Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join
MRAA Blogs
Blog Home All Blogs
The drive to continuously grow and improve is at the heart of the MRAA, our members and our staff. That’s why we’re launching this blog: to share what we’re learning in our work and in our lives with you – and in hopes you’ll share what you’re learning too.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: dealer development  dealer focused  continuous improvement  Annual conference  certification  mraa history  customer experience  growth  experience  Annual meetings  dealer to dealer  MRAA  discussions  employees  Experiences  training  Continuous Certification  MDCE  customer service  education  employee satisfaction  future  marine industry  relationships  resources  throwbackthursday  workforce  communication  history  industry insight 

Dealer to Dealer: September

Posted By Mickaela Hilleren, Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What do you do to foster teamwork between dealership departments?


"We provide lunch for our entire crew, every day, 12 months a year. When we are extremely busy, the crew will eat on the run and not leave the dealership. When things are little slower we gather around while eating and have a daily meeting from all departments in order to address problems and listen to suggestions. We work with a local restaurant to provide lunch daily for $60.00. Granted it’s close to $20k a year, but all it takes is a couple missed boat sales or infuriated customers because of the lack of staff over the lunch hour to cost us even more!" - Dennis Robbins, Robbins Marine

 

 


Each month, MRAA connects with dealership management on a timely and relevant topic and publishing their insights at MRAA.com. Tell us what you have to say about this month’s question by commenting below and participating in the conversation. Also, watch for next month’s question.

Tags:  continuous improvement  dealer development  dealer to dealer  discussions  growth 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Dealer to Dealer: August

Posted By Mickaela Hilleren, Thursday, August 16, 2018

What is the most impactful lesson you learned about consumers during this selling season?


"That everything I thought before about consumers is still true…when people feel like they have money and economy is good, whether they really can afford it or cannot, they wish to spend money and spend it less frugally." - Ray Fernandez, Bridge Marina

"Today's customers sure know where to find us when it comes to - close to - DEMANDING immediate gratification when it comes to service but, when asked about their recent parts/accessory purchases, have all kinds of reasons/excuses why we seem to have been forgotten. We do our best to compete with the Amazons of the world but today's mobile purchase habits are getting stronger by the minute." - Ken Grabowski, Custom Marine, Inc.

"We have learned the following about consumers during this selling season:
  • Many don’t want to own they want to rent boats
  • People do have money to spend
  • Many consumers we are finding are looking for more family time
  • We are finding our old customers are getting old, retiring and getting out of boating
  • Finding a lot of consumers are very rate/payment conscious
  • Consumers are not buying at the shows, they are very educated on the product before they even get to the showroom" - Carlton Philips, Prince William Marine Sales


Each month, MRAA connects with dealership management on a timely and relevant topic and publishing their insights at MRAA.com. Tell us what you have to say about this month’s question by commenting below and participating in the conversation. Also, watch for next month’s question.

Tags:  continuous improvement  dealer development  dealer to dealer  discussions  growth 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Dealer to Dealer: July

Posted By Mickaela Hilleren, Wednesday, July 25, 2018

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge leaders are facing today?


There are "co-biggest” problems. 1) PreK-12 education - current model is not developing an employable product. There is excessive remedial work required whether by the post-secondary degree programs or employers. 2) Workers Comp /Health insurance - the cost continues to rise at an unsustainable rate. The delivery models do not seem to be user friendly or efficient. - Jim Dragseth, Whiticar Boat Works

Finding qualified mechanics. - Dennis Benish, Winona Marina

Finding and keeping good service personal. - Robert Paton, Patona Bay Boat Service

The biggest challenge we have in this industry in my opinion is attracting motivated staff members. I don't want to get all political or anything although I think we need to put more effort into vetting people migrating to this country who want to work. As much as I hate to admit it I believe our growth in numbers are going to come from people who are more motivated then the average young American citizen. We need to focus on investing in people who look at being a mechanic or tradesman as an opportunity and not an entry level or stepping stone job. - Rob Brown, Clark Marine

Buyouts and staffing of employees are some of the biggest challenges for leaders today. - Ken Sorley. Marineland Boating Center


Each month, MRAA connects with dealership management on a timely and relevant topic and publishing their insights at MRAA.com. Tell us what you have to say about this month’s question by commenting below and participating in the conversation. Also, watch for next month’s question.

Tags:  continuous improvement  dealer development  dealer to dealer  discussions  growth 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Dealer to Dealer: June

Posted By Mickaela Hilleren, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What do you do in order to keep your team motivated through your busy season?


"Remind them everyday how much they are appreciated. Always make a point to recognize good work, even just the smallest thing. We do a free staff lunch every Thursday. Share positive feedback from customers (social media, emails or verbal comments, etc). Treat employees like they are the most important person in the dealership because THEY ARE!" - Mark Payne, Payne Marine

"At South Florida Marine, we motivate our staff by having bi-weekly staff meetings. We meet on Tuesday mornings and review any issues or accomplishments that has happened in the previous weeks. We give a Employee of the month certificate and 50.00 gift card to one person each month. This employee of the month is voted on by the staff with a sealed ballot. The owners also give a free lunch to anyone who is mentioned or has helped us receive an online review. These accomplishments are awarded at the meetings and help keep our staff in service and sales motivated. We also discuss any problems and try to work through them as a team, instead of only one department trying to resolve the issue alone." - Jana Wood, South Florida Marine  

"Get out and work with them. When ever the work load gets a little overwhelming having the boss recognize the problem, willing to get in the trenches and work through it is a big morale boost." - Joe Lewis, Mount Dora Boating Center

"During the early season, motivation is not too difficult. Once the season starts to drag on, that is when folks get tired. We monitor the energy and tolerance level of our employees and delegate additional paid time off accordingly. Balance is important." - Rob Brown, Clark Marine

"Having a motivated team is not just what happens at the office but also after hours. We noticed 6 years ago that almost all of our employees loved hockey so we started our own summer hockey league once a week. Every Tuesday night 90% of the staff gets together on the ice to play a weekly game of hockey. This is not only a great motivator but also a great team building opportunity. We have also used our summer hockey league as a way to attract future employees and it as become a part of our recruiting tools. We found out that motivating your employees is not always done with money, you need to listen and find out what works in your environment." - Marc Savage, Orleans Boat World

 


Each month, MRAA connects with dealership management on a timely and relevant topic and publishing their insights at MRAA.com. Tell us what you have to say about this month’s question by commenting below and participating in the conversation. Also, watch for next month’s question.

Tags:  continuous improvement  dealer development  dealer to dealer  discussions  growth 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Dealer to Dealer: May

Posted By Mickaela Hilleren, Monday, May 7, 2018

What is the most important to your organization- mission, core values, or vision? How do you instill that key element into your company’s culture?


"Core values come first. I’m not sure you can set a vision or create a mission statement you can follow without having a code of ethics in place as a guide.  

Customers are not going to judge a company on what they say they are in their mission statement. Some may commend a company for having a great action plan in place to achieve their stated vision. In the end, however, a company will be judged on its actions.    

Part of our initial training starts with refreshing new hires on using the manners their mothers taught them. We go beyond saying please and thank you. Living put these core values on and off the clock are essential for being part of our team.

Always tell the truth. Show up on time. Do what we say we will do. Charge what we quote or less. Use the manners our mothers taught us. Be in control of our attitude at all times. Give a little more than is expected."
- Rob Brown, Clark Marine

"Core Values" - Jim Dragseth, Whiticar Boat Works, Inc.

"Core Values" - Kristina Litjens, Boulder Boats

"Employee & Manufacturer Relationships" - Ken Sorley, Marineland Boating Center

 

Each month, MRAA connects with dealership management on a timely and relevant topic and publishing their insights at MRAA.com. Tell us what you have to say about this month’s question by commenting below and participating in the conversation. Also, watch for next month’s question coming soon

Tags:  continuous improvement  dealer development  dealer to dealer  discussions  growth 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Dealer to Dealer: April

Posted By Mickaela Hilleren, Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2018

What is your most effective marketing tactic to attract prospective customers to your dealership this time of year?


"We are finding that making contacts at boat show and then inviting them to the dealership has been pretty effective. Whether it is cost effective is another question." - John Ladner, Breath's Boats & Motors

"Open houses" - Jim Dragseth, Whiticar Boat Works, Inc.

"On water demo days work well for us." - Stuart Litjens, Boulder Boats

"Boat handling skills training" - Joe Lewis, Mount Dora Boating Center

"I found using Radio has been very good for us. We have short 30 second commercials played often that way clients know to come to us first." - Nancy Struthers, Roger's Marina

 

Each month, MRAA connects with dealership management on a timely and relevant topic and publishing their insights at MRAA.com. Tell us what you have to say about this month’s question by commenting below and participating in the conversation. Also, watch for next month’s question coming soon.

Tags:  continuous improvement  dealer development  dealer to dealer  discussions  growth 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
8401 73rd Avenue North, Suite 71, Minneapolis, MN 55428