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The board and staff of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) met for a three-day strategic planning session earlier this month and decided the RV industry needs to develop a standard parts identification system.
About 35 people, including representatives of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA), attended the meeting March 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency Reston (Va.).
“The specific problem in parts is there is no inventory system in the RV industry as far as I know,” said RVDA President Mike Molino. “One manufacturer has parts numbers. The rest go by the dealer giving them a description of the part.”
Some dealers have gone as far as photographing the needed part and e-mailing or faxing the photograph to the manufacturer. “Even with that, one-third of the time they get the wrong part,” Molino said.
The discussion about developing a standard parts system, Molino said, was part of a broader dialogue focusing on “getting industry partners to understand that it is in their best economic interest to provide pre-sale and post-sale support,” Molino said.
“There is very widespread shared opinion among dealers that many manufacturers don’t understand what it takes to be a good dealer and aren’t helping dealers achieve what it takes to support the customer, especially after the sale,” he added.
“There are some manufacturers who are doing a great job of it, and there are others that dealers say don’t have a clue,” Molino said. “And even the ones who are doing a great job still have problems.”
However, participants did not come up with any specific proposals for solving the problem, Molino said.