NTP-STAG News Article

In an era when the U.S. RV industry has exhibited consistent growth and resilience, consolidation continued to reshape the North American RV market­place in a big way in 2015 just as it has in an array of other U.S. business sectors.

On the manufacturing side, Thor In­dustries Inc. acquired key vendor Pos­tle Aluminum Inc., Cavco Industries Inc. bought Fairmont Homes Inc. and Chariot Eagle Inc. and California-based Pacific Coachworks Inc. purchased Northland Industries in Nampa, Idaho.

Supplier Patrick Industries Inc. made headlines with the acquisition of North American Forest Products Inc. and Structural Composites of Indiana Inc., while Elkhart, lnd.-based Dexter Axle completed the late-year purchases of AL-KO Vehicle Technology and Titan lnternational's brake and actuator business. Lippert Components Inc. and Valterra Products LLC also finalized significant acquisitions.

On the retail front, Camping World Inc., Lazydays RV, Campers Inn RV, Pete's RV Center and Woody's RV World were among the retailers buying existing stores.

But it was consolidation in the RV aftermarket parts and accessories end of the business that arguably generated the most "buzz" in the trade press over the past year and ultimately made LKQ Corp:s Exeter, PA-based Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. and NTP­Stag RV distribution unit a slam-dunk choice as the "2015 RVBusiness Newsmaker of the Year:

"It wasn't a tough choice for the staff of RVBusiness, given the sheer volume of news stories on this topic in the com­petitive trade press; reported RVBusi­ness Publisher Sherm Goldenberg. "The fact of the matter is that LKQ in two years has amalgamated a substantial share of the U.S. RV aftermarket by pur­chasing the nation's top three RV after­market distributors, including Keystone Automotive itself and its Oregon-based NTP Distribution Inc. division plus Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway Inc. and, in August, The Coast Distribution System Inc. out of Morgan Hill, California.

"And when you look at the general ongoing wave of consolidation and the attention Keystone's acquisitions spawned among dealers, suppliers and competitive distributors, there's really no question in our minds that Keystone Au­tomotive was the most newsworthy sin­gular news story in the RV arena over the past year:"

Of course, there were plenty of other buzz-worthy headlines in 2015, among them:

"Winnebago's Potts Retires; Olson is Interim CEO" - The abrupt August exit of Winnebago Industries Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Randy Potts after 32 years with the Iowa manufacturer was a complete surprise to the rest of the industry, as was the temporary appointment of retired chairman Bob Olson and, subsequently, the interim tenure of Board Chairman Larry Erickson as the search for Pottts' replacement continued.

"Huge/meyer Succeeds Coon as RV/A's President" - Change at the top of the manufacturer-led Recreation Vehicle Industry Association doesn't occur all that often. Richard Coon, a former Cummins/Onan sales execu· tive, served 1 0 years before his October retirement. So, people are watching closely the transition to a new era at the Reston, VA-based trade association during which ex-Outdoor Industry Association President Frank Hugelmeyer should bring plenty of energy and new ideas.

"GE Sells Commercial Finance Arm to Wells Fargo" - Less than a month after GE CEO and Chairman Jeffrey lmmelt visited the RV industry's leadership in February in Elkhart, Ind., he informed General Electric Co. share· holders that the returns from its massive banking operations had fallen below the company's cost of capital, adding urgency to its consideration of an exit from the business. Sure enough, in mid-October, GE Capital, a major RV floorplan lender, was sold to Wells Fargo & Co.

All things considered, though, Key­stone's NTP-STAG rollup clearly was the story of the year, even though Keystone Vice President and General Manager Bill Rogers wasn't altogether flattered by all of the press coverage and the at­tention it involved. On the contrary, Rogers said in an early December inter· view during RVIA's 53rd Annual Na­tional RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., that his top priority right now has little to do with publicity and everything to do with the integration of all three companies under the corporate umbrella of 2,000-employee Keystone. Keystone Headquarters

As part of that effort, Rogers and his RV team at Keystone - already one of the world's leading distributors of specialty automotive parts and accessories - are methodically working their way through the ranks of North American dealers and suppliers to further assure them that they will like doing business with Keystone and NTP-STAG over the long haul, given a chance to do so.

"I guess I don't see it (a "Newsmaker of the Year" designation) as all that significant in itself," said Rogers, as his company prepared for its first combined NTP·STAG 2016 Expo trade show Jan. 19-20 in New Orleans. "I think what we've done has made good logic in terms of helping build a supply chain for dealerships that is efficient, that is able to offer high service levels, that is economically helpful. And the more vol­ume that goes through that supply chain, the more runs (delivery cycles) we can have to the customers."

Although Keystone will continue doing business in the RV sector as "NTP-STAG" for the time being, Rogers says that name could change once Key­stone gets its arms around the Coast acquisition. NTP-STAG has already consolidated three of Coast's warehouses into Keystone's overall network - which today includes seven warehouses, 47 stand-alone shipping cross-docks and $200 million in field inventory.

"So, we're 'NTP-STAG' for now, and since Coast isn't integrated yet, it still stands alone - and that's the way it's staying for awhile," said Rogers, seated next to NTP-STAG Director of Market­ing John Spaulding in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center dur­ing the Louisville Show. "I think we'll always do a different branding for the RV side versus the Keystone (automotive) side. Whether it changes over time remains to be seen."

Reflecting on his experiences over the past two years and some of the mis­understanding that sometimes surfaced, Rogers feels that he and his RV team could have done a better job of commu­nicating at times with both suppliers and dealers in presenting their overall game plan. That said, he thinks that Keystone's management has been making progress lately in conveying one essential message: That Keystone and its NTP·STAG division have no interest in doing anything but bringing improved service and better products to its customer base.

"Yes, we are making progress," said Rogers. "We are getting a good response from dealerships and the overall customer base. I think there was some early concern about it and I think we've tried to address those concerns - probably not quick enough. If there was anxiety in the supply chain, it wasn't, I don't think, anything that we did to create it other than a lack of communication or a lack of getting in front of the communi­cation around that. But the more time goes by and the more we're consistent and the more we're doing what we say we'll do, our channel partners are responding well. I am optimistic about our ability to stay connected with our customers and deliver an improved customer experience."

Keystone Headquarters"And now that I've had the opportu­nity to visit with customers, I think there's a couple of things that we can do to help the industry in addition to just the normal stuff we do," added Rogers, whose company brought a staff of 40 people to the Louisville Show. "I think there's an area around training and helping to get more technicians into the industry that we can take a leadership role on. So, John (Spaulding) and I have talked about doing much more on that in 2016. Where we have training theaters at our facilities, we can provide space to hold meetings and help coordinate supplier engagement. We can help co­ordinate with suppliers to do training and really work with RVIA and the other industry associations to come up with programs that support the certification requirements that help get techs into the industry.

"And if we do that, it will help the deal­ers; I think they'll be appreciative. It's a win for them, but I think it's a big win for us, too, because the more business they do, the more business we'll do."

For his part, Spaulding, a former front-line Stag-Parkway executive, says he's looking forward to 2016 and to let­ting his company's veteran staff - representing all three formerly independent distribution firms - do what it does best at the New Orleans "Expo" show and beyond.

"Yes," Spaulding told RVB, "2016 will be an exciting year for us. We'll have all three entities operating in concert at the Expo and our goal is to prove ourselves and earn the business that customers are good enough to give us. Our priority is to provide what they need when they need it, very consistently, and to earn the right to be their first choice for aftermarket parts."  RVB

 

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NTP-STAG Expo Announces 2022 RV University PRO Speaker Lineup

Today, NTP-STAG, the leading distribution company for the recreational vehicle aftermarket, announced the RV University (RVU) Professional Retail Organization (PRO) Education Speaker Lineup for Expo 2022 to be held in person January 25-26 at the Caesars Forum Convention Center and virtually January 31 – February 4.

Bestselling author and nationally recognized social media expert, Corey Perlman will be returning for his second year as a PRO Speaker, providing valuable insight on creating and publishing compelling social media content that sparks engagement, fuels interest and drives results. As he addresses opportunities to connect with today’s RV customer, spanning multiple generations and lifestyles, Perlman’s presentation will guide attendees on how to deliver a mix of content categories across the most popular social media platforms. This highly respected speaker’s message delivers the best practices in this highly dynamic medium required to harness important tools to communicate with multiple audiences efficiently and effectively across the social media landscape.

Considered one of the nation’s top experts in leadership, marketing, the customer experience and consumer trends, bestselling author, Kelly McDonald will be making her first appearance as a PRO speaker at EXPO 2022. Her presentation, “How to Market to, Sell to and Serve People Not Like You” will demonstrate how to recognize the different things that resonate with all types of customers and tailor your message and marketing efforts to reflect their values, and how marketing to these values will lead to greater sales, profits and customer loyalty. While learning the do’s and don’ts of marketing to different customer segments, tailoring your service or sales approach to be relevant to a new customer group and communicating in a relevant manner to stand out from your competition, her engaging and interactive session will show you how to create a deep, values-based connection between you and your customers and prospects.

“Through the PRO education series, we have had the opportunity to share important business insight from a compelling roster of well-regarded speakers,” said NTP-STAG President, Bill Rogers. “Now with the PRO series in its twelfth year, we are proud to include Corey and Kelly’s informative and actionable presentations to the library of more than 60 courses available to industry professionals of all levels. We know EXPO 2022 attendees will benefit from what they have to say while their perspective will provide essential tools that effectively reach new customers and maximize customer interactions.”

The RVU PRO business development seminar series presents free, in-person and web-based continuing education courses to RV Industry professionals. Launching each year at Expo, quarterly supplemental education series webinars provide instruction on a variety of subjects including store readiness, customer and team member relationship management and e-commerce and salesmanship.

The speaker lineup is selected by NTP-STAG to provide attendees with compelling, impactful, results-driven content.

Corey Perlman

Bestselling author and top-rated speaker Corey Perlman helps businesses succeed through digital marketing. He teaches well-tested and current social media strategies. As owner of Impact Social Inc., Corey Perlman has been at the forefront of digital marketing for over 10 years. He started his career with the eCommerce Division of General Motors, before launching his consulting and speaking business in 2009. Since then, he’s worked with such notable brands as Sysco Foods, The American Healthcare Association, Dale Carnegie Training and The PGA Tour.

As a keynote speaker, Corey Perlman delivers results with his engaging interactive talks that are always tailored to serve his client’s individual needs. He is continually rated as a top speaker by companies big and small.

The celebrated author of two bestselling books, Perlman’s most recent, Social Media Overload! Simple Social Media Strategies for Overwhelmed and Time-deprived Businesses is ranked #1 on Amazon.com in every major business category and has been called engaging, relevant, a must-read, and spot-on marketing advice for any business. Close to a decade of keynote speaking has produced a long list of highly satisfied clients.

Kelly McDonald
Considered one of the nation’s top experts in leadership, marketing, the customer experience and consumer trends, Kelly McDonald’s client experience includes brands such as Toyota, State Farm, NASA, Kimberly-Clark, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Great Clips, Miller Beer, and Sherwin-Williams.

Kelly was named one of the “10 Most Booked Speakers in the U.S.” and ranked #1 on the list of “25 Hot Speakers” by Successful Meetings Magazine and has been featured in Forbes, INC. Magazine, BusinessWeek, CEO World, Fast Company, on CNBC and more.

The author of four bestselling books lives in Denver, Colorado and when she’s not on the road speaking, she enjoys boxing (yes, boxing, not kickboxing) – and shopping for high heels.

PRO LMS Platform Launched in January 2020, the user friendly NTP-STAG PRO Learning platform is accessible while logged into VIAntp.com under Partner Central. The platform offers access up to over 60 courses that also qualify learners for Mike Molino RVDA CEUs. Register for an NTP-STAG PRO account today!

NTP-STAG continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and are in constant communication with the host venue and local authorities. 

For more information about Expo, please visit: https://expo.ntpstag.com/

NTP-STAG 2022 Expo | Dates and Location Announced

NTP-STAG will be hosting Expo 2022, its annual dealer event, live in Las Vegas at the new, state-of-the-art Caesars Forum in the heart of the strip, January 25-26, 2022. The adjacent, newly renovated Harrah’s Hotel, part of the Caesars Entertainment group, will serve as the host hotel for the two-day event. NTP-STAG will then present its week-long, follow-up virtual event January 31 - February 4, 2022.

“Expo has always been about bringing the RV industry together for networking, fantastic promotions from some of the best manufacturers in the business and fun. We can’t think of any place more exciting to celebrate together than Las Vegas.” said NTP-STAG Vice President, Sales, Fred Petrivelli. “Las Vegas is opening for business, and we are excited to be coming to town with the complete Expo experience in 2022,”

Day 1 of Expo 2021 features RV University which includes PRO (Professional Retail Organization) Education Seminars followed by an opening reception on the show floor.
The following day will be highlighted by a full day on the exhibit floor and special closing reception. The NTP-STAG Expo will showcase exhibits from selected leading industry manufacturers to invited NTP-STAG customers from across North America.

The virtual event will then present the same great promotions as the in-person event along with dynamic presentations and educational opportunities.

“Due to the tremendously enthusiastic response from our customers and suppliers, we have now incorporated the virtual show format into our Expo event programming,” added Petrivelli. “This will allow our suppliers to interact with an even greater percentage of our customer base while providing a convenient opportunity for dealers to stock up on the once-a-year, show-only deals.

Learn more about the NTP-STAG Expo 2021 at expo.ntpstag.com

You can find more information about Caesars Health & Safety Protocols for their hotels and public spaces by visiting caesars.com/health-and-safety.

SeaWide Distribution and NTP-STAG Join Forces

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Harneet Kaur, Sr. Marketing Director

(570) 603-2651

hkaur@key-stone.com

www.keystoneautomotive.com

 

 

SeaWide Distribution and NTP-STAG Join Forces

 

Exeter, PA (October 04, 2021) –SeaWide Marine, the North American distributor of Marine Electronic and Electrical products, and NTP-STAG, the leading distributor of RV parts and accessories, are combining to service the Marine Industry under the SeaWide brand.

“This is extremely exciting for us and will enable SeaWide to expand our current business immensely,” said Mike Yarbro, Founder of SeaWide Distribution. The combined resources will match up the largest related industry distribution network in North America with the significant Marine industry experience of the SeaWide team.  “Our customers will have a major upgrade in delivery service level, product range, inventory breadth and depth, business to business systems and tools, marketing resources and much more,” said Mike.

“We are really happy to have Mike and his team now working hand and hand with our existing associates to provide their leadership in the marine market and together provide customers and suppliers with a great source for all the outstanding products this growing industry has to offer” said Bill Rogers, President of Keystone / NTP-STAG.

As part of the transition, SeaWide will expand its delivery network by eight Distribution Centers and over forty cross-docks, strategically located to deliver next day service primarily on its own trucks, to the majority of North America.  While SeaWide’s focus will remain on marine electronics, customers will have expanded product offering including marine hardware, safety, furniture, cargo management, service and maintenance parts, marine accessories and extensive towing and trailering products through the NTP-STAG product portfolio.

“What a fantastic time to be in the marine business!” continued Yarbro. “We couldn’t be more bullish about the future.”

To learn more or become a dealer, please visit us online at seawide.com or ntpstag.com.

About SeaWide

Seawide is a nationwide customer focused electronics wholesale distributor, supplying electrical and electronic products for the marine, outdoor, and personal navigation markets.

About NTP-STAG

For more than 50 years, NTP-STAG has been serving RV dealers, retailers, and service professionals across the industry. Today, as a division of Keystone Automotive Operations, the company is highly regarded as the leading distribution company for the recreational vehicle market and is uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. NTP-STAG is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them what they need, when they need it.
NRTVA Presents Awards at Texas RV Assoc. Annual Convention

 

The National RV Training Academy (NRVTA) bestowed three Champion Awards on Sunday night at the Texas RV Association’s (TRVA) 47th annual convention.

The awards were presented by Stephanie Henson, director of administration at the National RV Inspector’s Association (NRVIA), and her husband, Todd Henson, lead master certified instructor at NRVTA, to:

Champion Award Winners

Front, from left, Beth Elam and Phil Elam. Back, from left, Todd Henson, Fred Petrivelli, Ron Hoover, Chris Hoover and Stephanie Henson.

Fred Petrivelli, vice president of sales at NTP-STAG, which has contributed a variety of RV appliances and other equipment for use in hands-on training at the academy.

Chris Hoover, president of Ron Hoover RV & Marine, which donated two towable RVs to the academy and sent many technicians through training programs at NRVTA.

Phil Elam, Texas RV Association executive director, who kept the association running smoothly despite the loss of revenue from the cancellation of all RV shows in the state, and loss of staff just prior to enduring painful back surgery. He was instrumental in helping NRVTA secure endorsement from TRVA.

“We call this the Champion Award for several reasons,” said Terry “Cooper” Cooper, NRVTA president. “The recipients are champions of our mission at NRVTA, and they have championed the RV industry in general by making significant contributions to its long-term success.

“We could not have trained nearly 700 inspectors or technicians over the past two years without the support of NTP-STAG, Ron Hoover RV and Phil Elam,” he added. “The graduates of our programs have gone on to provide vital services to RV dealers or started businesses as mobile RV technicians and inspectors.”

Kevin White, TRVA president, commended NRVTA for the work it does on behalf of all Texas RV dealerships.

“We are so blessed to have this trendsetting school in Texas,” he said. “We learned today how much the RV industry is thriving in Texas. We have turned a corner, and NRVTA helped make it happen.”

In accepting the award on behalf of NTP-STAG, Petrivelli recalled his first conversation with Cooper, when he outlined his vision for creating the training center in Texas.

“Cooper came to me several years ago and we immediately embraced the idea that would address a need for trained technicians at dealerships around the country,” Petrivelli explained. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to repurpose damaged inventory and put it directly into the hands of future technicians for training.

“The academy gets to use modern equipment to train students and it’s a great fit that makes solid business sense,” said Petrivelli. “Everyone wins – NTP-STAG, NRVTA, its students, RV users and the entire industry.”

Hoover strongly encouraged Texas RV dealers to send technicians to NRVTA for training.

“If you’re a dealer and haven’t done any training with these folks, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity because they are very good at what they do,” he said.

“We support NRVTA because of the people involved in running the school and providing the instruction,” Hoover added.  “Everything they do is for our customers who are the ones to suffer if they can’t get their RVs fixed right the first time they’re brought in for service.”

Elam was surprised by the award and humbled to be a recipient.

“There are no bigger supporters of TRVA than Terry Cooper and his staff at NRVTA. They helped keep our association afloat during this challenging year,” Elam said. “They work tirelessly to help improve the level of service in the Texas RV industry. We could never be the largest state for RV sales if we couldn’t take care of customers after they make a purchase.”

Each recipient received an engraved award depicting the lone star of Texas.

“It is our honor to be able to recognize companies and individuals, like these three, each year at the TRVA annual convention,” said Henson. “We are grateful to the many supporters we have had over the years and look forward to much success in coming years.”

More than 110 dealers, suppliers, finance and insurance professionals attended the four-day event, which included training sessions as well as social activities.

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