Parts and service professionals attending the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will find more education offerings at this year’s gathering, according to a press release.
The convention, running Sept. 30–Oct. 3 in Las Vegas, will offer nearly a dozen learning opportunities each for parts and service professionals with the addition of sessions on Monday and Tuesday.
These sessions add value to the convention experience by giving dealers a bigger ROI for staff education. Vendor Training +plus allows longer, more in-depth training, and this year’s proprietary workshops span two days, covering critical skills and topics presented by industry leaders. Fixed operations leaders attending the Convention/Expo can earn continuing education credits toward professional certification through their participation in educational workshops.
Beyond the numerous proprietary workshops and Vendor Training +plus on Monday and Tuesday there is a slate of targeted education track workshops in every time slot on Wednesday and Thursday, many of which feature new presenters. These were designed to meet the challenges faced by parts and service managers who need to keep up on the very latest trends and technologies while increasing profits by employing new tactics and strategies.
Parts track workshops include the following topics and an asterisk denotes a new presenter:
• Discover Hidden Profits in Your Parts Department, presented by Mark De Lucia*
• Growing a Dealership with Parts, Accessories & Service, presented by Gary McGugan*
• The Art of Successful Selling in the Parts Department, presented by Michael Doyle*
• Creating a Winning Display: Turn Your Parts Display into a Visual Experience, presented by Barry Siskind*
• “Rooftop” Measurements for Effective and Profitable Fixed Operations, presented by Mike Nicholes*
• Stock the Right Part at the Right Time, presented by Chuck Marzahn
• A Day in the Life of a Successful Parts Manager, presented by Mike Nicholes*
• Let’s Get Visual: Merchandising’s Secret Weapons, presented by Linda Cahan
Service track workshops are as follows:
• Inspection Processes & Tools, presented by David Foco
• Let’s Put the “P” Back in Service, presented by Jim Carr
• Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises and Violated Expectations, presented by David Nelson*
• “Rooftop” Measurements for Effective and Profitable Fixed Operations, presented by Mike Nicholes*
• How to Utilize Email Marketing to Increase Your Fixed Ops Revenue, presented by Peter Martin*
• Boomer Power: Meet the Best Buyers on the Planet, presented by Linda Cahan
• Customer Service or “Am I Selling?” presented by Paul Webb*
• New Hires with a Customer Service Mindset, presented by Ricardo Roman
For details about these workshops, and the variety of proprietary and Vendor Training +plus sessions pertinent to your staff, consult the RVDA website. For more information about continuing education credits and professional certification available through the RV Learning Center, contact Liz Shoemaker at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the RVDA Booth during the convention.
A series of track workshops has been tagged for young RV executives attending the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30 – Oct. 4 in Las Vegas.
According to a press release, the Convention/Expo Committee also developed two special workshops designed to appeal to the needs and professional development goals of these younger members.
A special session on Wednesday (Oct. 2) features new presenter David Nelson of VitalSmarts, and Thursday’s special session will be presented by Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).
A new logo added to the convention matrix of events will note workshops that have been recommended for young RV executives.
Results from a spring survey of young RV executives and input from volunteer members were the basis for the content of the workshops chosen. This emphasis on younger members is part of an outreach effort initiated by RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch earlier this year.
The goal is to meet the needs of younger members and to support future leadership for the organization.
David Nelson of VitalSmarts will present a session created especially to appeal to young RV executives on Wednesday afternoon. “Influencer: The New Science of Personal Success” will give attendees powerful strategies to create rapid, dramatic and permanent change in others.
Nelson will share the six sources of influence that make organizational change inevitable and identify high-leverage behaviors that lead to swift change.
Immediately following this session, a brief networking reception for young executives will take place.
The final session in the program will feature the Rogers as he shares his premise that “Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” Rogers, noted most recently for his television appearance on “Undercover Boss,” began at KOA as a management trainee in 1972, and following a successful career with Harrah’s returned to his roots at KOA as chairman and CEO. Young executives attending his session will learn his theory of how businesses need to build their own future.
Below is the full listing of education events carrying the young RV executives tag. A full description and schedule appears online. There is at least one session in every time slot.
Wednesday, Oct. 2
• “Nobody Moved Your Cheese!” Presented by Ross Shafer.
• “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.” Presented by David Nelson.
• “Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises and Violated Expectations.” Presented by David Nelson.
• “Still Surprised by Why People Do What They Do?” Presented by David Spader of Spader Business Management.
• Special Session: “Influencer: The New Science of Personal Success.” Presented by David Nelson.
Thursday, Oct. 3
• “Grow Your Leadership & Management Skills.” Presented by Paul Webb of Paul Webb Training/WebbVT.
• “Dealership Culture – The Ultimate Differentiator.” Presented by Gary McGugan of NEEDS Selling Solutions.
• “A Day in the Life of a Successful Sales Manager.” Presented by Michael Rees.
• Special Session: “Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” Presented by Jim Rogers.
For more information about the young RV executives program, contact Julianne Ryder at RVDA by email at email@example.com or phone at (703) 591-7130, ext. 111.
A free app from Guidebook.com is available for registrants, featuring a complete agenda, expo map, and the ability to create and save a personal schedule. The app gives users regular updates, allows information sharing within social networks, and works on any mobile device.
Camping World Inc. and Good Sam Enterprises LLC announced their forecast for expansion and future development to “meet customer needs for product and service in new markets,” according to a press release.
The new markets will raise the total number of supercenters, just shy of 115 nationwide. Additionally, the company is in discussions with land owners and existing dealerships actively pursuing new markets and acquisitions that will be announced over the next six months.
Plans are under way to expand the company footprint with additional locations in high traffic, outdoor-centric markets within the following timeframe and markets:
• August 2013: Panama City, Fla.
• September 2013: Ocala, Fla., relocation; Tucson, Ariz., relocation; Cedar Falls, Iowa.
• November 2013: Berkeley (Boston area), Mass.
• January 2014: Coburg (Junction City area), Ore.; Fresno, Calif.; Harrisburg, Pa., retail store expansion; Lake Park, Ga.; February 2014 – Saukville (Milwaukee area), Wis.; Olive Branch (Memphis area), Miss.
• April 2014: Rossford (Toledo area), Ohio; Rapid City, S.D.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Jackson, Miss.
“We are proud to continue our commitment to the U.S. market with the opening of these new supercenters and look forward to having customers in these regions visit their new one-stop location for everything outdoor and RV,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “As part of Camping World and Good Sam’s growth strategy, the brand is making major investments in the quality of its dealer network. From facility upgrades to new store openings, the company’s network will continue to expand and evolve while serving our customers’ outdoor, RV and camping needs.”
He continued, “These recent acquisitions increase our presence in existing markets and new territories and are in alignment with the strategic growth plans we have for the company. We are constantly reviewing our footprint and evaluating where we can strengthen our position within each of our markets.”
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) has added a mobile app for the 2013 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas, Sept. 30–Oct.4, to enhance the convention experience for dealers and exhibitors at the event. Free and easy to use, the app allows users to view a complete list of events and create a personalized schedule and to do list, according to a press release.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer this useful tool to our attendees so they can easily plan their convention activities,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “With the growth in mobile device use it makes sense to have our convention information accessible through phones and tablets.”
The free app is available for download through Guidebook.com and is simple to use, with a clean design for easy viewing. It includes a full listing all convention partners, sponsors, and exhibitors, complete with corporate information, web address, and expo booth number. Current exhibitors are encouraged to send their corporate description to RVDA as soon as possible for inclusion on the app.
With the complete schedule on attendees’ phones, users can choose sessions, add them to their personalized agendas, and even set reminders. Users can easily share information about the convention, a single event, or an exhibitor using social media, text, or email. Updates or changes to the program are immediately available to app users. By touching the three bar icon at the top right of the screen, users are able to check for updates and share the guide with their contacts.
The app works on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Kindle Fire.
To download the app and find the guide for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, go to http://guidebook.com/g/
Editor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. recently partnered with the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) to contact 146 RV dealers regarding demand during the second quarter. The following is a summary of the results.
Solid industry trends continue. Dealers indicated that peak-season trends are very strong – particularly in motorhomes. Retail demand was robust – new motorhome demand jumped 28% while new towable demand improved 11%. Meanwhile, inventory is lean-to-balanced and dealer sentiment remains high, leaving manufacturers well-positioned as the evaporation of negative equity spurs new retail demand. We remain bullish on fundamentals and would look to add on weakness.
Peak-season strength. Dealers reported robust growth in motorhomes (+27-29%) and solid demand for towables (+10-12%) in April-June. Dealers also noted strong demand for used RVs (particularly motorhomes), driving used values higher according to dealers. We believe better used RV values (combined with a better housing market and higher stock prices) have helped reduce the negative equity that had prevented consumers from purchasing new RVs.
Dealers short on motorhomes. Dealer inventory appears lean in motorhomes and balanced in towables. On a days inventory basis, motorhome inventory appears flat relative to last year (99 days vs. 101 days), but by a 9:1 ratio dealers indicated that inventory was “too low” versus “too high.” The desire for inventory is also evident in the strong motorhome backlogs Winnebago (+130%) and Thor (+105%) recently reported. A limited supply of Class A chassis has exacerbated the inventory shortage. The number of days of towable inventory also appears flat, but slightly more dealers consider inventory “too low” than “too high” – a sequential improvement. Recall that dealers stocked up ahead of the retail season – a bet that paid off.
Dealer sentiment high. Dealer sentiment remains near record levels, based on our proprietary index, but fell slightly versus April. Some dealers pointed to Internet competition and supply shortages as sources of frustration, but strong retail trends and favorable credit conditions keep confidence high. We note that credit has been a tailwind in recent years but could face a challenge as interest rates rise – a trend to watch.
Workers’ compensation premiums are a significant expense for employers and lost time and productivity due to accidents and injuries affect a dealer’s bottom line.
A new webinar from the RV Learning Center on June 27 at noon EST will show dealers effective means for containing costs. According to a press release, the webinar is possible through a strategic partnership with online marketing firm KPA. Register here.
In this free webinar dealers will learn how to reduce “Experience Modifiers” through effective loss control and by implementing safety programs for lower premiums. Practical guidance on managing “light duty” and “return to work programs” will also be outlined.
Presenting the webinar, KPA’s Peter Zaidel and Kathryn Carlson will cover:
• Workers’ comp regulatory overview and where to go for state specific information.
• How to implement loss control and safety programs that will improve your “experience modifier.”
• When is “Light duty” appropriate or required and how to get workers back to work quickly.
• What you need to know about the intersection of workers’ comp and HIPAA.
• When can you terminate an employee who is out on leave.
• How to stay compliant with the ADA and FMLA when dealing with workers’ comp leaves.
If unable to attend, register here to receive a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> (866) 356-1735 or Karin Van Duyse at the RV Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> (703) 591-7130.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association announced that six companies have stepped forward as Bronze Partners for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, Sept. 30-Oct. 4 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. According to a press release, the convention is sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.
Bronze partners for the 2013 convention through today (June 18) are:
• Ally Financial
• Bank of America Merrill Lynch
• Diversified Insurance Management Inc.
• Forest River Inc.
• Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.
• MBA Insurance Inc.
“The association could not provide the extensive educational program offered at the convention without our partners, and we proudly recognize them for their commitment to the convention and to dealers,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman John McCluskey of Florida Outdoors RV in Stuart. “Through convention partnership these industry leaders demonstrate outstanding support for RV dealers and dealership employees.”
Companies interested in partnership and sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact Julie Newhouse 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 for regular updates.
Bankston Motor Homes, an Alabama-based dealership founded 43 years ago, is expanding with a new facility in service facility in Ardmore, Tenn., bringing new jobs to the area.
AL.com reported that Bankston Motor Homes, which currently operates Alabamas store in Huntsville, Florence and Albertville along with an outlet in Nashville, Tenn., will open the RV service and repair facility later this year in a former Clayton Homes complex. The site will include three buildings with 104,000 square feet of multi-use space on an 8.5-acre tract. The company also owns property across the street for future development. The RV dealership did not disclose a purchase price or how much it has invested in the new facility.
“Bankston Motor Homes is proud to be a part of the Ardmore community,” said Harrison Bankston, president of Bankston Motor Homes, in a prepared statement. “I am excited about the opportunity this new facility will afford us. It will enable us not only to continue to deliver essential repair services, but it will also provide enough space for continued expansion into other areas important to our RV customers.”
In addition to providing maintenance, body shop work and assistance with RV insurance claims, the Ardmore facility will have a large indoor storage space for owners to park their RVs during the off season to prevent damage from weather.
Lazydays announced the appointment of David Witty as vice president of services, effective June 6. According to a press release, Witty will lead all areas of the company’s services business and oversee its “Customer for Life” initiative, which is focused on delivering on the company’s promise to provide an industry-leading purchase and delivery experience to each and every customer.
“We are delighted to have David join our team,” said Tim Sheehan, president and CEO of Lazydays. “His background in developing and executing standardized processes in the sales, service and fixed operations business segments in the luxury product category will be beneficial to Lazydays’ services organization during this important time.”
Witty joins Lazydays after an 18-plus year career with MarineMax, one of the largest marine retailers in the U.S. headquartered in Clearwater, Fla. Throughout his career, Witty has held key senior management posts directly responsible for the growth and profitability of the company’s sales, service and parts divisions. Additionally, Witty served as vice president of operational excellence for five years.
“I am honored to join Tim and the Lazydays team. It is exciting to be a part of an organization whose core values are built around the customers’ expectations,” said Witty. It is an exciting opportunity to work with the RV industry’s leader in unparalleled customer experience.“
A new regulatory webinar from the RV Learning Center will take dealers through an actual worst-case OSHA citation and the related penalty documents, according to a press release.
The free webinar is available for dealers through a strategic partnership with online marketing firm KPA and will take place June 13 at noon EST. Register at the KPA site.
KPA’s Eric Schmitz will explore a recent citation that contains serious, willful, and repeat violations. Titled,” From the Citation Files: OSHA’s Latest Big Hit to the Auto Industry,” the session will show and review actual proposed penalty documents. Dealers will see firsthand what they need to fix to ensure compliance.
If unable to attend Register and receive a link to a recording of the webinar along with the presentation slides. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Becky Ross at email@example.com (866) 356-1735 or Karin Van Duyse at the RV Learning Center at firstname.lastname@example.org (703) 591-7130.