After the RV Dealer Association’s convention wrapped up at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, RV PRO magazine reached out to Bill Rogers, president of NTP-STAG, to discuss issues regarding RECT (repair event cycle time) and talk about NTP-STAG’s display.
Question 1: What are some of the issues that have come up for the task force in speaking with RVIA Chairman Garry Enyart about repair event-cycle time?
At one of the RVIA/RVDA joint meetings two years ago it was suggested that we (the industry) pursue solutions to service wait times and parts availability using the Six Sigma toolset. Garry Enyart stepped up to volunteer resources as Cummins already had a Six Sigma program.
The meeting was with dealers, suppliers and OEMs to identify issues. I think consumers were looking for more of an automotive experience when service and repair was needed for their RV.
Some of the issues we found were a lack of stocking of certain parts, limited service availability, parts accuracy and the warranty process.
One of the key takeaways was if a dealer had a part in stock the RECT was three to four days whereas if they didn’t have the part it rose to the high teens / low 20s.
Question 2: What was the purpose of the concept truck NTP-STAG had at RVDA?
Last year, we did more of a retail experience for dealers and attempted to introduce them to new technologies in the retail space. Given the opportunity with RVDA this year, we decided to focus more on the backroom experience at the dealerships and what was new in the service side of the RV dealership.
As part of our key message, we decided to bring a mobile unit to provoke thought about servicing RVs in the field.
Note: The truck was purchased on the first day at the show by a dealer. Rogers mentioned that at the NTP-STAG show in Nashville this January there will be aspects focused on both the retail side, as well as the repair and service side.
Question 3: With NTP-STAG’s latest distribution center in Southern California, what are the next steps for NTP-STAG in helping the delivery process?
The warehouse in Southern California that opened in October allows us to better service the geographical region because of growth that we have had there. The new DC, which is 450,000 square feet, replaces the Corona facility which was only 180,000 square feet. This new facility will improve our ability to service all the customers in the region and we do have “will-call,” where local customers can pick up parts.
We have been focused and will continue to focus on customer service improvements. We have made multiple improvements to help the customer and recently put out a mobile app at SEMA this year for auto customers that will eventually expand to the RV customer base.
Question 4: What else is NTP-STAG doing to help dealers battle RECT?
We are working with some of the manufacturers to help them streamline their warranty fulfillment processes. We are doing that with Coleman currently, and we are working on that with others OEs.
Instead of the manufacturer or OEM processing the warranty issue and then shipping from their facility, we are processing that order and drop shipping that part the next day. It’s a big improvement on the lead time to get those parts. Our business is replacement parts. So, as far as stocking and shipping, we take that over because it’s what we do already.
Question 5: What has happened this year regarding RECT and what are the next steps for the RECT initiative?
There has been a lot done this year. RVIA put in full time Six Sigma resources which are a part of their organizational process now.
The RV Technical Institute is now funded, and they are in the process of hiring a leader to run it. These are big changes that will provide leadership to continue addressing RECT. There will be standardized metrics and reporting. There will also be reporting on how all the industry players are doing on RECT in comparison with others like them, so everyone can see where they stand and hopefully that will motivate them to improve.
Question 6: What was your experience like on the task force. What did you get out of it?
I was impressed with how receptive everyone was. The dealers were all in. The OEs were forthcoming with their participation and resources. A lot of support for the whole effort. Gary Enyart did a great job leadership-wise, pulling all the parties together. RVIA collaborating with RVDA was impressive. As far as our role at NTP-STAG is concerned, to the extent that we can help, we will do that and try to expand that because we do have a good logistics solution getting to dealers.