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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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.

NTP-STAG Awarded 2021 RVIA Distributor of the Year

NTP-STAG was honored to be recognized as Distributor of the Year at the recent 2021 RV Aftermarket Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Conference, the RV Aftermarket Awards presentation was hosted by Bob Brammer of Stromberg Carlson and John Hawkins of BAL as the industry came together to recognize the top aftermarket individuals, suppliers, distributors, and products.

Click here to learn more about the 2021 RV Aftermarket conference and this year’s RV Aftermarket Award recipients.

Jon White and John Spaulding of NTP-STAG accept the RVIA Distributor of the Year Award

NTP-STAG Expo Announces 2021 RV University PRO Speaker Lineup
Exeter, PA (December 15, 2020) –  Today, NTP-STAG, the leading distribution company for the recreational vehicle market, announced the RV University (RVU) Professional Retail Organization (PRO) Education Speaker Lineup for Expo 2021 that will be held in person January 18 – 19 at the Marriott Orlando World Center in Orlando, FL. and virtually January 25 – 29. 

Hall of Fame speaker, Dr. Mary Kelly PhD is returning for her second year as a PRO Speaker to share ways attendees can make their businesses even more successful utilizing improved customer service practices, expanding business opportunities, customer training and how team development translates into Increased growth. Along with her insight on economic trends, Dr. Kelly’s presentation will include a series of five-minute business plans emphasizing business growth, expanding leaderships skillsets and decreasing stress while increasing productivity. 

Bestselling author and nationally-recognized social media expert, Corey Perlman will be sharing his highly-respected views on best practices to maximize digital business opportunities. From presenting a successful web presence, managing reviews and developing and publishing effective, high-quality social media content, this top-rated speaker will show attendees how to most effectively turn happy customers into a digital salesforce. 
 
“We are excited to share this valuable business insight from these highly-respected speakers in this, our eleventh consecutive year presenting the PRO education series,” said NTP-STAG President, Bill Rogers.  “These two subject matter experts are a wonderful addition to an impressive roster of more than 60 PRO seminar courses available to industry professionals of all levels. We’re greatly looking forward to hearing their presentations at the 2021 EXPO.” 

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.  

Dr. Mary Kelly
Dr. Mary Kelly is an economist and best-selling author specializing in business and leadership development to improve efficiency and profits. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Mary spent 21 years on active duty, achieving the rank of Commander. She has trained over 40,000 military and civilian personnel in multi-cultural environments all over the world. She now builds successful strategies for corporate and association leaders.

She has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health, and other periodicals.  Fun and funny, Mary is a college professor, international speaker, and author of award-winning leadership books. Mary’s workshops are content-rich, enjoyable, and tailored to meet the needs of each audience. Dr. Mary Kelly will capture the audience with “Leading for Profit Growth” at the 2021 NTP-STAG Expo. 

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 first, eBoot Camp! Ranked No.1 on Amazon in
every major business category. His most recent, Social Media Overload! Simple Social Media Strategies
for Overwhelmed and Time-deprived Businesses 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.

NEW PRO LMS Platform
Launched in January 2020, the NEW, 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/


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.
 
COVID-19: How we are responding, a message from our President

 

 

To our trusted suppliers and customers:

The unprecedented effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are having a tremendous impact on our lives and businesses. The health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and suppliers is our primary concern and we are continuing to take actions to mitigate the risks across all our facilities based upon guidance provided by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and other public health authorities and resources. We continue to expect that all employees and drivers remain vigilant in maintaining proper hygiene habits in addition to social distancing.

Our practices have been enhanced to include more frequent, regular cleaning and disinfecting of delivery vehicle surfaces such as interiors and steering wheels, remote controls on lifts, doorknobs and other areas of the vehicles that are frequently touched. We have modified travel and in-person meeting policies appropriately and expect our employees to stay home if they show symptoms or feel sick. We have instituted rigorous cleaning and sanitation practices throughout all our warehouses, vehicles, offices and facilities. Where possible, employees have been transitioned to work at home while we have established strict distancing guidelines for associates working in any of our operating facilities.

We actively monitor the fluid developments of this situation as we continue to serve our customers and support the interests of our suppliers. Many of our customers and suppliers are small and medium-sized, independent essential businesses and as a vital component of the supply chain, we are doing everything we can to service them and the communities and consumers they serve.  In the furtherance of this objective, we continue to receive and process orders and maintain deliveries where there is demand and not limited by government restrictions.

We understand the economic realities of this unprecedented situation with their impact on our industry and believe that in staying the course, we can take steps to mitigate the disruption to our business partners.  We are confident that this challenge will pass, and we will move forward together.

We wish you safety and health and thank you for your support.

Thank you,
Bill Rogers

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