NTP-STAG News Article

NTP-STAG GM Cites Challenges, Including Omni-Channel Market

  • 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM
  • Jeff Thomas

General Manager Bill Rogers set the stage at the NTP-STAG Expo Monday, by expounding on the need for education and training for the long-term health of the RV market, as well as outlining how important multi- or omni-channel marketing will become.

“We feel it is part of our company mission to coordinate industry resources to provide you with a quality curriculum filled with content you can take back to your business to improve the efficiencies and profits of your stores and service centers,” says Rogers at the Grapevine, Texas-based, expo, presented by Blue Ox. “My firm belief is that if independent, local dealers like you do not do well, then we will not do well. So, I hope you found this morning’s (RV University) sessions engaging, worthwhile and packed with ideas that if put to work result in generating improvements in your business.

While the RV industry has recently seen incredible growth, Nelson noted there are still challenges for the industry, including employee shortages, product demand from OEs and Distributors stretching supplier resources, and the increased demand for campsites. New technologies, including connectivity requirements, also will require significant investment in the future, Rogers said.

“The good, the bad and the ugly of media coverage is a double-edged sword for the RV industry,” Rogers says. “As RVing becomes more mainstream, our vehicles, users and the market will capture headlines in the press and social media that can sway public opinion about the lifestyle and the utility of RV ownership.

Perhaps receiving the most time during the luncheon meeting, sponsored by Valterra, was Roger’s acknowledgement of the changing landscape of marketing, in which brick-and-mortar dealerships, must intertwine traditional marketing efforts – such as print, radio and television – with mobile-ready digital outreach, email and social media. Citing an OP-ED article he wrote in the December Issue of RV News, referencing a 2017 Walker Sands study, Rogers noted:

  • 46 percent of consumers prefer to shop online instead of in-store
  • Free shipping (80 percent) and fast shipping (54 percent) are still the top incentives for consumers to purchase more online
  • In the past year, 13 percent of consumers have ordered something for same-day delivery, up from 9 percent in 2016
  • Despite the fact that 54 percent of consumers still prefer to shop in store, more than three-quarters of shoppers (77 percent) think the online customer experience will eventually surpass the brick and mortar customer experience.
  • In-store shopping seems to be making a comeback among younger shoppers: Among 18 to 25-year-old consumers, 58 percent prefer to shop in a physical sore, compared to less than half (46 percent) of 26- to 45-year-old shoppers
  • In addition to discounts, consumers say unique experiences will cause them to shop more in physical stores

“The underlying story is that channels of shopping and channels of communication have become so intertwined that they are really more interdependent than ever before,” Rogers says.

“The whole idea of single channel selling is long gone. Now digital strategies need to be married with traditional advertising strategies, social media strategies and what goes on within the physical confines of a store to better engage and connect with consumers to promote sales and loyalty.”

Recent Articles

NTP-STAG Welcomes Pure Liberty Manufacturing

EXETER, PA – NTP-STAG welcomes Pure Liberty Manufacturing, LLC to its fresh water category. Headquartered in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, Pure Liberty Manufacturing has been supplying top quality stainless steel and ceramic sinks, glass vessel bowls, and faucets to the residential, commercial, and RV industries since its founding in 2005.

Finding success as a supplier, the company expanded into manufacturing its own product lines in the United States, using locally-sourced materials. Pure Liberty built its Michigan facility in 2014 and, within three years, started bulk producing its own American-made stainless steel sinks.

Not only are we striving to create quality jobs locally but, by supporting other US businesses in the process, we can continue to promote manufacturing in the United States,” says Pure Liberty. “We strive to lead by example and push for improvement. Here at Pure Liberty Manufacturing, we continue to remain fluid everyday so we are able to provide a better company, better products, and the best service to our customers.”

In addition to residential and commercial offerings, Pure Liberty supplies quality stainless steel sinks specially designed for the RV market. Its standard line, introduced in 2010, consists of nine models, ranging from 10”-18” diameter round bowls to 25”- and 32”-wide double bay sinks. Each unit has been thoughtfully designed with cost, weight, and configuration in mind. Constructed of durable 22-gauge 304 stainless steel, each unit comes with a sound-dampening spray and rubber padding for the sink’s underside that minimizes noise and helps regulate water temperature. Sinks can be mounted either on top of or underneath the countertop, giving RV owners more design, versatility, and customization. All units are cUPC listed, adhering to high-quality standards of safety and sanitation.

New for Pure Liberty is its quickly-expanding line of handcrafted RV sinks. Employing 20-gauge 304 stainless steel, these units are available as a standard undermount sink in either a single or double bay configuration, with straight or curved apron front designs and similar sound-dampening and temperature-controlling treatments. They follow the same safety and quality standards and are backed by the company’s limited lifetime warranty.

Pure Liberty Manufacturing also offers a variety of sink accessories, including strainers, cutting boards, pop-up drains, sink grids, and drying racks in a variety of materials. Additionally, the company is working to incorporate personalized laser etching into its in-house capabilities, allowing the company to apply logos and names onto any of its sink offerings.

“We pride ourselves, not only on our product, but also our relationships,” says Pure Liberty. “Quality product gets you in the door but commitment to relationships, with employees, customers, vendors and others in the industry, keeps you there.” Partnering with NTP-STAG will maximize Pure Liberty’s consumer awareness within the RV aftermarket, allowing the company to access new business opportunities and customers through a vast network of dealers.

“Pure Liberty is a tremendous fit for our aftermarket portfolio. Focused solely on sinks and as a core supplier to the OEMs, Pure Liberty clearly understands the continuing trend of bringing home-like elements into the RV. Dealers will love the selection that they can now make available to their customers,” says Tom Probst, Category Manager. “Additionally, Pure Liberty has engineered single-piece packaging designed to withstand the rigors of shipping fragile, bulky, stainless steel sinks. Reliable packaging, along with Keystone’s truck delivery model, will give dealers the assurance that what they order will be ready for install,” he adds.

For more than 50 years, NTP-STAG has been serving fellow enthusiasts and professionals across the industry. Today, as a division of Keystone Automotive Operations, the company is highly regarded as the leading distribution company across the recreation 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 most.

NTP-STAG Welcomes MAX-Tank

EXETER, PA – NTP-STAG welcomes MAX-Tank to its auxiliary water storage category. MAX-Tank is owned and operated by parent company, Mangold Advancements, a product innovation business based in California focused on forward-thinking consumer solutions for the RV, automotive, motorsports, and construction markets. MAX-Tank is its flagship product, which produces high-quality water auxiliary tanks and transfer pump kits that are designed to maximize RV holding capacity, thereby giving enthusiasts the ability to “stay longer and play longer” in remote locations.

Running out of water while traveling or camping is a common concern for RV owners, often limiting them from enjoying the full range of their vehicle’s on-board conveniences. MAX-Tank portable water systems seek to provide a safe and sustainable solution that can withstand the rigors of frequent use and real-world conditions.

The MAX-Tank product line offers two systems, one for fresh water storage and the other for gray water management. The fresh water system is designed to carry 50 gallons of water that can be easily transferred to an RV or accessed for alternate use, such as tent camping or gardening. Constructed of high density, UV-stabilized polyethylene, the tank features a vented, screw-on cap and pre-installed bulkhead and brass inlet plumbing. Operation is simple. By virtue of a custom-designed 12V water transfer pump that inserts into the hitch receiver, a 7-pin connector for power source and 10' and 25' fresh water transfer hoses.

The gray water system includes a 50-gallon tank of the same material, as well as an easy-to-operate vented, screw cap and pre-installed bulkhead and inlet valves. Designed to extract gray water from the RV’s system for easier transport and dumping, it features a standard RV sewer discharge valve with additional plumbing parts for right, left, and straight discharge configuration options. The system also includes a 10’ sewer hose, clear sewer valve cap with garden hose adapter, 10’ and 25’ gray water transfer hoses and the same hitch-mounted transfer pump and power source as the fresh water system.

“Max-Tank has brought to market a superb niche product. Developed themselves as recreational enthusiasts, they have prototyped, field tested, and refined this product through extensive off-grid research. It’s an ingenious solution to a pervasive problem in the off-grid recreational market that is growing tremendously,” says Thomas Probst, Category Manager. “Dealer feedback at Expo was excellent with the common refrain being that consumers will immediately recognize the utility, simplicity, and value of these systems.”

For more than 50 years, NTP-STAG has been serving fellow enthusiasts and professionals across the industry. Today, as a division of Keystone Automotive Operations, the company is highly regarded as the leading distribution company across the recreation 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 most.

NTP-STAG’s Nashville EXPO One for the Record Books

EXETER, PA – If an event’s success is measured by attendance and sales, NTP-STAG’s 2019 EXPO would be one for the record books. By almost every measure – attendance, exhibit hall size, sales, new product and program reveals, the 2019 EXPO appeared to break all the previous show records. “We had high expectations going into the event,” stated Bill Rogers, President of NTP-STAG. “The results were exactly what we hoped for – strong attendance, busy show floor, solid representation by leading suppliers in our market, and great sales,” he adds.

The 2019 EXPO, held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, had over 3,000 preregistered NTP-STAG customers, supplier personnel and staff scheduled to attend.  The two day event had the largest RV University attendance ever and the 150,000 square foot exhibit hall was humming with people and deals until the closing bell.

“Our training and education programs continue to be a strong draw for the EXPO,” says John Spaulding Director of Communications and Events. “It reinforces the fact that there is a desire for people to be better at their jobs and have a deeper understanding of the products, business practices and trends that impact their success. Having over 1,100 people signed up to participate in our education programs this year was incredible.”

During EXPO, there was definitely a focus on new items, product categories and marketing programs that can help dealers grow their businesses. The traditional model store was transformed into an idea center where attendees could see how a variety of categories like, pet supplies, portable lighting, kitchen items, smart technology products and PDI components can be merchandised to improve impulse shopping and overall store sales performance.

Fred Petrivelli, Vice President of Sales says, “Helping customers find new products and showing them how to sell them was a key initiative for us at the show this year. Based on the level of interest we saw in the merchandising area and with the 17 new suppliers we had on the show floor, I would say we delivered on that one.”  When asked if the on-the-floor promotions delivered, too, he said, “Keeping the energy up on the show floor was easy. The power hours were terrific!”

The company reported that their pre-cart order building process was a success this year with more than 64% of the registered dealer accounts having come prepared with some of their buying pre-planned. The pre-cart sales totals were up over 50% from 2018. Ralph Ruzzi, Vice President of NTP-STAG Canada said, “Obviously, coming to the show prepared gives people more time to spend with suppliers on the floor learning about new products and I think that really helped us achieve our overall sales plan at the event.”

“Based on what we experienced in Nashville this week, I’d have to say that things are off to a pretty good start,” says Rogers. “The suppliers were very complimentary. Our customers were appreciative and upbeat, and they really showed a keen interest in a lot of the new things we introduced. From our Marketing Garage digital content solutions and Parts VIA to product and service offers from DISH, Pet Comfort, Blue Ox, Airxcel, Carefree, Valterra and others, I really couldn’t be happier with what I saw this week.  The best part was being able to build on so many great relationships that we have.”

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For more than 50 years, NTP-STAG has been serving fellow enthusiasts and professionals across the industry. Today, as a division of Keystone Automotive Operations, the company is highly regarded as the leading distribution company across the recreation 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.

NTP-STAG’s Pre-Cart Functionality Makes Preparing for EXPO Easier Than Ever

Exeter, PA – One of the most important things a dealer can do before they attend NTP-STAG’s EXPO, is prepare. “Over the past several years we have integrated technology solutions into our trade show to make it easier for our customers to maximize their time on the show floor with us and take advantage of all the special offers we provide,” states John Spaulding, Director of Events and Communications. “Early preparation and utilization of these new tools can really improve a customer’s experience at the show,” he adds.

The company found that dealers who reviewed their purchase histories, took stock of their inventory and forecasted their demand for certain products before the show typically had more time to visit with suppliers about new lines and learn about new products and services offered by NTP-STAG. “Our Pre-Cart option within VIA allows our customers to get a head-start on building their show orders. The functionality is available now, giving everyone attending EXPO plenty of time to develop a buying plan for when they are with us in Nashville January 22-23,” says Fred Petrivelli, VP Sales NTP-STAG.

NTP-STAG’s pre-cart works just like an e-commerce shopping cart. Customers can add items to the pre-cart by selecting the Add-to-Expo Cart button available on product list and product detail pages within VIA. Pre-cart contents can be modified at any time and show pricing will appear on those items at the opening of the show.

EXPO attendee can also use the Pre-Show Upload tool available in the EXPO site. The Upload tool uses a simple Excel file format that allows customers to build their show buy and upload directly into a pre-cart. This is extremely helpful for customers that use their point of sales software to output usage reports. The information those reports generate can now be easily translated into a shopping cart making it much faster to build an order.

To see a quick tutorial about Pre-Cart go to Expo Precart Tutorial to learn more.

Technology advancements have also influenced how orders are placed at the show. Electronic ordering was introduced at EXPO two years ago, and is fast becoming the most popular way to submit orders. “Dealers are realizing that the time savings, order accuracy and other benefits associated with the technology makes the order writing process easier, faster and more enjoyable,” says Spaulding. “We use a bring-your-own-devise-and-data approach to our web-based solution and found that it is easier for people to use equipment they are familiar with. If it can connect to the internet, it can be used to place orders at the show.”

NTP-STAG EXPO is the industry’s largest warehouse distributor sponsored event. It draws attendees from across North America and features educational programming, exhibits from over 200 suppliers, season-best buying opportunities and a variety of networking functions. The event is being held January 22-23 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN. To learn more about the event or pre-cart ordering, customer should contact their sales representative or visit expo.ntpstag.com.

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