September '20

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rv-pro.com September 2020 • RV PRO • 17 tinue to pour in from spots across the country, including Cali- fornia, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and even as far away as Alaska. Like most long-standing businesses, educating and empowering staff has helped contribute to A.C. Nelsen's tenacity. The business sends its sales team to trade shows throughout the year, as well as training sessions hosted by companies like Forest River and Lippert at various venues across the country. In the service department, finding qualified technicians can be challenging, as it is in many parts of the country, according to Fielder. "We hire lots of inexperienced technicians and pair them with a seasoned and experienced technician for training, and that's worked real well for us," he says, adding that both the new and seasoned techs log plenty of overtime when it's needed to ensure units get out on schedule. Adapting Business to COVID-19 Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread earlier this year, A.C. Nelsen pivoted to use its product line and expertise in the efforts to confront the crisis, starting in April. "Our focus was selling a lot of units to small companies and government entities for employees that could work onsite and stay in those locations," he says. "Primarily, they were utility companies and companies that worked for them." The pandemic also forced the dealership to change the way it did business at each of its three locations. "In Nebraska, we're able to stay open," Nelsen says. "Naturally, anyone who can work from home, does." The dealership implemented extra precautions, including asking staff members assisting customers to wear masks. A.C. Nelsen also asked visiting customers to wear masks, and has limited the number of customers who can tour an RV to two per family. The business started using, and continues to use, electrostatic sprayers as well to sanitize all units before cus- tomers drive them off the lot or come in for a walkthrough. To ensure customers have a safe and comfortable experience, Fielder says the business strived to devise a no-contact setup. "We emptied our show floor from any inventory and keep everything on our lot," he says, adding that the company unlocks the units in the morning so customers can do a walkthrough without having to come into contact with others. Even with the challenges at hand, Nelsen says the dealership is continually looking for new ways to adapt and grow. For the Omaha location, the business plans to purchase a second prop- erty encompassing about 5 acres that will allow it to add 12 more service bays to its existing six bays. Looking forward, Nelsen says he believes the dealership's solid reputation will allow it to prosper. "We're not necessarily wealthy," he says, "but we've been around long enough that we have that stability that allows us to focus on providing good customer service."

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