April '19

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B U S I N E S S 74 • RV PRO • April 2019 rv-pro.com • Develop point-of-purchase dis- plays for the items listed in the prep-lists so customers can easily shop for the items, and so your parts associates can quickly transact these sales, which pro- vides them time for suggestive selling of other items • Provide you with accurate and current customer contact infor- mation and RV-specific informa- tion so that your parts associates can provide the correct list of goods for each prep-list request • Enable the updating of current customer and RV information to your dealership management system (DMS) database • Research the service history of the customer's RV prior to contacting the customer so the parts associate could offer any necessary services, and determine the availability of the service department to offer that service • Determine what accessories the customer has installed on their RV so that accessories could be offered during the contact call/email When contacting a customer to let her know that the prep-list she has sub- mitted is ready for retrieval, what ques- tions could your parts associate also ask? Perhaps some of these questions might be included in your customer contact word-tracks: • If the customer owns a motor- home, how many miles are on the odometer or hours on the generator? This could present the opportunity to suggest mainte- nance options. • If the customer owns a trailer or fifth wheel, is she aware of the latest towing and hitch options? (Of note, many of such are included in this month's issue, which is dedicated to hitches and towing accessories.) Your parts associates should become familiar with any of these acces- sories that your parts manager decides to stock. • When will the customer be leaving on her next trip? Where is she going? How many days will this trip last? This informa- tion could determine if there is any urgency to the parts and accessories requests. • When the customer retrieves her prep-list, would she be interested in looking at specific accesso- ries that the parts associate has identified that are not already installed? What Other Preparations Might Be Helpful? When have you most recently changed the displays on your retail floor? What did these changes include? If you or your parts manager attended any RV industry shows in recent months, have you added any accessories or sup- plies that had a point-of-purchase dis- play? Where have you located these dis- plays so that they attract your customers' attention? What related items could be displayed adjacent to these POP displays so that your customers might consider purchasing them as well? Also, when did your parts man- ager most recently inspect the condi- tion of the lighting in the retail show- room area(s)? How many lights require replacement bulbs? What changes to your lighting are needed to effectively showcase the changes you have made to your displays, especially if you have changed the physical location of any of your display fixtures? Would motion-sensitive lighting enhance the opportunity to attract the customer to a specific display? If you have a limited number of parts associ- ates, could motion sensors be placed in your retail showroom area and at your parts-to-service workstation so that your parts associate(s) or parts manager could be alerted by a flashing light when a retail customer or technician requires assistance? What to Stock, How Much & When Unless you have a time-travel machine available in order to help determine what to stock and in what quantities and when, you will have to rely on historic data for a starting point. Fortunately, many DMS include a suggested order function in their inventory management software package. And, some of these suggested order functions include the ability to look at what was sold in the same period in prior years for which you are placing a current order. By applying this season- ality factor, your DMS can suggest a possible quantity of goods that you have sold in a specific time period during prior years. And that is a start. However, it will be necessary for your parts manager to meet with the service manager, your unit sales manager, and your F&I manager to elicit their input as to the volume of sales they expect in each of their departments for the coming season. During this meeting, if any of the managers have specific parts, accessories, or materials that they feel will be required during the season, they should share this information with the parts manager. In addition, the parts manager should identify any new parts and acces- sories for which there is no sales history in the DMS database. For these items, she will have to order estimated quan- tities for those items which she feels will be requested by your customers. And, she should schedule a staff meeting with the parts associates, service advisors and unit sales associates so each of these people are aware of the new items that will be available. When ordering any of these new items, your parts manager should con- tact his supplier representatives to dis- cuss any programs that might be avail- able such as: • Delayed billing; • Return options; • Volume discounts; • Lead time for any items ordered by a specific date; • Training on these items – features and benefits for sales personnel and installation/servicing for service personnel; • Availability of these items for replacement orders; • Consignment options;

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