Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway launched a new web-based marketing tool called DesignOnline at its 2012 Business Solutions show this January in Las Vega.
According to a press release, dealers attending “RV University” learned how to customize their own spring cleaning postcards and ConsumerLink sales flyers with custom coupons, imprints and sales messages.
“Dealers have been asking us to give them a tool that lets them select their own products, prices and sales dates so they can run promotions any time of the year,” said Linda Scott, director of marketing services. “Since last summer, we have been developing a new tool with our printing partner, QuadGraphics, so dealers can easily create, track, and manage their own promotions while providing consistent branding and messaging to their customers – all in one location.”
Creating a campaign on DesignOnline can be done in five steps:
1) Select a format (i.e. postcard, flyer, etc.).
2) Personalize the content.
3) Select recipients (mailing list).
4) Enter delivery date.
5) Confirm design and submit for printing.
“It takes less than 10 minutes for a dealer to log into DesignOnline, select a design template, personalize the content, upload a mailing list, order print quantities, and choose a delivery date,” Scott said.
Each dealership also gets their own free image library where images are stored. Images can be reused or used in other custom designs, saving design time and money, according to Stag-Parkway. In addition, dealers can create, upload, approve, edit, delete and store their images online.
DesignOnline is being rolled out in three phases. Last summer, Phase I was rolled out to more than 650 dealers who used DesignOnline for the first time to review, edit and approve their catalog imprints. Phase 2 is being developed now to give dealers flyer templates for selecting their own products and prices, and additional postcard templates. These new templates are scheduled to be available late spring. Beginning this summer, dealers will be able to order their 2013 catalogs on DesignOnline including designing their own imprints and getting a preview of their imprints on any of the 4-color covers designed by Stag-Parkway.
Phase 3 will include e-mail templates so dealers can create their own e-marketing promotions, posters, online list rental acquisitions, and enhancements to the user interface.
“We’re encouraged by the number of dealers already using DesignOnline and they’ve been giving us great feedback that we plan to incorporate in the near future,” says Scott. “The beauty of DesignOnline is that it gives dealers the flexibility to design their own publications very quickly and saves them a tremendous amount of design time and money. This new tool puts the dealer in the driver’s seat where they control the sales message they want to send.”
For more information, contact Linda Scott, Director of Marketing Services at 404.349.1918, ext. 2247, or email Linda.email@example.com.
Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway held its annual sales awards banquet at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Jan. 15.
According to a press release, this year’s winners received a plaque and all-expenses paid cruise to the Bahamas for two in March. Awards were given to Stag sales consultants and managers who exceeded 2011 sales performance goals. Honorees included:
• Recipients of the 2011 Inside Sales Peak Performers award were Shaunna Battles, Arlington, Texas; Tina Johnson, Arlington; Laura Mallary, Hanover, Md.; Deborah Rodgers, Hanover; and Kelly Tabert, Ontario, Calif.
• Recipients of the 2011 Outside Sales Peak Performers award were Keith First, Elkhart, Ind.; Tony Forte-San Antonio; Keith Mayberry, Arlington; and Matt Torczon, Des Moines, Iowa.
• The 2011 Inside Sales Consultant of the Year award went to Shaunna Battles out of Stag’s Arlington, Call Center.
• The 2011 Outside Sales Consultant of the Year award went to Tony Forte, San Antonio.
• The 2011 Call Center Manager of the Year award went to Laura Mallary out of Stag-Parkway’s Hanover call center.
• The 2011 Regional Sales Manager of the Year award went to Bob Barra, Midwest region.
• The Region of the Year award went to Region 3-Elkhart/Des Moines.
Stag-Parkway Inc. President and CEO Martin Street kicked off the first full day of the Atlanta-based distributor’s “Stag 2012 Vegas” dealer show at The Mirage this morning (Jan. 17) with a rousing welcome to the largest assemblage for the event — up 12% over last year — since 2006.
Most in attendance, in fact, were wondering if the strong showing of more than 500 dealerships was indeed a signal of an economic turnaround in 2012.
“If nothing else, 2011 was full of changes that are strange from the weather point of view, from a worldwide economic point of view, from the local business point of view,” Street told the crowd. “The one place we didn’t see changes was in Washington, where both sides of the aisle made every effort to block any change that was suggested.
“I’m delighted to say that this year we have our highest attendance since 2006, which, as all of you know, was two years before this recession started. We have well over 500 dealerships represented here, well over 1,300 dealer attendees — 1,700 people total — and in excess of 170 vendors presenting their wares to you on our show floor.”
Street identified the epic weather-related challenges of 2011 throughout the U.S. as one of several obstacles the industry faced this past year, in addition to a rocking economy, world debt and resultant chaotic stock market.
“The weather is often used as an excuse for poor performance, but in 2011 this excuse was fully justified,” he said. “The weather had the same effect on all of our businesses last year, no matter where we lived.”
But 400-employee Stag and its customers persevered for the most part, said Street, even though most didn’t achieve the goals outlined at last year’s Stag event. While the industry was predicting a 4% uptick, Street explained, Stag was looking for a 10% hike in 2011 sales.
“I have to tell you that we didn’t make it, despite all of our efforts,” he added. “But we came close. It’s thanks to many of you in the room who not only defied the odds during 2011, but beat them back soundly, which caused us to almost achieve our target. Despite the recession, the economy and the weather, a number of you posted double-digit increases in sales of parts and accessories for the year.
“For the rest of you asking how they achieved this, the answer is simple: They were not prepared to stand still. They were prepared to change both their approach to marketing, their businesses and pricing their products — product displays, product selection, inventory, promotions and other aspects of their businesses.”
Honored at the convention were six suppliers that earned Stag’s “Peach” awards: Camco Manufacturing Inc., Greensboro, N.C.; Winegard Co., Burlington, Iowa; Progressive Manufacturing Inc., West Lebanon, N.H.; Dicor Corp., Elkhart, Ind.; Torklift International, Sumner, Wash.; Westland Sales, Clackamas Ore.
Atlanta-based distributor Stag-Parkway Inc. has moved its Oregon warehouse to a new location in Portland and will begin servicing its customers from that facility in June.
“The demand for a broader range of products from a growing customer base facilitated the need for a move,” said President and CEO Martin Street in a press release. “We found our old facility created some limitations in our ability to grow in the Northwest. Being able to double our capacity in Portland with our new building means we can provide next day service on several thousand new items.”
Stag said the new facility is benefiting from a new racking and inventory strategy that will improve operational efficiency and customer service.
“We are taking an aggressive stocking position in Portland to improve our current industry leading fill rate,” said Tom Seath, senior vice president of operations. “We looked at our entire network and decided to stock all the items that account for 98.5% of our unit volume in Portland. What that means for our customers is that they can expect more of their total unit volume in purchases being filled from one distribution center.”
He added, “This approach is being mirrored at our other warehouses nationwide to put more of the high velocity items closer to our customers.”
Stag said that the move included adding a new sales consultant, Mike Cline, to work the territory.
Cline’s territory covers eastern Washington and Oregon, plus western Idaho. He has 25 years of RV experience, which includes positions as an RV service adviser, parts counter man, RV parts and service manager, and wholesale distributor outside sales representative.
Cline joins long-time northwest sales consultants Curtis Ashby and Ian Garner. Ashby joined Stag-Parkway in 2003. His ability to service his territory earned him STAG’S prestigious “Peak Performer” award, as well as “Outside Sales Consultant of the Year” award. His territory includes western Washington and the state of Alaska.
Garner came to Stag-Parkway as an outside sales consultant in 2005 and has been providing service to his customers in the northwest for the past six years. He is a two-time recipient of the “Peak Performer” award, with his most recent award coming in 2010. His territory includes western and central Oregon.
Salt Lake City, Utah-based ADP Lightspeed, a premier provider of dealer management software (DMS) systems, recently announced its enhanced interface with Stag-Parkway’s purchase order (PO) system.
According to a press release, this new integration allows dealers to send orders directly and track status from within the LightspeedEVO DMS.
The direct interface connects inventory and ordering systems within LightspeedEVO to Stag-Parkway’s processing, allowing dealers to send POs without re-keying information. With this direct connection, dealers can now track the status of orders from the initial order, through processing to delivery, within the DMS.
This tool helps dealers improve their ordering process along with staying up to date on order delivery times, said Chris Hauck, product manager for Atlanta-based ADP Lightspeed.
“We understand the need to streamline the parts ordering process,” Hauck explained. “Teaming up with one of the most trusted names in the RV industry is a big step in refining the process. We are very excited about our interface with Stag-Parkway’s order processing.”
“ADP’s focus on improving their customers’ experience using Lightspeed EVO is absolutely consistent with our customer service approach. We think finding program and process efficiencies that improve accuracy and speed provide significant performance upsides for dealerships and others in the supply chain,” said John Spaulding, senior vice president of marketing for Stag-Parkway.
The Stag-Parkway parts ordering interface upgrade is available to all dealers on LightspeedEVO with version release 5.3. There are no additional service fees for downloading or using the new interface.
ADP Lightspeed is a part of ADP Dealer Services, which provides integrated computing solutions to more than 25,000 auto, truck, motorcycle, powersports, and recreation vehicle dealers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. ADP, with nearly $9 billion in revenues and 550,000 clients, is one of the largest providers of a broad range of premier mission–critical, transaction processing and information-based business solutions in selected markets on a global basis.
For more information, visit www.adplightspeed.com.
Stag-Parkway’s new Denver warehouse is officially open for business, the Atlanta-based RV distributor reports.
After Carter Distributing withdrew from the Salt Lake City and Denver, Col., markets in January, Stag expanded its product and service offerings into those markets, reports Martin Street, president and CEO.
“In less than two weeks after taking control of Carter’s assets in Denver, we began shipping and receiving products,” said Street. “When you consider that we had to install phones, data links and computers, take a physical inventory, receive goods from Carter’s former Salt Lake facility and train new personnel on our systems and culture – we’ve done a lot in a short amount of time.”
“During this process,’ he continued, “it’s been very rewarding to watch the project unfold and witness the cooperative and open spirit from the Carter employees we hired and the new Rocky Mountain customers we are working with. It has validated for me that this was absolutely the right business move to make.”
The new Stag-Parkway warehouse, with 27,000 square feet of storage space for roughly 6,000 items in addition to a leased 27,000-square-foot facility next door, is close to the major area freight carriers, according to Tom Seath, senior vice president of operations.
“The current facility already has about 60% of the key items that we like to stock in inventory,” he stated. “By the end of March, the construction and re-racking of the facility will accommodate more than 12,000 items, which will represent well over 95% of all the items we ship out of a customer’s primary distribution center. That should make Denver a terrific parts hub for us and provide exceptional service to dealers in that region.”
Staff hiring and training began the last week in January and included operations and sales personnel that came to Stag from Carter. “Bringing key personnel on board that are familiar with the customer’s needs in the Rockies was an important consideration as we began the process of opening up the Denver warehouse,” adds Craig Mellor, senior vice president of sales. “We are fortunate to have a balance of operational and sales experience in place to help us serve the needs of the market here.”
Full blown operational capabilities for the Denver warehouse were scheduled to go online at the end of March. Local businesses are receiving live customer service support out of the new Denver facility as well as Stag’s Arlington, Texas, call center which can be reached at (800) 933-7824.
Stan Sunshine is retiring from his day-to-day involvement in Stag-Parkway Inc., the business he and his family helped build to be the largest distributor of RV parts and accessories in North America.
Sunshine will continue to be involved in the business as a board member of Stag-Parkway and will continue with his industry ties as well as the annual Stag-Parkway trade show, next year being held in Nashville, Tenn., according to a news release.
Sunshine sold Stag-Parkway in 2006 to Greenbrier Equity Group and since then has played an integral role in transitioning the business to new ownership and senior management. “Stan’s contributions over the past three years have been enumerable. His industry insights, familiarity with customers and suppliers have helped all of us gain a better understanding of the market which has enabled us to be successful in even the harshest of business environments,” comments Martin Street, president and CEO of Stag-Parkway.
A native of Atlanta, Ga., and graduate of Georgia State University, Sunshine began his career with Stag-Parkway in 1975. Since then he has held the position of vice president from 1982 to 1989, CFO from 1989 to 1995, president and CEO from 1995 to 2008 and chairman from 2008 to the present.
He represented the industry on the board of the RV Aftermarket Association and served as its president from 1998 to 1999. He has also served on the board of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) from 2004 to the present.
The release continued, “The legacy Stan and (co-founders) Ted and Ann Kaplan leave behind at Stag-Parkway is without question part of the fabric of the RV industry. The family has had a hand in crafting policy and practices across a broad spectrum of industry interests over the past 40 years. Stan’s active involvement in the business did not keep him from giving freely with his time and other resources to support initiatives he felt important to growing the market and the professionalism of those businesses supporting the RV lifestyle.”
Sunshine is continuing his career blending his passion for distribution and fine wine. In 2009 he became a partner in Prime Wines and Spirits, a wine distributor in Atlanta. His new venture will allow him to travel, play golf and spend time with his family while pursuing his love of wine, friends and recreation.
Organizationally, Stag-Parkway has been preparing for this transition for some time. The executive management team was restructured in 2008 with a blend of both people new to the industry as well as those with extensive experience.
“Our organizational direction is clear and has never changed over the years – to grow our business through focusing on our customers and providing exceptional service to our business partners, RV dealers and suppliers alike,” adds Street. ” I believe we have the right kind of experience in the key areas of our business to drive short and long term results. We’ve made huge strides over the past two years streamlining processes and building an infrastructure that is capable of responding quickly to market demands and changes. We are very well positioned to continue the hard work of Stan and his family and are grateful for their contribution to our organization and the industry.”
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Education Foundation (PRVCEF) announced that Stag Parkway has become a Silver Sponsor aiding the foundation’s mission to support education programs for individuals who would like to make a career in the RV and private campground industry.
PRVCEF, in partnership with Northampton Community College, has designed the RV Technician Distance Learning Program which provides students the knowledge and skills they need to become a certified technician, according to a news release. The RV Technician Apprenticeship Program, another training opportunity, gives students both the education through Northampton Community College as well as hands-on experience as an apprentice at a local RV dealership. PRVCEF also makes scholarships available for students enrolled in the Northampton Community College Distance Learning Program as well as the National School of RV Park and Campground Management.
“We understand the value of continuing education and appreciate the inherent benefit trained RV professionals bring to the consumer, the dealership and the RV market at large,” said John Spaulding, senior vice president of merchandising for Stag Parkway. “We believe that learning is a lifelong process, a process that must be reinforced, made relevant and applicable to the growth of the individual and the overall business enterprise.
“Our commitment to education doesn’t stop with PRVCEF. We launched a free education series called PRO — Professional Retail Organization — this year at our show in San Antonio to address aftermarket and service parts retailing. Combined, I think that the PRVCA Education Foundation’s training initiatives and PRO illustrate a strong commitment to improvement and broaden the wealth of resources available to RV dealers everywhere. With education we learn. With learning we grow. With growth comes success. We are happy to be part of that process working with the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association this year.”
“The Foundation’s continued success is directly linked to the unceasing support from industry leaders such as Stag Parkway,” said Rebecca Lenington, executive vice president of the PA RV & Camping Association. “Their efforts are not only an asset to the foundation, but the RV industry as a whole.”
There was a definite shift in spirits and attitude at this year’s Business Solutions Show in San Antonio, Texas, according to a news release from event sponsor Star-Parkway. The mood could easily be described in one word – positive.
“From the opening address at RV University to the closing bell of the exhibit hall, I had dealers and suppliers tell me that they saw more smiles and heard more optimistic stories about a resurgence in sales than they had seen or heard in years. I sensed a realistic and positive outlook from our attendees that signaled, in my mind, a readiness to meet the demands of the market,” said Martin Street, president and CEO of Stag-Parkway.
Business Solutions 2010 was host to more than 900 guests from over 424 dealerships nationwide. The event blended professional business development and product training with an 80,000-square-foot exhibit hall that hosted 156 suppliers featuring products at incredible savings.
According to John Spaulding, senior vice president of marketing for Stag-Parkway, “Whoever said traditional tradeshows are dead, are completely out of touch with our dealers and our market. We witnessed firsthand the power of bringing people together face-to-face. Everyone was energized, positive and looking forward to the future. I think people fed off of each other’s enthusiasm – another strong endorsement for meetings like ours.”
“Everything was up this year,” said Spaulding. “The attendance was up at RV University. We had more trade show attendees than last year. And our social and networking functions were lively and packed. If this was not our best show, it was certainly one of the best events we’ve ever hosted. I think releasing a lot of new products and services at the show helped address the strategic retail management issues that we’ve been hearing about from our customers and helped fuel the positive outlook and attendance.”
The central message Stag-Parkway delivered at the show was “be prepared.” The company wanted to create a show experience that did three things, Street said:
- Talk about the importance of preparing your business and employees for the demands of your customers.
- Showcase our new PRO education series and Complete Merchandising Solutions.
- Provide extraordinary buying opportunities that matched our customer’s needs to stock appropriately going into season.
“Based on the feedback I got from our attending dealers, I think we were extremely successful on all counts,” Street concluded.
During RV University, Stag-Parkway launched the PRO education series – a free professional development training program that addresses marketing, merchandising, sales, customer experience and human resources topics for RV parts and accessory retailers.
“The enrollment and interest was overwhelming. PRO struck a chord with our dealers that resonated with their desire to provide training for their employees that improves store performance,” said Spaulding. “We also rolled out a more comprehensive Complete Merchandising program to help dealers with store set and design, visual merchandising and asset management which was equally well received.”
The success of the event was the product of doing one thing really well last year – listening.
“We spent considerable effort adapting our business based on what our customers were telling us. We followed up at the show by conducting a round table discussion at RV University to receive feedback on what we can be doing better or differently to service our customers. We plan to act on that information, build on this recent show experience and continue to develop programs and services that drive success for all our business partners,” added Street. “In the end, no matter what business you are in, serving your customers well will drive your company’s success. Our experience and the responses we received in San Antonio clearly prove that we do that.”
Stag-Parkway presented its Supplier Partnership Award to six firms during the event.
“We look for business partners that foster mutual growth and success in the market by delivering programs, strategies and products in such a way that our customers can sell more, sell it more profitably and ultimately be the source of choice for their consumer for all RV parts and accessories,” said Street. “We are extremely fortunate to have wonderful supplier partners and recognizing those firms that exceed our expectations is always a challenge.”
The Supplier Partnership Award, affectionately known as the peach, is a glass blown peach that is artfully made by the internationally recognized Frabel studio in Atlanta. The fruit of the native peach tree of Georgia symbolizes how Stag-Parkway feels about these firms. The 2009 awards were presented to Blue Ox, RV Designer Collection, SIKA, Ultra-Fab, Watts Flowmatic and Winegard.
Candidates for the Supplier Partnership Award are nominated by the Stag-Parkway Product Management Team.
“The beauty of our award is that companies of virtually any size can be competitive and win,” said Spaulding. “In any given year we’ll recognize long standing business partners, new suppliers, huge multinational corporations and family owned businesses. It’s really a matter of attitude, commitment, creativity and character that helps us identify the winners.”