The Future of RV and RV Fixed Operations

How do companies escape trouble at work? If the company were Cinderella, they could just call that fairy godmother to swoop right in and save them.

 Unfortunately, those characters don’t exist but luckily for RV Dealers, RVMAX Training Solutions does.

“Let’s be clear. We are not a consulting company,” RVMAX CEO Don Reed said. “We are a training company. We don’t sit in a hotel conference room and tell companies how to change their processes. We go to the dealership and physically show them how to improve their business.”

RVMAX Pro is the nation’s leading high-performance training group exclusively for RV Dealers. It is a performance-based service advisor, management and system implementation training program. With a staff of over 20 field trainers in the U.S. and Canada, they assist dealers in increasing their hours per customer pay repair order through sales training for service advisors, service managers and parts managers.

 Man on a Mission

What started as a hobby quickly progressed into a lifetime career for Reed. “I’ve always enjoyed camping,” recalled Reed, who has been in the Auto and RV dealer industry for 26 years. “I started with a pop-up trailer and gradually worked my way up to a Class A. That’s when I decided to add RV’s to my own auto dealership.”

Reed started in Missouri but sold his dealerships to operate an RV/Auto Dealership Group in Alaska. Alaska’s extreme environment and road conditions prompted Reed to start focusing on his service and parts operations. That focus eventually earned his team the prestigious Winnebago Circle of Excellence for Service and Parts.

Implementation

Reed utilized his knowledge from Alaska and formulated a training program. His team evaluates dealerships, performs a financial review, analyzes service and part performance and compares results to where the dealership needs to be.

RVMAX identifies opportunities for profit improvement for the sales, services and parts department.

“Some dealership managers are not happy to see us,” Reed said. “ They see it as someone else playing in their sandbox, but that is not how we operate. We don’t point fingers. We just provide tools to make success happen for the dealership and enable everyone to perform at a higher level.”

It is a team effort between RVMAX Training and the dealership. “Sometimes we have to drag people out of their comfort zones to make positive changes happen,” Reed said. “But warm and fuzzy comfort is not conducive to growth. If you change your actions, you change your results.”

Their success speaks for itself. Dealers reported happier employees, profit improvement, seasonal backlog reduced due to increased shop productivity and a happier, more successful group. “Our goal is to transform service technician productivity from 60 percent to 100 percent,” Reed emphasized. “It’s a huge benefit to the dealer to cut a two week appointment backlog in half and allow quicker turn-a-round. That provides for a happy staff and most important, a satisfied customer.”

Data agrees. After using RVMAX Training, dealers successfully saw anywhere from 40 to 86 percent profit improvement. “We are a performance-driven company,” Reed explained. “We hold employees accountable for performance to increase sales, profits and to maximize customers’ experience, which is key.”

The Debut

 RVMAX Training is now looking to train the customers. Reed’s team decided to transform the SMART (Schedule Maintenance at Regular Times) Menu at the dealerships from print to online. “We want the customers to know how to properly maintain their RV,” Reed expressed. “Why wait for it to break? Customers can save money, make camping more enjoyable and it becomes a profit center for the RV dealership.”

The online SMART Menu is not just for the customers’ benefit, but also the dealer. “With the online option, the dealer can walk a customer through the menu and teach them how to keep their RV in great condition. This shows dealers care to take time to educate customers.”

Each SMART Menu is custom-designed for the dealership and is available on the dealer’s website. Reed said it is not a one-size-fits-all program. RVMAX will adjust the menu to specific inventory each dealer offers. Online Smart Menus also separate the dealer from competitors while giving customers access to the menus from their personal computer.

RVMAX Training also recently launched RV MAX VT – an RV-specific online video training program with 37 different training modules for RV service managers and advisors. It is convenient, time-efficient and successfully ensures each team member is properly trained.

The Future

 With upcoming early retirement from the baby boomer generation, Reed sees a bright future for the RV business. More people are coming on board and existing customers are holding on to their RVs longer, keeping the service and parts industry happily busy. “It’s going to be a busy time in the near future,” Reed said, “but having our hands full will definitely be a good problem to have.”

 Reed will demo his new SMART Menu at the upcoming RV Convention on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010. For a free demo please visit RVMAXtraining.com.

Or call 888-553-0100 for more information.

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