Boating Industry

October 2014

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October 2014 | Boating Industry | 21 [ 20 Groups ] shop rates. It is often a hassle to get approvals and the correct parts. Dealers would love to get a boat from the factory that did not require anything more than gas, a battery and cleaning for delivery! MISPERCEPTION — 20 Group mem- bers of a branded manufacturer group will gang up on the factory to make unreasonable demands. REALITY — Making "demands" is never allowed. It does not fit into our win/win philosophy. A branded 20 Group provides a fantastic oppor- tunity for the manufacturer to meet with their best and most progressive dealers. The mutual exchange of ideas allows for both the dealer and the manufacturer to better understand the others' point of view. This kind of constructive feedback and positive teamwork approach on products and policies is highly beneficial to a manufacturer. MISPERCEPTION — The best dealers for a manufacturer are uneducated in the ways of business so they can be manipulated into buying more prod- uct than they need. REALITY — We believe that savvy, pro- gressive dealers who are financially healthy make for a healthy, growing manufacturer. This is a win/win phi- losophy that works long-term. We operate our 20 Groups with this same win/win philosophy. Floor- plan companies recognize that long-term 20 Group members are better run, have better financials, are better credit risks, can afford to attain higher credit limits for their floor plans and have a much greater chance of surviving the next downturn. The bottom line A manufacturer's job is to provide innovative product at a reasonable price; delivered to the dealer complete and functioning. A dealer's job is to sell and deliver as many fantastic ownership experiences to customers as possible and to remain financially healthy so they can buy more products. The true "deliverable" of a 20 Group is that it drives continuous improvement in ways that a manufacturer cannot duplicate. Belonging to a 20 Group creates peer pressure among mem- bers to improve their financials, facilities, pro- cesses, procedures and CSI. This improvement feeds on itself; as one dealer's improvements are reflected in the financials of the 20 Group report, the other members are motivated to im- plement the same practice. Each dealer leaves a meeting with an "Action List" of ideas to im- prove his or her operations. Each year, 22 to 30 of Boating Industry's Top 100 dealers have been in my 20 Groups. Our cli- ents strive to be the best, and it shows. Manufacturers need dealers who are finan- cially strong, able to provide an outstanding cus- tomer experience and who are willing to reinvest in their facilities and brands. There is no better way to consistently provide this outcome than for a dealer to join a 20 Group. David Parker is the founder of Parker Business Planning, Inc., which facilitates 20 Groups, and provides consulting services to marine dealers and marina owners throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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