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Old 12-15-2016, 07:43 AM   #29
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There's one big difference between NIRVC and other dealers in addition to the service. They take a personal interest in the owners. From Brett Davis, owner, to Todd Springs & Eddie General managers of Lawerenceville Ga and Dallas Tx, and all their staff you may get a call about how things are going, how your last visit went etc. Now I've owned several motor homes and in my opinion that's a big plus for NIRVC.
I totally agree with what Gene said and that just goes along with what I said above.
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:58 AM   #30
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While we are handing out kudos, Tom and Regina were also very helpful in starting the Owners Club - Entegra Coach Owners Association (ECOA). They provided us a time slot and space to address the assembled rallygoers to consider starting the Owners Club. We began with 30 coaches and have grown to over 1200 in just over 3 years. We appreciate that beginning!

But let's get back on the OP's topic....

One of topics being batted around in here is dealer participation in rallies. We (the Owners Club) always ask them to supply techs as well as bringing display coaches that they can market to the precise audience they try to reach with their marketing dollars. When we hold a rally, I've always tried to get the local dealer involved. NIRVC has embraced this concept with open arms....it absolutely fits their business model. Other dealers, less so.....apparently they really don't "get" or are uninterested in courting Customers for Life. So one of our limitations as a club, has been getting a dealer to sponsor a rally in their geographic territory. Those who have supported the club include NIRVC, Lazy Days Tampa, and Paul Evert's RV Country on the left Coast. Since we have members all over the USA, it's important that we can convince dealers that the old model (let's use the word "huckster") is less appreciated by the owners, and that it's in their best interest to build TRUST & RAPPORT with their clients.

As I talk to new owners all over the country, I hear all kinds of stories about their delivery experiences, and while some are excellent, some are worse than a nightmare....basically, "Here's your keys; don't let the door hit you...on your way out." In every case, Entegra Coach Customer Service has stepped up on behalf of the customer, IF THE BUYER WOULD ALLOW IT. But sometimes the buyer is so frustrated and enraged by their dealer that they are beyond reason by the time I get to greet them. Dealers have caused that....bad ones! To my knowledge, Entegra has responded by terminating offending dealerships that won't or can't service their coaches. Historically, they have pushed their dealers to deliver their product a certain way. Regarding price competition, incentives, dealer invoice, zero risk buy backs, and supply of product all affect price out the door. Entegra gets to control that. How they manage these things going forward will shape the customer experience.

Regarding dealers feeling they are at a competitive disadvantage to NIRVC, I understand that has been shared with Entegra management. I also understand that dealer pricing was "leveled" quite some time ago by EC, and no one received any special pricing on delivered units. However, when dealers publicly advertised prices are at 35% off MSRP, it's easy to see that steep of a discount is what's driving pricing across the industry.

The big question is whether the new management can manage all that....to our satisfaction. We have enjoyed a synergistic relationship with Tadd Jenkins, whose hard work, principled leadership, and congeniality have vaulted the Entegra brand to prominence in the RV industry. It's no secret that their warranty, fit & finish, vastly improved quality and extraordinary Customer Service have combined to make for extraordinary customer satisfaction. It is also clear that the change in management has a lot of people worried going forward, whether the brand will maintain its value on resale.

I have heard that the people who believed in the juice Tadd Jenkins was selling have been labeled "Taddites" by the new administration. Time will tell whether that is a complementary or derogatory term. If the old RV industry model emerges from the restructuring, or if the current customer satisfaction driven RV industry model is sustained, we will have an answer...but we will have to wait and see.

Judging by the comments in this thread, there are doubters. The question I ask is whether that first meeting moved anyone to the support column? Or does the rush to judgement combine with worry and experience to just give voice to doubt?

We have met Matt Thompson. Mr. Bontrager said in his letter to Entegra owners of 11/21/2016, "For starters, we will find a leader for Entegra Coach that will take the brand into uncharted waters with strong relationships, product and services." When I met with him, he reaffirmed they were looking. Hopefully they ARE looking for that next great leader, because taking a step backwards will not serve. Matt is not meant to be that guy....he's the person that guy will report to.

I don't know if this inspires confidence, but it is where we are to the best of my knowledge.

Pat




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Old 12-15-2016, 10:34 AM   #31
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Chuck, your point about exceeding tech capacity was my EXACT concern when Brett Davis first described the business model to me. I started asking very pointed and direct questions about if he was convinced he could sustain this model. His explanations in 2014 were great and he has backed them up and reinforced them at every turn since. Service is the heart and core of the model and he understands it requires constant attention to maintain. He plans to have a series of service centers across the main Rv travel paths of this country fully staffed. They will be offering service 6 days per week, 10 hours per day very soon and sometime next year it will be 7 days per week, 10 hours per day, the planning, scheduling and techs for this have been worked on for quite some time now and is about ready to launch. In addition, NIRVC reserves 40% of service capacity for storage customers, and another 15% for emergencies. The rest is reserved with current customer priority and new customers as capacity permits. I have been sitting in the lobby at Lewisville when a new potential customer would call wanting to get right in and the staff would explain that presently they are currently very busy but would refer them to another service outlet to get their issues addressed. To me this indicates their dedication to their customers AND that they know the limits of their capacity and are not willing to sacrifice the quality of the service experience for quantity. Not that they are not interested in expanding to get all of the service they can, they just want to maintain the quality of the experience. To do that they are constantly recruiting and training high quality techs that first of all must have good people skills. This is a slow, hard, ongoing process that is an integral part of the business model. Another big Long story to say NIRVC has convinced me that they are dedicated to seeing this model will succeed. Will it, can it? I don't know but it is thriving after over two years, I and other customers love it and they are getting all the business they can handle. A big advantage NIRVC has is they only sell motorhomes, and of those they trade for they only keep those newer than 5 years old, so it takes fewer techs and less tech time per unit to keep them on the road. The new facilities in Lilburn and Phoenix will help a lot and others are on the way. I am very confident and hopeful that Brett Davis and the excellent crew he has assembled will pull this off for the long haul and the model will spread across the industry.

There are challenges and they need help from their partners. Entegra MUST step up and fix the warranty approval process and the parts delivery process. Entegra wants customers or dealers to deal with vendor problems, NO--ENTEGRA do your job and deal with your vendors, you choose and bought those products, we didn't, we bought from Entegra. Entegra fix this broken system, go look at Newmar, great warranty approval as stated in their brochure, immediate availability of parts drop shipped and as a result dealers can get customer coaches fixed in a timely manner, techs are happy because they are working on coaches not waiting on approvals or parts, dealers are happy because shops are getting throughput which raises profits and the main part customers are happy because they can live their dreams instead of waiting weeks for their coach. All JMHO


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Old 12-15-2016, 11:56 AM   #32
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Again best way to make sure your voice is heard is contact Bob Martin at Thorindustries.
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:04 PM   #33
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Again best way to make sure your voice is heard is contact Bob Martin at Thorindustries.

Absolutely agree and he answers his own email. Please remember to keep it above the belt but tell him your concerns, feelings and impressions on what is happening. I know that Mr. Martin does not believe in meddling in the companies he buys BUT he is absolutely an investor that will actively protect his investment if he is convinced it is not going good. JMHO


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Old 12-15-2016, 12:41 PM   #34
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I disagree with the last two assertions.... The way to have an impact is not to talk with "daddy" but to talk with the people most directly involved (e.g. Bontrager and Matt). if things came off poorly in Georgia (and it sounds like a lot of people thought that it did), then they are the people that need to hear it, and to factor in what they are hearing from owners.

I find myself wondering a lot about the 2 hour meeting between Brett Davis and the Middlebury contingent and then the cool interaction with those in attendance. Seems strange for people to come from Middlebury and then not to "schmooze" the owners and make the best of the money and time invested in getting there.

My advice.... start talking to the "horses mouth" if you have concerns (leave Daddy out of the loop on this one).

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Old 12-15-2016, 12:46 PM   #35
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While we are handing out kudos, Tom and Regina were also very helpful in starting the Owners Club - Entegra Coach Owners Association (ECOA). They provided us a time slot and space to address the assembled rallygoers to consider starting the Owners Club. We began with 30 coaches and have grown to over 1200 in just over 3 years. We appreciate that beginning!

But let's get back on the OP's topic....

One of topics being batted around in here is dealer participation in rallies. We (the Owners Club) always ask them to supply techs as well as bringing display coaches that they can market to the precise audience they try to reach with their marketing dollars. When we hold a rally, I've always tried to get the local dealer involved. NIRVC has embraced this concept with open arms....it absolutely fits their business model. Other dealers, less so.....apparently they really don't "get" or are uninterested in courting Customers for Life. So one of our limitations as a club, has been getting a dealer to sponsor a rally in their geographic territory. Those who have supported the club include NIRVC, Lazy Days Tampa, and Paul Evert's RV Country on the left Coast. Since we have members all over the USA, it's important that we can convince dealers that the old model (let's use the word "huckster") is less appreciated by the owners, and that it's in their best interest to build TRUST & RAPPORT with their clients.

As I talk to new owners all over the country, I hear all kinds of stories about their delivery experiences, and while some are excellent, some are worse than a nightmare....basically, "Here's your keys; don't let the door hit you...on your way out." In every case, Entegra Coach Customer Service has stepped up on behalf of the customer, IF THE BUYER WOULD ALLOW IT. But sometimes the buyer is so frustrated and enraged by their dealer that they are beyond reason by the time I get to greet them. Dealers have caused that....bad ones! To my knowledge, Entegra has responded by terminating offending dealerships that won't or can't service their coaches. Historically, they have pushed their dealers to deliver their product a certain way. Regarding price competition, incentives, dealer invoice, zero risk buy backs, and supply of product all affect price out the door. Entegra gets to control that. How they manage these things going forward will shape the customer experience.

Regarding dealers feeling they are at a competitive disadvantage to NIRVC, I understand that has been shared with Entegra management. I also understand that dealer pricing was "leveled" quite some time ago by EC, and no one received any special pricing on delivered units. However, when dealers publicly advertised prices are at 35% off MSRP, it's easy to see that steep of a discount is what's driving pricing across the industry.

The big question is whether the new management can manage all that....to our satisfaction. We have enjoyed a synergistic relationship with Tadd Jenkins, whose hard work, principled leadership, and congeniality have vaulted the Entegra brand to prominence in the RV industry. It's no secret that their warranty, fit & finish, vastly improved quality and extraordinary Customer Service have combined to make for extraordinary customer satisfaction. It is also clear that the change in management has a lot of people worried going forward, whether the brand will maintain its value on resale.

I have heard that the people who believed in the juice Tadd Jenkins was selling have been labeled "Taddites" by the new administration. Time will tell whether that is a complementary or derogatory term. If the old RV industry model emerges from the restructuring, or if the current customer satisfaction driven RV industry model is sustained, we will have an answer...but we will have to wait and see.

Judging by the comments in this thread, there are doubters. The question I ask is whether that first meeting moved anyone to the support column? Or does the rush to judgement combine with worry and experience to just give voice to doubt?

We have met Matt Thompson. Mr. Bontrager said in his letter to Entegra owners of 11/21/2016, "For starters, we will find a leader for Entegra Coach that will take the brand into uncharted waters with strong relationships, product and services." When I met with him, he reaffirmed they were looking. Hopefully they ARE looking for that next great leader, because taking a step backwards will not serve. Matt is not meant to be that guy....he's the person that guy will report to.

I don't know if this inspires confidence, but it is where we are to the best of my knowledge.

Pat




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Mr Bauer,
you summed it up pretty good in your paragraph about new owners. I'm one of those new owners and when you contacted me, I was not a happy camper. I bought locally, 96 miles from home in Des Moines Iowa, and this dealer could care less about return customers, I like our new coach and I'm glad we bought Entegra, but very dissapointed in RV ONE in Des Moines.

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Old 12-15-2016, 12:58 PM   #36
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I disagree with the last two assertions.... The way to have an impact is not to talk with "daddy" but to talk with the people most directly involved (e.g. Bontrager and Matt). if things came off poorly in Georgia (and it sounds like a lot of people thought that it did), then they are the people that need to hear it, and to factor in what they are hearing from owners.

I find myself wondering a lot about the 2 hour meeting between Brett Davis and the Middlebury contingent and then the cool interaction with those in attendance. Seems strange for people to come from Middlebury and then not to "schmooze" the owners and make the best of the money and time invested in getting there.

My advice.... start talking to the "horses mouth" if you have concerns (leave Daddy out of the loop on this one).

Gary
Gary, problem with going to horses mouth is he's got his hay "money" and it was pretty plain last Saturday doesn't care what the owners think. However, Daddy does have money on the table, does care, and I'm sure the word will get to Derald and Matt Thompson.
Derald and Matt were the ones in Ga. so how would contacting them help.
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:01 PM   #37
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Gary, I was at Atlanta and witnessed it first hand. In a way, you are making my point for me. It was very obvious to us there that they had absolutely no interest in mixing with or listening to the Entegra coach owners. It was an attitude of we came to see the dealer because we sell to him and it is his job to sell to you. It was very obvious that Matt and Derald have no interest in anything but moving coaches out the door. I am very convinced that we will have to talk to Bob Martin if we want warranty approvals and parts availability to be fixed and yes, even the very existence of Entegra may well be at stake. All JMHO ,


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Old 12-15-2016, 01:40 PM   #38
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Gary, I was at Atlanta and witnessed it first hand. In a way, you are making my point for me. It was very obvious to us there that they had absolutely no interest in mixing with or listening to the Entegra coach owners. It was an attitude of we came to see the dealer because we sell to him and it is his job to sell to you. It was very obvious that Matt and Derald have no interest in anything but moving coaches out the door. I am very convinced that we will have to talk to Bob Martin if we want warranty approvals and parts availability to be fixed and yes, even the very existence of Entegra may well be at stake. All JMHO ,


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Old 12-15-2016, 05:14 PM   #39
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...............
We have met Matt Thompson. Mr. Bontrager said in his letter to Entegra owners of 11/21/2016, "For starters, we will find a leader for Entegra Coach that will take the brand into uncharted waters with strong relationships, product and services." When I met with him, he reaffirmed they were looking. Hopefully they ARE looking for that next great leader, because taking a step backwards will not serve. Matt is not meant to be that guy....he's the person that guy will report to.........

Pat
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Pat, it was my pleasure to meet you and so many of the other guys on here while at the NIRVC GO.
I remain confused regarding the "pecking order" at EC (specifically). Based on your comments that I quoted above, can you help me understand the current titles and/or responsibilities of all the Jayco/EC employees present at the GO? Unless I'm forgetting someone, they were Messers: Bontrager, Thompson, Huxford, Lasley, & Cook. Am I correct to assume none of these are the "next great leader" being searched for??? Thanks,
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:56 PM   #40
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Good follow-up, Pat Bauer...I expected you to pop in when you got back to Florida.

Gary Jones, that was what I was really referring to in my"thinking about this all afternoon post.

Bottom line, current owners can contact, pls do so, but we still have to see what happens in the near future.

For ENTEGRA, I have a real problem being called a "Taddite", and if I am and I hear about it, I am liable to be a unhappy phone caller (see PJ for what that means).

JMHO
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:36 PM   #41
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Entegra ??

Ed,
Derald Bontrager, Pres. & CEO
Matt Thompson, COO-reports to Derald.
Heads of the 5 Divisions - Report to Matt
Chuck Lasley GM
Shaun Huxford QC
Ted Cook SE Regional Sales

Pat Carroll is still in charge of the design team as far as I know.

I'm not exactly sure about the titles. They could be in flux or transitioning personnel internally, bringing in fresh blood, and so forth. I reported Saturday's info....

Best I can do. Sorry.


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Old 12-15-2016, 07:21 PM   #42
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I think technically Chuck Lasley is VP of Sales for Jayco Motorized, Shaun Huxford is VP Jayco Motorized, and like you said, Ted Cook is Eastern Sales Manager for Entegra.


I believe Shaun is Chuck's boss.


Of course all this is pre-shakeup, so I'm not sure who everyone is now.


I think I am OK being a Taddite...give Matt something to live up to, or at least to think about as he injects his management style into the Entegra side of the company. Being called a Taddite makes me a guy who was happy with how responsive the company has been, and would like them to continue to improve (hey Matt, did you hear about speed of warranty claims and expeditious parts movement?)
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