January '18

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90 • RV PRO • January 2018 rv-pro.com A F T E R M A R K E T has added a number of warehouses and cross docks across the country and has boosted its offerings to become a realistic option for supplying dealers. Building in a Hurry Meyer's first experience with the RV crowd was pretty indicative of where dealers' sentiments were in 2015. Shortly after the purchase of 5 Sea- sons, Gramelspacher and National Sales Manager Cody Ziegler were tasked with introducing the company to vendors in the RV industry by attending the annual RV Aftermarket Association Conference, which was held in Vancouver, Wash., that year. The only problem was, it was a bit of a last-minute rush. RVAA is a membership organization. Members sign up to hold meetings with other members at the conference. If you aren't a member, you don't get in. It took some doing, but Meyer man- aged to become a member and Gramel- spacher and Ziegler had their feet in the door. And the effort paid off. "I've never felt like quite the rock star before," Gramelspacher says. "We were the belle of the ball in late 2015 when we showed up in Vancouver due to the three big acquisitions that had occurred over the previous two or three years. We were welcomed with open arms by the vendors, by the suppliers, and the cus- tomers are still something you have to work on every day – they just need to learn more about us. Every day of the week we're picking up a new dealer and they are learning about Meyer and the Meyer story and figuring out we've got the inventory." Since that initial rock star treatment, Meyer Distributing has gotten down more to the nuts and bolts of earning its stripes with the RV industry. After some initial resistance from a few suppliers, Meyer has brought onboard products from most of the major names in the industry. Dometic, Thetford and CURT are all onboard, for example. "There were a few late stragglers to come on, but they wanted to make sure we were in it for the long haul and what we were going to do," Gramelspacher says. "We're not leading with price. We're here for long-term." More Than Products But as the Meyer team was learning, competing on the national level was going to be about much more than just having the right selection at a good price. There was a need for experienced per- sonnel who knew the RV industry and there was the need to ensure products could be shipped and delivered to deal- erships in a timely fashion. None of this was necessarily new, given that Meyer had facilities and per- Meyer had a booth at both the National RV Trade Show (pictured here) and the RV Dealers Association Convention & Expo in 2017 as company officials actively worked to make inroads in the RV market. Company officials say they have picked up a multitude of product lines in the past two years to have the parts and accessories dealers want.

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