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Bucars RV Centre has a long-standing tradition with over 50 years of service in the Calgary, Alberta, area. In 1989, Bill Redmond purchased the business from Stan Bucar, but the name remained the same.
Now with Bill’s sons Kyle and Jeff helping manage the day-to-day operations, Bucars RV Centre has experienced incredible growth and was named a Top 50 Dealer by RV Business.
We recently spoke with Kyle to discuss their growth and how they are able to provide a wealth of resources to their customer base that helps further instill why they are experts in the RV industry.
How has the business changed over the years?
Kyle: “I think growth is the number one thing that’s changed. We’ve really found our niches and built upon that and now we’re one of the largest dealers in Western Canada.”
Your growth has led you to be recognized as a Top 50 Dealer by RV Business. What do you consider to be the strengths of your business compared to other dealerships?
Kyle: “There are a few things, in particular the ownership engagement we have here. I run this company with my brother and we’re here every day. That gives value to our customers as well as our employees because we can provide answers immediately. We don’t have to refer to a head office and we’re able to make decisions that are right for everyone.
We also work hard on our service promise. We claim to be the experts in the RV industry and we make a promise to our customers that we will always be there to maintain and take care of their RV after the initial sale. In this day and age it’s a bit of a unique promise, especially in our industry.
Our success is also based around our staff. We recruit hard for the right staff, we value their decision making and we allow them to do their job.”
Your website is very customer-centric in explaining your values and what a customer should expect when they visit your dealership. What does your team do to create that experience?
Kyle: “It was a conscious decision that my brother and I made when we took over. We needed to focus on who our end user was. Everything needs to be focused around the purchase and usage of our product.
As I mentioned earlier, we are the experts. If you are looking to purchase an RV, we’ll take the time to get to know you and understand your needs. In the accessories and maintenance program, we take on all models and makes. We also do a lot of factory training to maintain that expertise.”
You have a Bucars U where you offer classes to your customer base. How did that idea come about and how do you promote the classes?
Kyle: “It goes with our philosophy that we’re the ones who have the information customers are looking for. In our experience, we haven’t found a lot of good resources out there for RV consumers in regards to things like towing specifics, how to pull your car behind your motorhome, how to get satellite TV, etc. Though our partner vendors and expert staff, we’ve been able to put on a wide array of classes to our customers for free.
We know that salesmen don’t always have the answers customers are looking for, so we felt like we needed to get this information out to the consumer. We also offer classes on topics such as RV basics for women, maintenance, winterization, etc. The classes also help get our name in the marketplace. We rely on our website and social media, as well as our newsletter and magazine to get the word out.”
How many people usually attend these sessions?
Kyle: “We have a specific room here that we use. It holds about 110 people and we generally fill the seats. We do an RV 101 that is an introduction to the RV lifestyle and that is usually our highest attended class.”
Talk about your Enewsletter and magazine. How many subscribers do you have and how has IDS helped you manage that process?
Kyle: “Right now we have roughly 7,000 people that we send our newsletter to. Sending emails out through IDS CRM works great for us in distributing this information.
Our magazine is something we put out in January in conjunction with our annual show. In our offseason we manage to get some content and artwork together to send out information. It includes items such as a standard camping cookbook, top 20 spots to go camping, festivals in summer, RV hacks that make things easier, Bucars U events, and more.”
You mention on your website that your service department has over 100 years of combined experience. What steps have you taken to ensure you are hiring the best techs and keeping them at your business?
Kyle: “We’ve been in this location for 10 years. One of the things we did when we moved in here was focus on the service department. We sell expensive motorhomes and with that comes complicated problems. In this building, we have 16 bays that are all 20 feet wide and 50 feet long, so we can accommodate any motorhome. It benefits our techs because we offer them a place to work that provides an environment for them to be comfortable and happy here. We also have ongoing training. We pay for their schooling and we also give them whatever advantage that we can to show them that their financial health is important to us.”
How do you measure the efficiency of your technicians and what do you consider to be good tech efficiency?
Kyle: “Obviously we measure efficiency with the IDS software. All of our technicians have computers at their bays where they can clock-in and clock-out so we have exact times on jobs. It’s immediate so we can pull up-to-the minute reports. I’d say good efficiency is between 70-80%.”
You’ve had a chance to take a look at the IDS Mobile App. How do you see that benefitting your service and parts department?
Kyle: “We are really excited about the ability to be mobile, specifically for service writing. To have the ability to go out to a unit with the customer, take pictures and attach them to a work order, serial number or warranty claim is fantastic.”
What other features in IDS have helped your business the most?
Kyle: “The program is so robust and covers such a wide scope of my business that it’s hard to pin it down to any one area. Certainly the inventory management, turns in the parts department, and being able to have a good measurement in the service department are key. I really like how the dashboard gives me a glance of what we’re doing. It’s a wealth of information. FI Point is also a great tool. The reason I’m still with IDS is because it includes so many good tools that enable my business to succeed.”
What are the future goals of the dealership and how will IDS help?
Kyle: “We’re sustaining ourselves. We’re here for the long run to service the customer that needs our expertise. IDS is going to continue to enable our staff to be productive and efficient. I’m really looking forward to what our salespeople are going to be able to do on the lot with mobile devices. It will be a fantastic tool to inform the customer and help them make an informed decision.”
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