February '21

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76 • RV PRO • February 2021 rv-pro.com New Year, New Ways COVID-19 forced many dealerships to change the way they did business in 2020. The start of a new year could be a good time to evaluate whether to continue any of those practices as the pandemic recedes. A s you read this column, you have entered a new year and, most likely, have experienced new ways of oper- ating your RV business. For many of you, 2020 was a challenging year with regard to procuring new RVs as well as obtaining parts and accessories to enable you to service those new and pre-owned units. Hopefully, as you read this column, some, if not most, of those procurement problems have been eliminated, or at least reduced. And, hopefully, for those of you who want to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been developed, you should be able to obtain that inoculation before too much more time has elapsed in 2021. From the many columns in the 2020 edi- tions of RV PRO that I have read, it seems that many operators of RV businesses adapted to the challenges of doing business during the pan- demic. Some of these adaptations may have been temporary, yet others might be perma- nent changes to the way you do business. This month's column poses some possible modifica- tions to how you could operate your parts and accessories department in these changed times. Supply Chains Another periodical that I read is The Econo- mist, which is a weekly magazine published in the United Kingdom and that is international in scope. One of the changes that the editors and columnists have documented is related to supply chains for goods. Many of you in the RV business have experienced the negative impact of supply chains that were, and pos- sibly still are, interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. What changes have you made? Or what changes would you consider making with regard to your supply chain for parts and accessories? The following is a list of some possible modifica- tions to your parts and accessories procurement and stocking protocols that you might consider as you plan for 2021: • Adding at least one more supplier for most of your parts and accessories items, which might mean splitting your total purchases into halves or thirds among two or three suppliers, rather than one primary supplier. • Reviewing your parts and accessories inven- tory to identify those items which are crucial to servicing your customers … and deciding RV I N S I G H T 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 email at melselway@aol.com.

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