MINNEAPOLIS - Buying and servicing a boat is about to become a much easier task for consumers around the country when Boating Industry magazine announces its inaugural Top 100, a ranking of those marine dealers that are unsurpassed in overall business operations, customer service, marketing and professionalism, later this fall.
The Boating Industry Top 100 was officially launched with an application form in the May issue of Boating Industry and an online community, devoted entirely to the Top 100, on www.boatingindustry.com's home page, which includes a comprehensive Q&A section about the program.
Dealers can apply at no charge by filling out the application in the magazine or by downloading it here; manufacturers and suppliers can nominate their dealers by following the directions here or by e-mailing Matt Gruhn with the dealer's name, address, contact person, phone number and e-mail address.
While many magazine awards programs are quantitative in nature, considering only financials and statistics for their final ranking, Boating Industry's Top 100 will be both quantitative and qualitative in nature. And while many marine dealer awards are based solely on volume and/or dollar sales, Boating Industry's Top 100 will focus more intensely on business operations. In fact, of the nearly 60 questions on the application form, only six are related to sales and profits.
The Top 100 dealers will be honored at an invitation-only, black-tie gala on Nov. 10, at the Marine Retailers Association of America Convention in Las Vegas. This all-out celebration will include live entertainment and a countdown from No. 100 to No. 1. Top 100 dealers will be supported with in-store and boat show signage as well as a comprehensive consumer marketing campaign.
To help bring the Boating Industry Top 100 to life, Ehlert Publishing Group, Boating Industry's parent company, created the Leadership Alliance-an elite group of the marine industry's leading suppliers that were invited to participate because they possess, as one of their corporate values, a true belief in and commitment to raising the bar across all marine industry sectors, particularly for dealers. The 2005 Leadership Alliance members include: BRP US Inc., GE Commercial Finance, Yamaha, Watch Captain, boats.com, SHURflo and the MRAA.
“The Boating Industry Top 100 will, in short order, become the most coveted award in the marine market,” explained Tammy Galvin, Group Publisher for Ehlert's trade magazines. “Marine dealers are on the front line with consumers every day, and this is one way we can help provide much needed benchmarking information for all other dealers to measure themselves against.”
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