Interview with New England’s Premier RV Dealer on Replacing Four Different Software Systems with One

Vermount Country Campers LogoImplementing a new dealership management platform is a colossal undertaking as there are plenty of variables to consider – from ensuring the system works across all departments and locations to getting every employee trained to use it.

Vermont Country Campers, one of New England’s premier RV dealers, has recently faced this very challenge when it was making the switch from four different systems to one. Now that the process is over, dealership owner Layne Gregoire has a few tips to share.

Find out what they are in our latest interview below!

 

How did you start this business?

Layne: “I started the dealership in 1996 with just $8,800, and built it one customer at a time. It was a very humble beginning, but we’ve expanded tremendously since then. Last year, we had over 800 sales, and our business grew by 38% from the year before.”

 

Your website claims that you’re New England’s premier dealership. What makes you the “premier” dealership?

Layne: “We carry an amazing variety of inventory, which includes almost every RV brand you can think of.  What we do differently from the competition is that we really try to take care of our customers and make sure everything is done quickly, especially as far as service goes. We don’t like to leave them hanging.”

 

How do you price your goods and communicate the pricing to your customers?

Layne: “Our volume saves them money. Since we are a large-volume dealer, with a lot of product lines, we are very competitive with everyone in the country. It’s really that simple.”

 

When it comes to hiring someone, how do you find people that fit and do a good job?

Layne: “We sell a lot of stuff, but we are very laid back. We approach the customer like this – if it works for them, it works for us. So, as far as hiring new staff is concerned, our hires have to possess the same values as us and be willing to put their time into this business.

The RV dealership is very different from other businesses. It’s not always about selling – it’s about convincing people to get back to you again, and again, and again.”

 

How much of your business comes from online sales?

Layne: “I love online – I think it’s tremendous. It’s a very important part of how consumers shop today. Put it this way: even though we are in Vermont, we have people coming to us from South Carolina and Alabama, and it’s all because of the Internet. So, even though we operate in a very small market here, we still do a lot of business.”

 

What was the reason for you to get IDS?

Layne: “We were running four different systems, and IDS allowed us to put them all into one, utilizing real-time data, which made it easy to get everything we needed quickly.

IDS has also been around for a very long time and used by many top dealerships in the country, so we knew it was trustworthy. Another major reason for choosing IDS was that it was going to work for my dealership without locking me in for five to seven years, unlike many other systems.”

 

In regards to data, what was the process of transferring it to IDS like?

Layne: “It wasn’t difficult because we sent them the spreadsheets, and they uploaded them into the system accurately. It was a smooth experience.”

 

Did you have to change your daily operations in order to accommodate IDS?

Layne: “Yes, absolutely, because I think the biggest thing with implementing software like this is that you don’t really understand what you’re going to get until it’s installed.

We had to make sure the IDS team was involved in everything that was going on. I think it’s worth paying for them to come in because just having them here and getting all the help we needed was great.”

 

You’ve adopted IDS pretty recently. What can you tell us about your employees and what they think about the system so far?

Layne: “Most of our employees really like it and have adapted quite quickly to it. Trainers were great! We’re really happy with everything. I can’t imagine how it would be like if it was another company instead of IDS.”

 

So far, what is your favorite IDS feature or module?

Layne: “There’s not one aspect of the system that we don’t like. The accounting, CRM, Parts and the rest are all pretty easy to use when you get in there – and will be even easier as we go. What’s especially great is that I can be anywhere in the world and still see what’s going on at my business in real time.”

 

You mentioned that one of the things you wanted was growth. In what way do you think IDS will help you with that?

Layne: “Internally, it will help us maximize what we already have. We’ve always had a lot of business, and so now hopefully we’re going to have even more.

We are also looking to open new locations, and IDS will help us get there. We feel very confident that we’ve picked the right system. I wish we had it earlier!

We are also very happy that IDS is essentially our business partner. And every day that we use Astra G2, we like more things about it. So, we are extremely pleased with that.”

 

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