Boating Industry

January 2017

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22 | Boating Industry | January 2017 [ 2016 Top 100 ] TOP BOAT BRANDS (By # of Top 100 Dealers that carry) 1. COBALT/BENNINGTON (TIE) 3. MASTERCRAFT 4. NAUTIQUE/REGAL/SEA RAY (TIE) 7. YAMAHA WATERCRAFT 8. BAYLINER/HARRIS FLOTEBOTE (TIE) 10. CHAPARRAL TOP ENGINE BRANDS (By # of Top 100 Dealers that carry) 1. MERCURY MERCRUISER 2. YAMAHA 3. MERCURY OUTBOARD 4. VOLVO PENTA 5. INDMAR 6. PCM/EVINRUDE (TIE) 8. MINN KOTA 9. BRP ROTAX 10. HONDA total hours the tech works, splitting the month up from the 1-15 and 16-31. "This allows us to see where we stand compared to previous years and indicates if we are having a workfl ow issue," says President Phillip Spicer. "We separate our technicians between retail technician and rigger (assembly technicians). The reason we do this is the riggers always work on new prod- uct that the sales department sells and the retail technician work on product that has left here. Also the riggers work is mostly repetitive and the work is fl at rated. The riggers are constantly doing the same project over and over, whereas a retail tech may only do the same job a few times a year." Dividing them allows Spicer's to track how many hours they work and the amount of billed hours vs. amount of hours worked and the technician's effi ciency each month. The management team uses the information to see how much time is being wasted in the shop, as well as if they need to improve workfl ow, or hire additional staff. When it comes time to schedule, Spicer's uses three calendars in Outlook: a retail service calendar, a rigging calendar and a dockside calendar. "They are all shared so everybody who has email at the store can see, but each person has different permissions so they can view but not delete or change," Spicer says. "Each calendar has color coding options so at a glance you can tell what is going on with a product. For example a salesperson can look at customer and see the status just by looking at the color of the customer." The retail calendar is used for all retail work, same day appointments and deliveries that need to be dropped off or picked up. To dispatch work, the shop manager works closely with the service advisors to see that products are going in, in a timely manner and to let the service advisors know how long a customer can expect before they get their product back. The rig- ging coordinator works with sales on a timeline of how long before a new sale can go, makes sure product is ready on time, and schedules drivers to deliver product, Spicer says. Managing turn rate When creating its annual inventory forecasting plan, The Sportsman bases it on the previous two-year history of sales, logged in as a sale the same month that the down payment toward the sale is received versus the month the boat is actually sold. "Consumer trends need to be factored in as well," says General Manager Christi Romero. "What was hot last year may not be hot this year. We look at increases or decreases year over year in specifi c models and horsepower ranges. We really listen to our customers during the year – during sales presentations, fi shing tournaments, etc. and then drill down at our cus- tomer focus group sessions for what they see as changing trends, what their friends are talking about in terms of brands, boat size, motor horse power, etc. "The accumulation of our customers' 'similar perceptions' becomes our new reality of customer wants and contributes to our overall inventory forecasting." The Sportsman's goal is a 4.0 turnover ratio, and it hit an actual 2015 turnover ratio of 3.5. "We plan our work, and work our plan at manufacturer's annual dealer meetings," Romero says. "We stick to our forecasted plan and specifi cally tell our manufacturers how many of each model we want, and the month we would like them delivered to our dealership." The only exception for ordering beyond forecasted amounts are when the dealership receives manufacturer incentives that are large enough to offset for nine months of additional fl oor plan costs and carrying expenses such as cleaning and maintenance. 27,141 Boats sold by the Top 100 in 2015, up 17% 5,108 Engines sold by the Top 100 in 2015, up 4% Spicer's Boat City has developed a planning and dispatching system that allows it to keep service inventory moving quickly and effi ciently.

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