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
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