Blue Ox, leading manufacturer of towing, hitching and steering products in the Recreational Vehicle industry, has a simple philosophy when it comes to doing business with more than 2,500 dealers. Simply put, it’s to establish relationships with its dealers to increase their dealership business on a daily basis.
Located in Pender, Neb., Blue Ox products can be separated into three primary categories: Towing-tow-bars and base plates; Hitches-Sway Pro, Weight Distributing and Diamond Gooseneck Hitches; and Steering Control-TruCenter and TigerTrack, which also include sway controls and bracket kits. Additionally, Blue Ox also offers sport carriers, fifth-wheel products and various RV ancillary accessories.
The development of the KarTote in-house in 1983 by Jay Hesse, CEO and chairman of the board of Automatic Equipment Manufacturing Co., (Blue Ox’s corporate name) provided them an entry into the recreational vehicle after-market and it has been a major player ever since, almost a quarter of a century later.
According to Ellen Kietzmann, vice president of sales for Blue Ox, the primary goal of the company is to establish a solid working relationship with all of its dealers.
“We take a vital interest in their success and help them move products through training and education, through innovative new products that we bring to the market as well as customer support we provide after the sale,” Kietzmann explained.
“We provide a full product line for our dealers that will bring a diverse customer base into their dealerships as well as provide the end users with a diverse, one-stop shopping center for our towing, hitching and steering control products. We also market our products at the consumer level through our Destination America rally teams. However, now we are and have been strategically refocusing our rally efforts through our partnerships with our dealers. This avenue will not only strengthen our partnership with them, but also allow us the opportunity to train and support our dealer partners with our mutual RV consumers.”
Blue Ox, with its regional sales representatives strategically placed around the United States and Canada, also has a dealership council comprised of a dealer from each of the regional territories. The Dealer Council, as it is called, meets via conference call twice this year.
The Dealer Council serves as Blue Ox’s advisory and advocacy group, providing the company with feedback and discussing new products and product enhancements prior to launching them, as well as asking the council members for any changes they might like to see in existing products for ease of handling or safety, if necessary.
“We really utilize these dealers, all of our dealers in fact, to assist us in identifying ways we can help or create additional resources for them. We try to use our dealers as our voice because they are on the front lines every day with the end users and their feedback is extremely important to us,” Kietzmann said.
Explained Hesse, “We feel our partnership with the dealers involves more than just our products. We feel it’s our obligation to help them in all areas that we can, mainly because we value the dealers as our channel to the end users and anything we can do to help them grow their businesses, not only with our products but in all areas, we’re willing to do anything we can to help them.”
Blue Ox stopped doing business with Camping World 12 years ago to solidify our commitment to our dealers. And since Camping World is associated with TL Publications (Motorhome, Trailer Life and GoodSam’s Highways), we have greatly reduced advertising funds available to their consumer publications, says Hesse.
In the promise to its dealers, Blue Ox maintains a toll-free hotline available 24/7/365 basis at 1-888-425-5382.
For more information about Blue Ox and its dealer partnership opportunities contact Ellen Kietzmann at 800-228-9289.