RVIA Economic Impact Study

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.

Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .

Pet Peeves of a Parts Person

Thu Jul 13, 2017
Author: Anne Baucom

The following story appears in the July 2017 edition of RVDA’s monthly publication, RV Executive Today:

Every dealership has its issues. One problem common to many dealerships is the relationship between the parts department and the technicians. It’s always a battle to get both sides to work together seamlessly. Techs don’t understand the needs of the parts department and vice versa, making it hard to find a solution that works for everyone. I don’t have all the answers, but here are a few pet peeves of parts associates and the reasons why we’re always so short with techs.

Not Listing Parts on Repair Orders

Techs might not realize that some of us get paid commission on the parts we sell. This is why we’re always so adamant about getting those parts on the repair orders. If the part you took doesn’t get paid for, we don’t get paid.

Requesting Parts Late

Having the parts you need by the next day isn’t always possible. We have multiple vendors we can order through, but they all have cut-off times. So when you come to the parts person at 4:30 p.m. and need something next day, you’re most likely out of luck. Please let us know as early as possible if you’re going to need something specific so we can try to accommodate you.

Being Impatient

Please wait your turn! Customers at the parts counter come first. Always. If you don’t have time to wait, come back later. We have lots of people to take care of, both internally and externally. You are not our only customer.

Not Keeping Track of Where Part Is Used

At my dealership, some of the service shop supplies come from my parts store, including things like electrical adapters, water hoses, and chemicals for our rental units. Those items get charged to the dealership. Other items get used on customers’ units, such as Teflon tape, putty tape, and washers. Please know where the part you’ve requested is being used so it gets billed correctly.

Not Submitting Parts Inventory Info Immediately

Inventory management is always a parts person’s least favorite responsibility. Techs make keeping an accurate inventory nearly impossible when they don’t submit parts information immediately – we may under order or over order on parts. If we under order, you won’t have what you need for the next job, which costs us time and money.

Writing Down Wrong Part Numbers

We order parts from multiple vendors, so some of the same parts have different part numbers. Don’t get too comfortable writing down part #1234 for a small battery box when we might get a better deal from another vendor whose part number is #5678. If your number doesn’t match with my inventory, the customer might get charged the wrong price.

Not Returning Unused Parts

Another inventory issue – techs who take parts for a job, charge them off, but then fail to use them. Please put those parts back on the shelf or give them back to your parts person as soon as you’re finished with the job. This enables us to remove the part from the customer’s bill and put it back on the shelf in the correct place.

Not Having Correct Part Numbers Handy

Here are some things a parts person should never have to ask for when a tech requests a part. First, the job (or RO) number and the model/serial/product numbers on the appliance you need parts for. We need that information 99 percent of the time so we can find the correct part. Please don’t make us ask for the information you should already have ready. Even if you don’t think we’ll need it, get it anyway. The rule of thumb at my dealership is that too much information is better than not enough.

Not Keeping the Part Store Clean

The parts department personnel are responsible for keeping the store tidy. If you track in mud, we have to clean up after you. We won’t be happy about it. Please be considerate of our time and do your part.

I’m still trying to come up with solutions for having a smoother relationship between parts and service at my store. But if technicians would apply what they’ve learned from this article, I strongly believe that your parts people will take notice and be truly grateful.

Anne Baucom is the parts manager and warranty administrator for RV Connection in Lawton, Oklahoma. If you would like to submit a response to this article, please send it to Tony Yerman at tyerman@rvda.org.

Additional Information: http://www.rvda.org/RVDA/Publications1/RV_Executive_Today/July_2017.aspx