February '20

Issue link: https://nbm.uberflip.com/i/1203735

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 104

32 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com I like what (former RVDA Chairman) Mike Regan says. 'It's a journey, not a destina- tion.' We're definitely on a journey and it's going to take several years to really get there. But what came out of RECT by the measurements that were done – and there were some really, really smart people that were on that com- mittee and it was represented by all the players – is we need to improve the customer expe- rience for the future. If we're wanting to truly be the dom- inant force and not lose sales to the boating industry and other like industries, we need to make sure that we've got our best game on. Younger generations are not going to continue to buy what we sell if it breaks all the time, and then once it breaks it can't be repaired in a timely manner. So, that's where RECT mea- sures: What is the warranty number that we're needing to improve upon? What is the length of time from the time the customer drops the unit off a repair that it takes us to get it back to them? What can improve parts availability? Brian Wilkins asked, and you know there are some great things come out of the study with several of the large manufacturers now working with NTP-STAG to supply parts where we can get them overnight. I mean, two of my manufacturers that I deal with ... for those parts that make up the components, good- ness gracious, we can pick up phone ordering by 5 o'clock and we have it the next day, in most cases. But now remember, four or five years ago the industry is building units as fast as they can build them. And what happens when you're going as fast as you can? Quality slips. One of the things is quality, warranty, parts availability and train technicians. But, at any rate, the RECT is definitely the main initiative that we've got to keep pushing forward. It is paramount to our industry that we continue moving and get- ting better at every phase of the business and build them better. And now we've opened the RV Technical Institute and that's going to help train technicians of tomorrow and the ones of today in a different manner than what we've tried to do in the past, which hasn't worked really well. Training the technicians having them better educated in the repair of the things right the first time and getting them to where they don't break necessarily. We need to improve every one of those to improve the customer's experience, and the measurement that we use to do that is RECT. We all have to just keep pulling from the same end of the rope not fight each other and make sure that we're trying to improve that customer experience. The other one for me is … it just astounds me that we don't get better attendance (at the convention/expo) and we've got great attendance now. We've been growing it anywhere from 4 to 10 percent for the last several years. Year before last, I think we had a 16 percent increase. We have become the event of the year for dealers. And we need to keep growing on that and getting the people there who don't normally come. For a lot of them, the reason they say is it's the same year after year, that it's just a big party – and that is abso- lutely not true. Do you have a good time? Yes. Can you net- work? Absolutely. When I first got in this industry, what the talk was, was: Which cocktail party do you go to to get the biggest shrimp? And it's just not that anymore. There are parties, but it's an education time. Bring your people and get them educated because this is an opportunity. And what better time? I want to see us double the attendance (numbers). I know that's a lofty goal and crazy, probably. I do believe that if everybody will invite one person – bring it to the point of ridiculous – everybody invite one person and you'll double the attendance and then see what we can accomplish. RV PRO: How do you bring the different segments of the industry together and avoid pointing fingers over issues like RECT? S h e p h e r d : T h a t w a s p r o b a b l y t h e f i r s t t h i n g that came out of RECT, because all of a sudden the finger-pointing stopped and ever ybody went, 'Oh my gosh, we all really stink.' There's room for improve- ment. And all three of the major players all said, 'There's a big disconnect here in that we thought we were doing fine. Our warranties are way too high. Our ability to get the right parts to the dealer is not really good.' RECT didn't lie. It's no respecter of manufacturers or people. It's just the cold hard facts of what the report comes back and says of how long it takes to repair something and how long it takes to get the part to the people and how often are they having to be repaired. Ron Shepherd speaks to the crowd after being installed as the chairman of the board for the RV Dealers Association at the 2019 Convention/Expo at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. While Shepherd's regular job as president of Camperland of Oklahoma keeps him very busy, he says the benefits of volunteering with RVDA far outweigh any negatives. PHOTO COURTESY RVDA

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of RV PRO - February '20