NTP-STAG News Article

Keystone’s Rogers on Consolidation

With consolidation rampant throughout the U.S. economy, the RV industry’s aftermarket parts and accessories companies – suppliers, dealers and distributors alike – are now taking their turn. The driver in this case is LKQ Corp. (Nasdaq: LKQ), a Fortune 500 company that in less than two years has acquired the nation’s top three distributors – Keystone Automotive Operations Inc.’s NTP Distribution Inc., Atlanta-based Stag-Parkway Inc. and, most recently, The Coast Distribution System Inc. The fact that all three companies are now operating under the same corporate umbrella managed by Keystone – one dominant player — has generated plenty of industry buzz on several levels. So, Bill Rogers, vice president and general manager of Keystone/NTP-STAG, agreed to address some of those concerns in this, a new weekly e-feature called, ah, “The Buzz.”

RVB: Some in the marketplace right now are concerned at how all this consolidation may potentially limit options for suppliers and dealers and result in higher prices. How would you respond to that criticism as it relates to the NTP, STAG and Coast rollup?

Rogers: We know there’s a concern out there. We know it because we are in constant contact with our suppliers and dealers as we work through our integration plan and because we are listening and making strategic decisions to ensure that those concerns are addressed up front.

From a suppliers perspective I think the benefits of consolidation are sometimes lost in the debate. If you consider the cost of selling to three competitors – the cost of training, supporting catalogs, trade shows, discounts and promotions – it is considerable. Not just from a financial perspective, but from a time perspective as well. Essentially it takes three times the effort. Take this a step further and consider the effort that was required to fill orders for more than 20 warehouse locations. That’s 20 P.O.’s, 20 AR records that have to be managed, 20 picks and 20 shipments. Consolidation cuts the amount of work to service the accounts from an administrative perspective by two-thirds.

The other benefit that comes along with having a larger presence in the market is coverage. This is a critical and often overlooked benefit when suppliers are considering their distribution strategy. Here’s an example of what I’m referring to: Imagine getting complete market coverage – U.S. and Canada — on a key product launch. When you can leverage an organization like ours, the sheer size brings an inertia and energy to the initiative that translates into improved business. It’s a lot harder to get that kind of penetration and collaborative results working with several different companies or businesses that don’t understand the market.

RVB: Is your approach to the RV industry any different than it is for your automotive clients?

We have made considerable changes to how Keystone fundamentally operates to insure the “automotive” model doesn’t override the requirements to serve our RV customers. We have unique order entry requirements for RV and automotive. We have separate sales teams for both. Most of our product management and marketing functions are unique to the market. Most important, we have exceptional people who came to us through our acquisitions and have been in the industry for years and years. These folks know more than we could ever learn if we had to develop the know-how organically.

With those changes and experience come significant benefits to our dealer customers as well. We have the largest inventory of parts and accessories in the market, so dealers shouldn’t have to hunt around for the part they’re looking for. We also have unique marketing, education, merchandising and trade show offerings that the individual competitive companies would have had difficulty delivering. So, you see, consolidation has benefits for dealers, too.

RVB: What about pricing – a delicate topic that logically emerges when one company, in this case Keystone, gains such a dominant edge?

You know, we’ve made it a priority to try and keep our pricing aligned with what customers were getting from their prior distributor. It hasn’t been easy. In some instances we found that dealers were buying below our costs, which needed to be corrected. In some instances we found that we mismanaged the data during integration and inadvertently changed a price – which, by the way, we corrected once we discovered our error.

In some instances we actually lowered the price. We are not consciously going out and raising prices to our customers. We are however, mindful of maintaining reasonable margins so that we can continue to support the market for the long haul.

At the end of the day, consolidation brings about an emotional response from folks. We get that. What we are trying to do is stay focused on the task at hand – maintaining our service levels through integration – while building an organization that earns the trust of our customers. We honestly don’t mind being held to a high standard because we believe as the leader we should set the pace and tone for the type of experience customers deserve. Our hope is this standard is applied equally across the market as suppliers and dealers consider their options.

Recent Articles

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

The Expo Announces Mobile App and Overland Bound Showcase

EXETER, PA –(January 6, 2020) NTP-STAG has announced the launch of the new Expo Mobile App sponsored by Southwire. “This year we’ve launched our new, updated mobile app platform that is available for download from the Apple Store and Google Play.” Says The EXPO Event Manager, Melissa Holland. “This simple, easy-to-use platform has many new features such as gamification, activity feed and “my schedule” which allows users to customize their day and maximize their time on the show floor. It’s a very handy tool to get the most out of The Expo experience

The EXPO Mobile App provides each on-site attendee up-to-date show information including the show agenda and RV University schedule in addition to PRO Seminar speakers and topics. The app also features an interactive floor plan and provides live notifications on prize drawing winners Power Hours and more.

Also announced for event to be held January 13-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Grapevine Texas, is the debut of the Overlanding Bound exhibition area, providing attendees a first-hand introduction to brands and products utilized in this exciting industry trend.

“Overlanding is exposing a new segment of consumers to vehicle travel camping and the outdoors,” says Vice President, Category Management, Larry Montante. “With this gateway into the travel and camping culture gaining momentum, the EXPO Overland Bound display provides show attendees a tremendous opportunity to interact with a cross section of truck, Jeep and traditional brands and products that are essential to overlanding enthusiasts’ adventures.” 

The EXPO sponsored by Airxcel, is the industry’s largest aftermarket RV parts and accessories trade show and kicks off Monday, January 13 with a breakfast sponsored by DISH Outdoors for RV University attendees, followed by a day of education through the RV University and PRO business development seminar series presented by Valterra. Qualified registered attendees can partake in dozens of continuing education courses, covering retail trends, business acumen, leadership skills, supplier training, and more.

The show floor will open at 4 p.m. on Monday, with over 250 exhibitors ready to share new products, technology, and sales advice followed by a 7 p.m. opening reception. Tuesday is reserved for a full day on the show floor from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. followed by a closing reception at Texas Live! in Arlington sponsored by Carefree, next door to the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers.

For more information on The EXPO, including exhibitor lists, sponsorship guides, and travel recommendations, interested customers or suppliers can visit expo.ntpstag.com or contact their NTP-STAG representative.

To download The EXPO APP:

  1. Scan QR Code

 

 Expo App QR Code

 

 

              OR Search: CrowdCompass Attendee Hub

               Download app

  1. Search event name: 2020 NTP-STAG Expo

 

About The EXPO:

The 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 13-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. To learn more about The EXPO, the event app or pre-cart ordering, customers should contact their sales representative or visit expo.ntpstag.com.

 

About NTP-STAG

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.

Electronic Order Cart Pre-Load Functionality

EXETER, PA –  Attendees to The EXPO can maximize their time on the show floor with cart pre-load electronic ordering prior to their arrival to the event. The EXPO sponsored by Airxcel, to be held January 13-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Grapevine Texas, is the industry’s largest aftermarket RV parts and accessories trade show.

This integrated technology solution has been developed to improve attendees’ show experience, allowing them the opportunity to build their orders in advance providing more time to visit with suppliers, learn about new lines and products along with services offered by NTP-STAG.

“Our team is pleased to launch the fifth year our electronic ordering platform at The EXPO,” said NTP-STAG NTP-STAG VP, Management Information Systems, Patrick “Skip” Stevenson. “Through the years, thanks to customer feedback, we have continued to improve the tools to include checkout-as-you-go by line item, enhanced multi-store account features and promotional search tools.  We look forward to enhancing the show experience for our valued customers, so they can spend less time on order paperwork and more time on the show floor with our supplier partners and sales force.” 

 Once an attendee logs into the ViaNTP site, Users of the pre-cart will find the same ease of use as an e-commerce shopping cart. Navigation is as easy as clicking on Partner Central or the Electronic Ordering Display Advertisement and then they can begin the ordering process by adding items to their EXPO Cart. Special show-only pricing on the selected items will appear for on-site participants at the opening of the show.

“With technological advancements providing efficient order processing accuracy, EXPO attendees are able to increase their on-site productivity with suppliers and manufacturers while gathering information on new products and technical details,” says NTP-STAG Vice President, Sales, Fred Petrivelli. “We anticipate one hundred percent pre-cart ordering in the future as continue to develop and enhance this feature for our customers while reducing the waste footprint.”

The EXPO kicks off Monday, January 13 with a breakfast sponsored by DISH Outdoors for RV University attendees, followed by a day of education through the RV University and PRO business development seminar series presented by Valterra. Qualified registered attendees can partake in dozens of continuing education courses, covering retail trends, business acumen, leadership skills, supplier training, and more.

The show floor will open at 4 p.m. on Monday, with over 250 exhibitors ready to share new products, technology, and sales advice followed by a 7 p.m. opening reception. Tuesday is reserved for a full day on the show floor from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. followed by a closing reception at Texas Live! in Arlington sponsored by Carefree, next door to the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers.

For more information on The EXPO, including exhibitor lists, sponsorship guides, and travel recommendations, interested customers or suppliers can visit expo.ntpstag.com or contact their NTP-STAG representative.

 

 

About The EXPO:

The 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.

 

About NTP-STAG

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.

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