NTP-STAG News Article

Q&A with NTP-STAG's Bill Rogers

  • 3/9/2016 12:00:00 AM

Bill Rogers stepped into the role of vice president and general manager for NTP-STAG in July 2015, during an especially hectic time for the RV parts distributor. About the same time Rogers took the helm, the company reorganized its top management team, it began its consolidation and reorganization of Coast Distribution’s operations following the acquisition, it continued its integration of Stag-Parkway’s operations after acquiring that distributor in October 2014, and it continued with its intensive planning for The Expo, it’s first combined NTP-STAG distributor show and what is believed to be the largest RV aftermarket show ever.

Some might find juggling those various responsibilities daunting, but then Rogers is no stranger to holding executive leadership positions in supply chain management, with a long track record of working for such companies as General Electric, Textron/ Bell Helicopter and Keystone Automotive, the parent company of NTP-STAG.

“My job is really easy, given I am surrounded by an excellent team of competent, passionate and highly experienced professionals,” he says modestly. “My emphasis is on keeping us focused, removing obstacles and bureaucracy, and on customer satisfaction.”

As the NTP-STAG show was winding down on Jan. 20, Rogers took time out of his busy schedule to talk with RV PRO about the show, the state of the company’s ongoing process of integrating three national RV distributors, the combined company’s expanded services to assist dealers, and its overall plans moving forward.

RV PRO: With the acquisitions of Stag-Parkway and Coast Distribution now behind you, what’s the message you want to get out to the industry, especially for dealers attending this show?

Rogers: I think our overall intent is to take the opportunity to say, ‘We’re not some big (corporation) that has no face. We’re all of the same people you’ve dealt with forever.’ Nothing has changed.

In fact, hopefully we’ve done a good job of integrating and taking the best of everything (from NTP, Stag and Coast) in a well-balanced manner and with a broad section of the people from those organizations and applying it to the task at-hand.

And to be really humble about it, in all honesty. We understand there are options, we really do. And if we don’t do things the right way, shame on us; it’s ours to lose. We have to do the right things and earn the business we have.

RV PRO: Where are you in the integration process today? Are things basically wrapped up, or is there still more to do?

Rogers: No, things aren’t done. Yes, there are things left to do.

I think we’ve integrated seven warehouses out of 17. At this point, we are focused on the execution of The Expo and the show orders and that activity. So, there’s nothing more planned for the next few months at this point. But I guess, overall, I would say that, by the end of 2016, we should be mostly done.

RV PRO: When the integration is complete, what do you envision the company will look like?

Rogers: I think it will end up looking like an expanded version of NTP-STAG. With the resources and the combination of the people, processes and systems, I think we will have more and more customer satisfaction, more customer service options, enhancements to systems, broader offerings, and just continue to work on satisfying customers.

RV PRO: So, NTP-STAG Coast, a Keystone Automotive company, seems like a bit of a mouthful. Any thoughts on a possible company name change moving forward?

Rogers: That’s a great question, and everyone is focused on it. … I think, once we get through the integration, we’ll come up with some name that makes sense for the business going forward.

I think that name will probably be separate from the Keystone or the automotive side, because Keystone on the automotive side has a long history and it makes sense to keep it in place on that side.

It was easy when it was NTP-STAG; it seemed to fit together. We had a nice solution for that. … So, maybe we just retain NTP-STAG, or maybe we just start with something new altogether to keep it fresh.

RV PRO: To what extent do you see the combined company keeping any of the specific elements that were distinct to NTP and Stag and Coast?

Rogers: We have taken a good examination of each of the businesses and gotten input from each of the organizations to say: What do we do well? What do we not do so well? How does it fit into the logistics structure that we’ll press on with?

In terms of things like the shows, the marketing, how we set up, and who we put in place in terms of the inside and outside sales force: All of those things are where most of the opportunities are to get feedback from both our internal folks and from our customers. Whatever elements of the businesses are retained will be the result of that input.

RV PRO: Of course, Coast had its own line of branded products, such as the Husky towing products, the Faulkner furniture and the Powerhouse generators. Has there been a determination yet as to whether the combined company will continue to sell those products?

Rogers: Yes, they will be offered moving forward. There’s no reason not to continue to support those lines. There are customers that are depending upon those lines today.

They are a brand that Coast created. Whether we would have taken that same approach, who knows? But our ownership of those brands is certainly something that we wouldn’t do anything to hurt.

What I will tell you is t

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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.

NTP-STAG Expo 2019 Show App Available Now

Exeter, PA - NTP-STAG has announced the launch of the 2019 Expo Show App and its availability to download from the Apple Store and Google Play.

EXPO QR Code

The App is the Expo attendee’s gateway to real time information about the show.  Users will gain access to the show agenda, RV University schedule and PRO Seminar speakers and topics. Additionally, the App provides an interactive floor plan to make finding suppliers easier and live updates for notifications on prize drawing winners, Power Hours and much more. It’s simple to use and a very handy tool to get the most out of the Expo experience.

Getting the App is easy.  Go to https://guidebook.com/g/ntpstagexpo19

1. Tap the "Download" button to download the free Guidebook app
2. Open Guidebook and you can find our "NTP-STAG Expo 2019" guide
3. Tap "Enter passphrase" and enter ntpstagexpo19 to download our guide

Whether EXPO is the largest RV distributor sponsored event in North America. RV Dealers, Service Centers and Mobile Repair businesses are attracted to EXPO for the education and buying opportunities the event provides.  This year’s show will host 36 technical product and business development seminars at RV University. The exhibit hall will be home to nearly 200 suppliers showcasing new items, a model store and NTP-STAG exclusive marketing and merchandising offers. The season’s best deals await NTP-STAG’s customers at EXPO and the new Show App makes getting the most out of the event, easy.

NTP-STAG is the leading full service distributor and marketer of aftermarket RV products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, experienced associates, 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.

Grand Design, NTP-STAG Partner for New Service Parts Fulfillment Program

Grand Design RV has partnered with NTP-STAG for fulfillment services to support the new “Grand Design Fast Trax” Dealer Service Parts Support Program. The partnership produces rapid order response times and parts delivery in a fulfillment system, the pilot program of which was launched to a limited number of dealers on Oct. 8.

Based on the success of the pilot, the program is now expanding to the entire Grand Design dealership network beginning immediately.

“Our goal was to leverage the extensive NTP-STAG network to expedite the delivery of critically needed service parts to our dealers,” said Jerry McCarthy of Grand Design. “For too long, RV manufacturers have struggled to get the right parts delivered quickly to complete repairs. Today’s customers have little tolerance for time added to the repair process because of a part’s delay. … Getting critical service parts where they are needed quickly is one of our primary missions and NTP-STAG’s logistics capabilities align perfectly with our requirements.”

NTP-STAG’s category teams worked with Grand Design’s Service Parts team to build a stocking plan that addresses product demand by SKU and location. Establishing stocking levels and item placement within the distribution network were key considerations to ensure next-day service to Grand Design’s dealers, according to the companies. Leveraging NTP-STAG’s coast-to-coast coverage through regional distribution centers, the new program puts needed service parts inventory closer to Grand Design’s dealers than before.

“This was a very unique project for us and a first in the RV market,” said Jon White, RV and towing category director for NTP-STAG. “Supporting Grand Design’s initiative leverages not only our strategically placed warehouses and fleet, but our inventory control, purchasing and customer support programs as well.”

“After confirming part availability within the NTP-STAG distribution network, we place the order with NTP-STAG and the fulfillment process takes over, typically resulting in next-day delivery along with any other parts a dealer may have ordered directly from NTP-STAG,” said McCarthy.

“RVIA/RVDA has rightfully identified an industry need to improve ‘coach down time’ due to parts availability,” said Don Clark, president/CEO of Grand Design RV. “Grand Design’s newly formed relationship with one our industry’s most progressive parts fulfillment specialists and the implementation of our ‘Grand Design Fast Trax’ promises to help move the needle in customer satisfaction and raise the bar in service and parts delivery for our industry.”

NTP-STAG President Sheds Light on RECT

After the RV Dealer Association’s convention wrapped up at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, RV PRO magazine reached out to Bill Rogers, president of NTP-STAG, to discuss issues regarding RECT (repair event cycle time) and talk about NTP-STAG’s display.

Question 1: What are some of the issues that have come up for the task force in speaking with RVIA Chairman Garry Enyart about repair event-cycle time?

At one of the RVIA/RVDA joint meetings two years ago it was suggested that we (the industry) pursue solutions to service wait times and parts availability using the Six Sigma toolset. Garry Enyart stepped up to volunteer resources as Cummins already had a Six Sigma program.

The meeting was with dealers, suppliers and OEMs to identify issues. I think consumers were looking for more of an automotive experience when service and repair was needed for their RV.

Some of the issues we found were a lack of stocking of certain parts, limited service availability, parts accuracy and the warranty process.

One of the key takeaways was if a dealer had a part in stock the RECT was three to four days whereas if they didn’t have the part it rose to the high teens / low 20s.

Question 2: What was the purpose of the concept truck NTP-STAG had at RVDA?

Last year, we did more of a retail experience for dealers and attempted to introduce them to new technologies in the retail space. Given the opportunity with RVDA this year, we decided to focus more on the backroom experience at the dealerships and what was new in the service side of the RV dealership.

As part of our key message, we decided to bring a mobile unit to provoke thought about servicing RVs in the field.

Note: The truck was purchased on the first day at the show by a dealer. Rogers mentioned that at the NTP-STAG show in Nashville this January there will be aspects focused on both the retail side, as well as the repair and service side.

Question 3: With NTP-STAG’s latest distribution center in Southern California, what are the next steps for NTP-STAG in helping the delivery process?

The warehouse in Southern California that opened in October allows us to better service the geographical region because of growth that we have had there. The new DC, which is 450,000 square feet, replaces the Corona facility which was only 180,000 square feet. This new facility will improve our ability to service all the customers in the region and we do have “will-call,” where local customers can pick up parts.

We have been focused and will continue to focus on customer service improvements. We have made multiple improvements to help the customer and recently put out a mobile app at SEMA this year for auto customers that will eventually expand to the RV customer base.

Question 4: What else is NTP-STAG doing to help dealers battle RECT?

We are working with some of the manufacturers to help them streamline their warranty fulfillment processes. We are doing that with Coleman currently, and we are working on that with others OEs.

Instead of the manufacturer or OEM processing the warranty issue and then shipping from their facility, we are processing that order and drop shipping that part the next day. It’s a big improvement on the lead time to get those parts. Our business is replacement parts. So, as far as stocking and shipping, we take that over because it’s what we do already.

Question 5: What has happened this year regarding RECT and what are the next steps for the RECT initiative?

There has been a lot done this year. RVIA put in full time Six Sigma resources which are a part of their organizational process now.

The RV Technical Institute is now funded, and they are in the process of hiring a leader to run it. These are big changes that will provide leadership to continue addressing RECT. There will be standardized metrics and reporting. There will also be reporting on how all the industry players are doing on RECT in comparison with others like them, so everyone can see where they stand and hopefully that will motivate them to improve.

Question 6: What was your experience like on the task force. What did you get out of it?

I was impressed with how receptive everyone was. The dealers were all in. The OEs were forthcoming with their participation and resources. A lot of support for the whole effort. Gary Enyart did a great job leadership-wise, pulling all the parties together. RVIA collaborating with RVDA was impressive. As far as our role at NTP-STAG is concerned, to the extent that we can help, we will do that and try to expand that because we do have a good logistics solution getting to dealers.

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