January '18

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rv-pro.com January 2018 • RV PRO • 95 bution center in Arlington, Texas, and opened a center in Minneapolis. Since the purchase of the 5 Seasons facility in Portland, Meyer has added cross docks in Salt Lake City; Boise, Idaho; Corpus Christi, Texas; Punta Gorda, Fla; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Fargo, N.D.; Asheville, N.C.; Las Vegas; Casper, Wyo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Salina, Kan. Cross docks do not hold inventory like a warehouse, but are places where trucks from the national warehouses can drop off products that will be picked up and shipped out on the same day. In all, Meyer has 10 stocking facilities and 55 cross docks across the country, which allows the company to make deliv- eries to every major metro market on a daily basis, Gramelspacher says. In more remote locations, deliveries are made two to three days a week. The eastern portion of the country receives most of its products from Mey- er's Indiana location, with the Texas facility handling the West. The Texas facility is full to the brim already, and will be expanded in 2018. "Wherever we've got a dealer who has a need, we'll stock a line for a dealer in a specific warehouse if they need it quicker than pulling it from a master warehouse," Gramelspacher says. "Also, we have some third-party contractors that everybody uses to reach those far outlying areas." Family Mentality Although Meyer intends to compete at a national level and offer deals when it is able, the company acknowledges that, at least for now, it isn't positioned to be the top dog in the fight. "It's just more of a team and family mentality when it comes to that and get- ting things done," Gramelspacher says. "Do we have as much inventory? Abso- lutely not. But it's growing every day, every month, every year. Dealers don't have to ask twice, let's just put it that way: We might not have enough of what they want the first time, but the second time they ask we're going to have it in stock and we're going to have everything they need." And Ziegler points to Meyer's ability to work with a dealer's integrated soft- ware such as that from Sys2K, allowing dealers to electronically transmit orders. Meyer's system also allows dealers to have retail labels printed for them or to do it themselves on the company's B2B site. "We've certainly made a couple of accommodations to the RV dealer to show we are here to stay and we are definitely a viable option," he says. Simple touches like a phone system that identifies the customer to the sales rep so the customer is greeted by name also offers a more personal experience. Gramelspacher says that having fewer corporate hurdles to work around allows Meyer to be nimble when it comes to reacting to the needs or concerns of a dealer. "There's not a lot of extra levels of management here to where we've got to go through an approval process to bring in a set of new SKUs or to bring in 100 of this item or something like that because a dealer requested it. It's literally the salesperson walking over to the buyer and talking about it or sending an email saying, 'I've got a commitment of this number they will buy from us if we can stock them.'" Gramelspacher estimates that on the automotive side of things, Meyer is one of the top two or three distributors in the country. He believes the company probably ranks among the top three in the RV industry already, as well. The company also has plans to enter the Canadian distribution market in 2018, but plans for that more are still early in the process. Nearly three years after its venture into the RV market, the goal for Meyer remains the same. "We're just here to keep everybody honest and give dealers a good second choice," Gramelspacher says. "If (dealers) want to give us everything to start, we'll ramp up and be ready for them. But all we're asking for is a shot. We want to be a good second choice for everybody and let us earn that top spot. That's all we're asking for is a chance for the dance."

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