Wednesday, November 30, 2005



A Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) task force reports that it takes an average of 10 days for a dealer to receive a repair part from a manufacturer after it is ordered. That compares to an average 6.5 days parts turnaround from suppliers and three days from distributors. A study conducted in June and July by Marzahn & King Consulting Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., was presented to the RVDA board during its September meeting and to the Go RVing Coalition's Committee on Excellence, which met in early November in Ontario, Calif. The report is particularly timely because the Committee on Excellence is in the process of refocusing its efforts toward addressing customer-satisfaction problems rather than just gathering and dispensing information. Although the study included only nine dealerships of varied size and geographical location, it reviewed 2,332 jobs on 891 separate work orders. "While the sample size is relatively small for statistical purposes, we can draw some reasonable conclusions with a high level of confidence," consultant Chuck Marzahn wrote in a report published in RVDA's monthly magazine, RV Executive Today. "In a broad sense, the conclusion validates concerns about parts shipment accuracy long held by dealers," Marzahn said. "This (also) validates the widely held opinion that manufacturers' parts are the most challenging to obtain." Phil Ingrassia, RVDA vice president for communications, said the study is the first to focus attention on dealers' problems obtaining parts. "There were a lot of anecdotal stories," Ingrassia said, "but nobody ever quantified them. We are not saying that this is exactly how it is for every dealer. This is just an overview." According to Marzahn, "Distributors were quickest to supply parts to dealers with many coming the next day." Using that as a benchmark, Marzahn reported that "suppliers took twice as long and manufacturers, on average, took three times longer."

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