December '18

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68 • RV PRO • December 2018 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S The Customers, They Are a-Changin' As dealers update their RV inventory, they also need to update their parts and accessories offerings as well as their merchandising solutions in order to maximize efficiency and profitability in the parts department. T hose of you who are familiar with Bob Dylan's songbook might have noticed that this issue's column title is a paraphrase of one of his creations that was written in 1963 – the year I graduated from high school! In reading the lyrics to his song – The Times They are a Changin' – we learn that very few things are static, and that we should prepare for changes in the world and be willing to make changes in our lives to accommodate those external changes. Most likely, many of you were not in the RV business 55 years ago when Dylan penned those lyrics. However, many of you were probably selling and servicing RVs as recently as 10 years ago. Assuming this is true, I have included in this column a few questions that relate to your oper- ations and to RV industry trends. Please con- sider your customers and your operations when answering these questions. A word of caution: As with many of my col- umns, most of the suggestions in this column will require some effort. If you don't want to expend any effort, you probably should stop reading now. However, please consider this: If you do things the same way that you have always done them, don't be surprised when you get the same results you have always gotten. A dealership's RV inventory and priorities tend to change over time. The challenge is to make sure that the parts department's inventory reflects that. By Mel Selway Mel Selway is the president of P.A.R.T.S. Inc., a Sahuarita, Ariz.-based firm providing business management analysis and training to retailers. He can be reached by phone at 520-336-8606 or via e-mail at melselway@aol.com.

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