November '18

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rv-pro.com November 2018 • RV PRO • 117 Dealers largely understand warranty as two separate issues. The first relates to issues in quality. The second is the per- ceived unwillingness of OEMs to foot the bill for quality issues identified at the dealership service counter by retail cus- tomers. Technology should be used at a higher integration level to resolve both those issues. One of the more informative segments in regard to the quality issue is the RV rental business. Rental operators have to live with the units after they are put in service. It's enlightening to listen to all the back and forth about problems identified as "common." Regular dealers don't have that level of visibility and dialog about recurring quality issues. A manufacturer would be wise to listen in to that market to see how quality could be improved. It's not just about how big the TV is – it's about the actual quality of the unit. With all the advances in information tech- nology and communication, one would think we'd be paying closer attention. Technological Advances in Information Systems Clearly, information systems have gotten much better. And that is in two notable ways. First, the offerings of DMS systems are more functionally evolved over a much broader spectrum than a decade ago. Secondly, the usefulness to the basic user is vastly improved. Reporting has gotten tons better. The ways to write reports within DMS systems have, too. The major DMS providers in the RV marketspace have products that service and integrate a deeper set of the typical dealership needs. The exception might be rentals. On the whole, you have CRM sys- tems, tablet-based customer interaction and Cloud-based processing that come from a solid platform and deeply address the needs of the typical dealership. Still, if you can't get the process right on paper and in practice, all a computer is going to help you do is to screw it up more quickly. DMS systems provide sorely needed and highly valuable transactional struc- ture. The difficulty seems to be in get- ting the basic user to execute consistently along the ways the systems are designed to operate. It's been an amazement to me over time that many users want a DMS system to operate according to their own desires rather than to take the time to learn the way it was designed to operate. That mis- take really costs in frustration levels. Further Advances in Communication Here's where we get into the blessings and curses of today's technology. We are in touch, one with another, in unprecedented levels and means of communication. For example, let's say you don't remember some arcane factoid. Simply Google it. A little more than 10 years ago we were still using AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). About 11 years ago we got the very first iPhone. The pace of innovation has greatly accelerated in the recent past. DMS systems provide sorely needed and highly valuable transactional structure. The difficulty seems to be in getting the basic user to execute consistently along the ways the systems are designed to operate. " "

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