. Or you can print the form and fax or mail it to RVDA. Be sure to rate all brands and manufacturers whose new products you carry. RVDA dealer members can click here to access the survey (member login required).
For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call the dealer service hot line.
RV dealers are urged to make plans to attend the Partners in Progress Brand Committee meetings that will take place during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas Oct. 1-5.
According to a news release from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), the following meetings have been scheduled so far:
Monday, Oct. 1
- Forest River Inc. – 3:30 to 5 p.m.
- Jayco Inc. – 5:15 to 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 2
- Keystone RV Co. – 9:30 to 11 a.m.
More Partners in Progress Brand Committee meetings will be announced as the convention approaches. The schedule is subject to change.
As a result of requests from dealers, an additional 15 minutes will be added this year to the Forest River and Keystone meetings because of their size and range of product offerings. Each manufacturer’s ratings in this year’s Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey will also be available for review during their brand committee meeting.
Brand committee meetings are confidential and only dealers selling new rolling stock built by a particular manufacturer will be allowed to attend that manufacturer’s brand committee meeting.
The deadline for applying for the RV Learning Center Scholarship Program is June 4, according to a press release from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
The program awards a $2,500 scholarship annually to deserving college sophomore, junior and senior undergraduate students majoring in business, finance, economics, accounting or other RV-related subjects. RVDA said that dealers and other industry partners are able to offer this opportunity to their team specifically because of their employment in the RV industry. Visit www.rvlearningcenter.com for an application.
Scholarship applicants must:
• Have a 2.8 or better cumulative grade point average, and a 1050 minimum SAT score (1575 minimum on the 2400 point scale). A minimum ACT composite score of 22 is also acceptable.
• Be a rising sophomore, junior or senior college undergraduate student.
• Complete a 500-word essay on their goals and objectives for attending college.
• Submit a copy of their Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form which is available from guidance counselors or for download at no charge from the U.S. Department of Education at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
• Demonstrate the ability and willingness to fund a portion of their educational expenses on their own.
• Attend an accredited four-year college or university as a condition of receiving the scholarship.
All items must be submitted by June 4. Dealer principals, their family and dependents are not eligible. A four-color poster describing the RV Learning Center scholarship program suitable for display in employee break or lunch areas is also available to download at www.rvlearningcenter.com.
The scholarship program is possible due to the generosity of the Newt and Joanne Kindlund Family. The Kindlunds are the founders of Holiday RV Superstores—the first publicly-traded RV dealership. The Kindlunds sold the company in 1999. Newt Kindlund remains an active participant in RV industry affairs and currently serves on the RV Learning Center Board of Directors. The Kindlund Family has fully funded the $270,000 Foundation scholarship endowment.
For more information on the RV Learning Center scholarship program, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rvlearningcenter.com. The RV Learning Center is a tax-exempt organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions may be tax deductible as charitable donations.
Editor’s Note: The following is a column from Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association President Phil Ingrassia, appearing in the May issue of RV Executive Today, stressing the importance for retailers to participate in the Dealer Satisfaction Index Survey (DSI). Input from the survey has provided a long-standing gauge of manufacturers’ performance while offering a working guide to improving OEM-dealer relationships.
The annual RVDA Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey is under way right now, and it’s a great time to review a basic question – what exactly is the DSI?
The DSI is not a scientific study. Its purpose is to measure dealers’ attitudes about their manufacturers’ performance in eight key areas developed by dealer leaders serving on RVDA’s Industry Relations Committee. Those areas include:
• Sales support
• Sales territory
• Vehicle design
• Vehicle reliability/quality
• Competitive price/value
• Parts support
• Dealership warranty support
• Overall dealer communications
Several manufacturers have told RVDA they use DSI results to adjust policies and procedures that affect dealers, so it’s extremely important for all dealers to fill out the survey. When more dealers fill it out, more brands can get ratings . . . and it has more impact.
To prepare for this year’s survey, RVDA staff worked with brand committee dealer leaders and the many towables manufacturers to update their lists of brands that will be rated in this year’s DSI in order to best reflect what’s happening in the marketplace.
RVDA will release the DSI results to Partners in Progress/Brand Committee chairmen in time for the meetings at the 2012 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 1-5, at the Rio in Las Vegas. While the DSI will be available at those meetings, the Industry Relations Committee has decided it won’t be the focus unless the participating dealers want it to be.
Recent DSI results have shown an overall improvement in manufacturer ratings, which should be encouraging for everyone in the industry and, of course, our customers. When dealers and manufacturers are working together, RVers have a better buying and service experience.
So please make sure to fill out your DSI survey, preferably online to help RVDA process results faster. Or, you can print the form and fax or mail it to RVDA. Be sure to rate all brands and manufacturers whose new products you carry.
Registration is now open for the 2012 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Oct. 1-5, sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.
Themed “The Road to Opportunity,” the convention will feature educational super sessions designed to help dealers navigate the issues and opportunities they face today, strategies to reach new customers through new technology and harness the power of social media, and a new series of fixed operations workshops for service and parts managers to improve efficiency and profitability.
According to a news release, the 2012 convention will also feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer-manufacturer issues.
RVDA, RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center will have a series of announcements on speakers, workshops, and special events planned for the convention in the coming weeks.
Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext. 103 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and for regular updates. The industry can also get updates by following the convention on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) is asking dealers to “confidentially express their level of satisfaction with their manufacturers and/or specific brands” in the 19th annual Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey.
According to RVDA, dealers should get an e-mail with the DSI survey link this week.
RVDA said that manufacturers use DSI results to adjust policies and procedures that affect dealers. The DSI is not a scientific study, but it measures dealers’ attitudes about their manufacturers’ performance in eight key areas identified by RVDA’s Industry Relations Committee. Those areas include: sales support; sales territory; vehicle design; vehicle reliability/quality; competitive price/value; parts support; dealership warranty support; overall dealer communications
RVDA will release the DSI results to brand committee chairmen during meetings at the 2012 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.