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The Next Generation of the Marine Industry Certified Dealer Program Announced

Wednesday, November 20, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Geatz
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ORLANDO - The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) opened Tuesday’s luncheon at the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo (MDCE) with an enthusiastic overview of growth both for the event and their staff. President Matt Gruhn introduced new MRAA faces and turned the microphone over to Sonja Moseley, the Director of Certification and Benefits.

"We have made some big changes,” said Moseley. "We talked to dealers in the program, dealers who have fallen out of the program and dealers who have not participated yet. From those conversations, we have built the next generation of the MICD program.”

In mid-2013, the MRAA assumed the management, administration and promotion of the Marine Industry Certified Dealership (MICD) program. In collaboration with Grow Boating and Five Star Solutions, MRAA is already addressing issues from dealers and encouraging continuous improvement.

During the luncheon, Moseley gave an overview of improvements to the MICD program. Rather than 72 requirements, the new MICD program is broken into three steps of 10 standards. The investment is lowered from a $2,895 dealer cost (plus a $2,124 Grow Boating stipend) to a $575 point of entry with zero Grow Boating funds. For dealerships who want to go straight to the top, there is a Fast Track option for $2,465 which combines three steps into one and saves the dealer $375, half the total cost of the existing program. Plus, recertification is transitioning from annual to every other year, saving dealers half the time and cost of maintaining their status.

"In addition to the positive improvements to the program and cost, we are amping up the value for certified dealers,” noted Moseley. "The first value enhancement will be increased consumer marketing and education, an overwhelming request from the dealer body. We also redesigned the marketing kits for certified dealers. Also, tangible benefits are being aligned with each of the three tiers of the program. A great example is the new benefit from CNA.”

CNA offers business insurance for companies of any size. Since 1897, CNA has been providing outstanding service and an ongoing commitment to building long-term relationships. They continue to demonstrate this by offering certified dealers and annual credit to cover the majority of certification and recertification costs. For dealers at the top tier of the program, they have an opportunity to receive thousands of dollars back on their insurance premiums during no claims years.

MRAA plans to build additional, tangible benefits for dealerships that obtain MICD status.

"We believe the program itself creates huge benefits for dealerships,” Moseley added. "But we believe they should be rewarded for their hard work and dedication. The CNA benefit is just the beginning of added value for the program.”

The next generation of the MICD program was announced at MDCE. Sonja Moseley and the Five Star Solutions team are hosting a booth in the expo hall. The full launch will take place in early 2014.