How Pete’s RV Harnesses Data-Driven Insights to Optimize Dealership Performance

Pete's RV Logo

Pete’s RV has a rich history that dates back to 1952 when a couple named Peter and Trudy Dispirito purchased a farm in South Burlington, Vermont. There, they opened a welding and travel trailer business called Pete’s Trailer Mart. They even built their own 2-bay metal building to serve as their shop.


The business was later purchased by another couple, Richard and Virginia Compagna. They continued to sell RVs until 1983 when Terry and Mary Shepard purchased the business. In 1986, David McGinnis and Larry Shepard became partners with Terry.


Now, in the second generation of ownership, Pete’s RV has expanded to an impressive nine dealerships across seven states, including Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina, with plans to open a 10th dealership in an eighth state soon.


Pete’s RV has made it its mission to deliver exceptional customer service by continuously looking for new and forward-thinking ways to improve its processes. Most recently, they invested in IDS Vision, a cloud-based data visualization platform that has allowed them to dive deeper into their dealership’s data for valuable insights. We spoke with Christian Matthews, Director of Data Analytics at Pete’s RV, to find out how Vision has helped their team make data-driven decisions and enhance their customer experience.


At the Vermont flagship store, you can spot an old-school Zagel Meyer –  the original tow trailer – on display. 


Pete's RV Zegelmeyer

What are some factors that have helped Pete’s RV be so successful?

Our flagship Vermont store is actually the first and the largest RV showroom in the whole state. The mentality we have is that we, as a dealership, can offer the best combination of pricing, selection, and value to any RV shoppers, and we have 70 years in business to back that up.


We always know we can improve, but we strive to provide customers with an excellent sales and service experience. We’ve done that by investing substantial time in improving ourselves through employee training, as well as implementing new technologies and processes.


We not only want to provide customers with the best shopping experience, but we also want to make Pete’s RV a top employer to work for.


How are you using IDS Vision?

I’m responsible for developing data reporting, creating business insights, improving processes, and the usual ad hoc support. We actually got on board with the Vision pilot program that was in the spring of 2022.


I rely on Vision 99.99% of the time for my position and use it to develop reports and dashboards.


Right now, we’re focused on a lot of insights tied to our long-term goals and performance metrics.


What impact has Vision had on the overall success of the dealership?

I’m like the report admin from a security standpoint, but we’ve got our leadership team, warranty admins, location managers, and all sorts of employees who use the reports and the online reporting dashboard system – we have a lot of users.


It’s allowed us to effectively consolidate regional and dealership metrics as well as new insights. For example, tech metrics. So daily reports are automatically consolidated regionally and daily for tech productivity, efficiency, and proficiency.


It lets us see on a daily basis if our techs hitting our targets because we have performance metrics tied to things like productivity. If they’re not hitting the targets, what’s the issue? How can we figure out what’s going on?


How will Vision help Pete’s RV achieve its long-term goals?

We have two goals. We want to improve the financials of our fixed operations department, as well as make Pete’s RV Center a top employer to work for.


We’re using Vision as that daily accountability platform to provide daily financial information for different levels of our business because we can tap into our general ledger and look at those consolidated regional roll-ups.


We’re not only looking at things like actual work order performance, but we’re looking at financials in Vision as well to help us be that top employer.


We’re using Vision to help employees know how they’re doing, find areas they can focus on, and understand how their position fits into the bigger picture.


We can see how their position contributes to some of those budget metrics.


What’s one thing that no one tells you about working in a dealership?

Speaking from the fixed ops side, what no one tells you is how much work actually goes into dealing with customer units.


In the back end, there are so many different people interacting with your vehicle, from your advisor to your technician to your foreman to your location manager.


There are so many different processes that everyone has to follow professionally and accurately in a timely manner to meet our own and our customer’s expectations.


It’s just all that backend stuff as a customer you don’t see. Customers see the start and the end. But they miss all the stuff that everyone’s trying to make perfect.


Discover how IDS Vision can help you get the full value of your dealership’s data.




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