“Follow the Music to Great Deals” is the theme for Stag-Parkway Inc.’s 2011 Business Solutions Trade Show to be Jan. 18-20 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Stag-Parkway’s annual show continues to be the largest RV dealer aftermarket event in North America attracting RV dealers from Portland, Ore., to Winter Garden, Fla., according to a news release.
“With more than 80,000 square feet of exhibit space and 150 suppliers, our attending dealers are given the chance to learn about industry, business and product topics from their peers and experts in the field while securing outstanding pre-season deals to help grow their profits in 2011,” stated John Spaulding, senior vice president of marketing for Stag-Parkway.
Kicking off the event on Tuesday, Jan. 18, is RV University, a day of retail business education and product training.
“This year’s education event will build on the successful Professional Retail Organization (PRO) education series which premiered at last year’s RVU and has proven immensely popular with our customers,” said Spaulding. RVU will feature three new half-day workshops aimed at Complete Sales Management, Complete Merchandising and Complete Marketing. Developed exclusively for the unique business climate of RV dealerships, PRO offers strategies targeted at improving retail performance.
In addition to the PRO seminars on Tuesday, the industry’s key suppliers will be offering seminars on the hottest RV products. This year’s RVU will feature more product seminars than ever, demonstrating methods to increase product sales and profitability. A full day of product and PRO business development seminars, luncheon and one night’s lodging are included in the registration fee of $149. Tuesday night will feature a reception on the exhibit floor where guests will be treated to live entertainment by one of Nashville’s hot bands and a smorgasbord of delicious food and refreshments.
During Wednesday morning’s general session, STAG’s president and CEO Martin Street and members of his executive team will report on the state of the industry and the company’s latest strategies to help RV dealers succeed in servicing their customer’s parts and accessory needs. Then it’s on to two exciting, deal-filled days on the exhibit floor. A model retail store will anchor the show floor to serve as a visual merchandising workshop, intended to inspire and inform dealers about the possibilities that exist in rethinking store layout, design and signage.
On Wednesday evening, everyone is invited to a boot-scootin’ party at the world famous Wildhorse Saloon. This three-story entertainment complex offers awesome live entertainment, a 2,500-square-foot dance floor and a variety of saloon games like pool and darts. In keeping with the show theme, this reception could be called “Follow the Music to a Great Time!”
“Our event has traditionally been the one industry event suppliers and dealers genuinely look forward to attending,” said Street. “We manage to blend the right balance of business, education and fun that creates an environment where people leave energized, informed and fueled with the right products and tools to grow their business. Business Solutions 2011 promises to continue with that tradition.”
To register for Business Solutions 2011 please, contact a Stag-Parkway sales consultant.
Stag-Parkway Inc has been working with IDS during the development of new Astra GUI Version 9.10.4 release. The new release includes updated connectivity programming that allows RV dealers an improved and more reliable order entry interface through IDS to Stag-Parkway.
“Coordinating the programming hook between STAG and IDS’s new version of our popular dealer management software was a joint strategic initiative,” said Grant Farrer, IDS business development manager, in a news release. “We wanted to make sure our improvements included connectivity to our customers’ supply sources to improve order entry speed and accuracy. We worked closely with the IT Group at Stag-Parkway to insure our platform changes married up with their data requirements to improve information processing.”
“Astra GUI represents the most significant enhancement we’ve ever made to Astra,” Farmer continued. “With a true ‘graphical user interface’ (GUI), Astra GUI redefines efficiency within a dealership. Employing an intuitive design and true ‘point and click’ functionality, Astra GUI is easier to use than ever before. Powerful Manager functions provide the tools needed to manage your departments, all grouped logically to enhance integration and improve operational efficiency. The information you need is now easier to access than ever before!”
Astra GUI has a new, logical layout that speeds up training, virtually eliminating the learning curve that can reduce employee efficiency. With Astra GUI, staff members will be able to leverage the power and productivity of Astra without lengthy (and costly) training. According to Farrer, “Astra Version 9.10.4 is just as powerful and comprehensive as ever — and it’s easier than ever to use efficiently and effectively.”
“The coordination of the IDS release with us is significant in that it recognizes the importance and implications of electronic data transfers throughout the supply chain,” said Ken Russell, CIO at Stag-Parkway. ” The better we can all be at recognizing downstream effects of data capture and release the better we will be at identifying new ways to improve business processes. Seeing the need for dealer/warehouse connectivity during the development of Astra GUI by IDS has insured better product performance and will enhance the customer experience throughout the transaction process.”
More than 30% of all orders received at Stag-Parkway are conducted via and electronic interface of some type. Whether it is through STAG’s B2B site, dealer management software hooks like IDS, or other OAGIS links, the amount of business transacted this way continues to grow. Not only is ordering easier, accuracy and the time it takes to complete the transaction improves dramatically. Between dealer management software and Stag’s B2B site, most day-to-day business can be conducted without ever picking up the phone or using a fax machine.
Technology integration, whether it’s related to inventory management, payroll or contact management, is a good way for RV dealerships to improve efficiencies in their business and provide better service to their customers and bottom line results to their owners.
Dealers interested in learning more about Astra GUI should contact IDS at (800) 769-7425 or go to www.ids-astra.com<http://www.ids-astra.com>. To find out more about STAG’s on-line order entry and reporting capabilities contact your Stag-Parkway sales consultant.
Stag-Parkway is the largest North American distributor of RV parts and accessories. Headquartered in Atlanta, Stag-Parkway operates 11 warehouses, five call centers and a technical call center providing next day service to over 92% of the continental United States. For more information visit www.stagparkway.com.
The Recreation Dealers Cooperative Association (REDEX) will unveil a private-label retail initiative during its annual meeting April 28-29 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas.
”We didn’t have any retail exposure at all,” said John Mancinelli, who in March was named executive director of REDEX with offices in Bowling Green, Ky.
REDEX was formed in 1996 as a dealer cooperative and currently has 51 members with combined revenue of about $2 billion who accounted for the sale of 50,000 new and used RVs in 2008.
”We took on a new name — Priority RV Network (www.priorityrvnetwork.com) – and in San Antonio we will be introducing new products and programs and talking about how we will move forward,” Mancinelli continued. The organization will retain its REDEX nomenclature for its business-to-business operation, Mancinelli said.
Retail programs will include customer service, extended care, roadside assistance, certified RVs and a camping club along with other services, Mancinelli said.
About 45 dealers representing more than 90 locations are expected to attend the San Antonio meeting as well as 18 vendors including Bank of the West, US Bank, Reed Brothers Insurance, P&H Group, Coach-Net and distributors NTP Distribution and Stag-Parkway Inc.
Mancinelli said REDEX will continue to provide business-to-business opportunities for its dealership members apart from its retail outreach program.
”We think we have a really good idea how to make this work,” he said.
”The whole idea is that REDEX will have two functions. One is to have the b2b vendor program that give us an advantage in the marketplace. But there also will be an external side where we want to be visible in the RV consumer marketplace so that consumers can have the same advantage.
”We want consumers to recognize the fact that there is advantage of doing business with a Priority RV dealer.”
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) is taking a bold pro-environmental stand with regard to formaldehyde in holding tank treatments by asking three of the nation’s leading distributors of aftermarket parts and accessories, Camping World Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill., Coast Distribution System Inc., Morgan Hill, Calif., and Stag Parkway Inc., Atlanta, Ga., to halt shipments of chemicals containing the controversial chemical into the Golden State.
In letters to the CEOs of the three firms, Debbie Sipe, CalARVC executive director, wrote, “Several studies have concluded that RV holding tank products that contain formaldehyde are harmful to consumers, while posing a significant threat to groundwater quality. Campground operators have also learned that while chemically based holding tank products effectively control sewage odors, they also destroy the bacteria that’s needed to break down the wastes contained in septic systems. Septic tank failures ultimately occur, costing campground operators tens of thousands of dollars in septic system repairs.”
She noted that the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) posted a fact sheet in January alerting consumers to these risks, while encouraging them to purchase holding tank products that do not contain formaldehyde.
Given these environmental hazards, she continued, CalARVC asked the three firms to refrain from selling these products in California and instead market environmentally friendly holding tank products, as recommended by the DTSC.
Sipe urged the companies to educate their customers about the dangers of using chemically based holding tank products.
“We think (the three firms) could make a positive statement on this issue by announcing its decision to ban these products on or before April 22, when our nation celebrates Earth Day,” she said. “We look forward to receiving your thoughts on this matter at your earliest opportunity.”