Newmar Corp. held its 2011 Vendor Appreciation Dinner Thursday night (Oct. 18) at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Ind., in an unusual family-style dinner at which the Nappanee, Ind.-based motorhome builder took the time to recognize vendors from throughout the country who excel at the fine points of servicing Newmar as an original equipment manufacturer.
It’s something that Newmar, a family-held company, has done for 18 years — with the exception of a couple of years during the recession – hosting a dinner for the top-rated suppliers and presenting awards to a number of them.
“We do a bi-annual evaluation of about 150 vendors,” explains Mike O’Connell, vice president of purchasing for Newmar. “Through that process, we end up with scores, everything from ‘excellent’ to ‘unacceptable,’ and the people that we invite to this Vendor Appreciation dinner received excellent scores.”
Of the 44 suppliers and 140 diners in attendance at this year’s dinner, the top award, the “Virgil Miller Award of Excellence,” went to Industrial Finishes, an Elkhart, Ind.-based exterior paint supplier. On hand to accept the award were President Glenn Duckworth, Eastern Region RV Manager Rich Dotson and Mike Pratt, who’s in charge of business development.
Also honored were Almega Tru-Flex Inc. (Wire Harnesses), Alro Steel Corp. (Structural Steel), Fantastic Vent division of Atwood Mobile Products (Ceiling Vents), Fabritech (Bed Spreads), Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (Chassis), Quality Hardwood Sales (Hardwood Stiles), S & H Metal Products (Galvanized Metal Boxes), Equipment Service/Stressco (Slideout Components), Postle Aluminum Co. (Aluminum Extrusions) and Winegard Co. (Satellite Dishes & Antennas).
Additional awards bestowed at the event included Salesman of the Year: Jim Cramer, Global Link; Inside Sales: Amanda Girten, Positron Corp. and Judy Hafel, Flexsteel Industries Inc.; Truck Driver of the Year: Ross Minanik, YRC, and the Innovation Award, which went to Equipment Service/Stressco.
In looking down the road in his dinner remarks, Newmar President Matt Miller said Newmar has put in place a succession plan that will keep the company in the family of his father, founder Mahlon Miller, for the next generation. And he said the company has been making headway as well in terms of product innovation, despite the limitations of the recent recession.
“We believe the future of our company is very bright,” said Miller. “We have taken the opportunity during the downturn to prepare ourselves for a lot of innovation, which we’ll be introducing in the next 12 to 18 months, and we’re not slowing down on that at all.”
“We have fewer dealers than we did before the downturn, but we have higher quality dealers, and we have initiatives underway to recruit more dealerships. We have fewer brands than we’ve had, but we’re more focused on the brands that we do have. And we feel good about where we’re at right now.”
If Newmar was coming out of “survival” mode at last year’s supplier dinner, added John Sammut, vice president of sales, the company this year “is getting back on the offensive in its approach to selling and marketing its products throughout the U.S. and Canada.”
In fact, Sammut said the last five weeks beginning with the week before the Elkhart’s 5th Annual RV Open House Week through mid-October were “the best five weeks of order writing at Newmar in four years.” For this and other strategic reasons, Sammut said, Newmar is accelerating production schedules to four units a day for the balance of 2012 and for some time into 2013.
Winegard Co. has introduced the paper-thin, translucent Rayzar HDTV broadcast antenna for the tailgating, camping and RV markets. At just 0.6 inches thick, this flat antenna can be hung on internal vehicle windows, making it ideal for tuning in local broadcast channels.
Weighing in at just over five ounces, the 12 inch by 13 inch patented Rayzar portable HDTV antenna finds and pulls in the local broadcast stations for free viewing. The unit can be rapidly set-up once the vehicle is parked and removed quickly for departure. The Rayzar requires no installation and offers a solution for RVs with little-to-no roof space available.
“The Rayzar is a great fit for the mobile lifestyle, the quick release suction cup clips make it easy to reposition the antenna at each location for maximum reception,” said Aaron Engberg, director of mobile products for Burlington, Iowa-based Winegard. “Consumers will be amazed at the almost Blu-ray quality picture and quantity of channels it pulls in for free wherever they are parked.”
Rayzar com, which retails for $44.99, also comes with 15 feet of mini coaxial cable giving the viewer flexibility in positioning the antenna where the signal is the strongest.
Stag-Parkway Inc. and Winegard Co. are giving RV dealers an exclusive offer to promote their own Winegard Super Sale in their stores this summer.
According to a press release, the exclusive offer is only being made available to RV dealers through Stag to help increase sales and traffic through their stores this summer. Dealers will be able to purchase Winegard products at significant savings during Stag’s “RV Ready For Summer? Sale” program during the month of May.
The Winegard Super Sale runs from June 25-July 27 to give dealers enough time to stock and merchandise their stores and take full advantage of the busy summer selling months and the July 4 holiday. The program includes a custom sales flyer that dealers will be able to customize using Stag’s new web-based marketing tool, DesignOnline. Dealers will be able to set their own sales prices and design their own coupon.
The two-page, four-color sales flyer features some of Winegard’s most popular satellites and antennas. Dealers will also get a free signage kit valued at $30 retail that includes posters, wobblers and custom shelftalkers with their own sales prices.
RV dealers can contact their STAG sales consultant or Winegard/DRG sales rep for program details.
RV satellite antenna supplier Winegard Co. announced that Bill Adams will be joining the Burlington, Iowa-based company’s dealer training team.
According to a press release, Adams brings nearly a dozen years of experience in selling and installing satellite TV antennas on RVs for his own business. Adams will travel the western U.S. and Canada to train RV dealer technicians on proper installation and troubleshooting techniques for Winegard antenna products, such as TRAV’LER, RoadTrip and Sensar. He joins Winegard veteran dealer training specialist Mike Barum, who will focus his efforts on the eastern U.S.
Prior to joining Winegard, Adams and his wife Janet owned and operated their mobile installation and service company, RV Satellite Sales and Service and Internet Anywhere, and has been a Winegard dealer/installer since 2000. They will be living and traveling in their own RV, attending and supporting dealer open houses and rally events in addition to their dealer training activities.
“We are excited to have Bill join our team,” said Aaron Engberg, director of mobile products for Winegard. “Because of his experience, he has instant credibility with our dealer base and th eir customers and he understands the importance of great customer service. Winegard will now be able to better respond to the high demand for our training, which will ultimately improve our relations with dealers and thus the overall customer experience.”
Winegard’s four-hour training course, which is also certified by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) continuing education requirements, covers new products, installation and troubleshooting, receivers/programming and helpful online resources. While the program is geared for the techs, it is also beneficial for customer service and sales personnel that handle customer questions or deal with quoting installation prices.
Since launching the training program back in 2005, over 1,000 dealerships and just under 5,000 technicians have completed the program. To request Winegard training, click here.
“Rollin’ On TV” (ROTV) announced that satellite TV manufacturer Winegard Co. has signed on as a title sponsor for the remainder of 2012.
According to a press release, ROTV will be launching in mid-April promotions and contests with Burlington, Iowa-based Winegard both on TV and the web, along with on-location promotions at various RV events around the country. ROTV announced the winner in its first Winegard contest as Debbi Segina from Arkdale, Wis., who won a Winegard fully automatic, CARRYOUT satellite TV antenna.
Segina and her husband own a 1994 Winnebago Vectra motorhome and enjoy “all aspects of RVing from dry camping to full hook-up resort destinations. The contest promotion lasted six weeks and consisted of 30-second television ads along with an online promotion on our web site.
In addition, T. R. Arnold and Associates Inc., an internationally accredited certifier of quality management systems based in Elkhart, Ind., has joined ROTV as a national advertiser.
Operating under the name TRA Certification Inc. the company has been in the forefront of certifying “green construction” in the manufactured and modular housing industry and has now turned its expertise to the RV industry.
For additional information visit www.rollinontv.com.
“Rollin’ On TV,” together with its advertising partner Winegard Co., has launched a multi-media, television/Internet contest with the prize being a Winegard, fully automatic, portable “CARRYOUT” satellite TV antenna.
According to a press release, the contest began Feb. 11 and will end March 18. To enter, log onto www.rollinontv.com, go to the contest page and submit your name and contact information.
The winner will be drawn on March 21 and posted on Rollin’ On TV’s website March 24. The contest is being promoted on TV with a full 30-second ad during the show along with a full page promotion on the website.
For additional information on Winegard, visit www.winegard.com.
Winegard Co. has introduced a newly redesigned over-the-air compact omnidirectional antenna, the RoadStar 3000.
According to a press release, the antenna is designed to continuously find and pull in all available VHF, UHF and FM broadcast signals within a 35-mile radius of a parked RV. The RoadStar 3000, produced in the U.S., delivers free local standard and HDTV programming from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX plus many additional sub-channels that carry 24-hour news, weather, music, kids programming and movies.
The most powerful and aerodynamic RoadStar to date, Winegard said the 3000 series eliminates the need to manually aim and lock onto digital signals. Also included are a 12-volt DC power supply and receptacle, and a two-way splitter for a second TV and optional cable input.
At only 7.56 inches high by 14.88 inches in diameter, the low-profile RoadStar 3000 offers superior wind resistance while occupying minimal roof space. Installers will appreciate the new pedestal mount that allows for a fast and simple installation; no special tools are required.
“RV owners will get exceptional reception and performance from the RoadStar 3000 HDTV antenna,” said Aaron Engberg, director of mobile products for Burlington, Iowa-based Winegard. “We’ve streamlined the design to make it more compact and aerodynamic. With its full 360-degree signal reception and enhanced amplifier that helps to pull in weak signals from fringe areas, the RoadStar packs a lot of power for its size.”
Antennas are available in both white (RS-3000) and black (RS-3035) and are available for shipping.
For more information about Winegard RoadStar 3000 series antennas, visit http://www.winegard.com/sensar/roadstar.php.
Burlington, Iowa-based antenna supplier Winegard Co. claimed a significant national award for surpassing 1 million injury-free work hours at its facilities. According to a press release, no work time has been lost due to injuries in more than a year for the antenna manufacturer that proudly makes its antennas in the U.S.A.
The National Safety Council recognized Winegard for notable performance in occupational safety and health with the Million Work Hours Award. This award recognizes the achievement of one million consecutive work hours without an occupational injury or illness resulting in days away from work or death.
“It took a tremendous amount of teamwork to achieve this award,” said Vic Kohlhof Winegard safety director. “Only a very few elite companies ever achieve such a phenomenal goal and we’re proud to be one of them. I’d like to express our gratitude to everyone at the company for their commitment to our safety programs, from all the team members to the hiring manager.”
“Safety compliance and an accident-free workplace allow Winegard to keep costs down,” added Kohlhof. “It allows us to provide our customers with the lowest-total-cost-products made by skilled, experienced workers in the U.S. enabling Winegard to be competitive in the global marketplace.”
To learn more about Winegard, visit www.winegard.com or call 800-288-8094.
Winegard Company has been awarded a national “Well Workplace” Award by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) based on the company’s workplace wellness initiatives. Dr. Denise Baker, director of organization development and IT, accepted the award at a ceremony in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 20.
“What makes this award so special is that it embodies (CEO) Randy Winegard’s personal and corporate values towards wellness and quality of life,” said Baker. “His support has been key to our success in improving individual health, increasing productivity and reducing healthcare costs.”
In determining its awards, WELCOA evaluates seven benchmarks on how a company’s wellness programs measure up, including capturing CEO support, creating cohesive wellness teams, collecting data to drive health efforts, crafting an operating plan, choosing appropriate interventions, creating a supportive environment and consistently evaluating outcomes. Winegard Company, a manufacturer of antenna products for both satellite and over-the-air multi-media signal reception based in Burlington, Iowa, scored 175.76 out of 180 possible points.
Winegard established its employee wellness program initiative in 2008, starting with a health assessment of all employees that, in the process, pointed to a number of employees who had significant treatable health issues. Winegard’s wellness program covers such things as gym reimbursements, onsite educational seminars, onsite exercise classes and healthy choices in vending machines. For employees or spouses that fall into the high risk category, Winegard provides an intense, physician-directed healthy living clinic.
“One of the surprises to us was that we underestimated the big boost in employee morale,” said Baker. “Employees really valued that we were investing in them. And, the investment has paid off by contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bottom line.”
The Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) installed Aaron Engberg of Burlington, Iowa-based Winegard Co. as the 2011-2012 executive board president at the organization’s annual conference held Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Huntington Beach, Calif.
“Winegard has been a loyal supporter of RVAA for many years and I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this important organization,” said Engberg, director of sales for mobile products for Winegard, in a press release. “Open communication and strong participation are vital to RVAA’s success and will be my focus. Ultimately, we all share the same vision of making the aftermarket more efficient and profitable today and tomorrow.”
During the past three years Engberg has served on the RVAA executive board, helping develop key marketing initiatives to include a new website and both monthly and quarterly newsletters. In addition, he contributed to the ‘Aftermarket Best Practices’ guidelines designed to standardize communications between suppliers and vendors.