ABYC targets certified dealers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – In recognition of marine dealerships earning the Marine Industry Dealership Certification designation, the American Boat & Yacht Council has launched a special membership package exclusively for Marine Industry Certified Dealerships, ABYC said in a release today.

The standards writing organization was prompted to offer this added benefit to certified dealerships to recognize their commitment to creating an atmosphere of continuous improvement across all departments, service excellence and customer satisfaction, ABYC officials said.

Effective immediately, any MIDC dealership can join ABYC for one year for $225 per business location. This special offer includes access to the ABYC standards in any one of three formats (manual, CD-ROM or Web-STIR – ABYC’s basic online access – as well as discounts on technical education, training and certification programs and marine industry publications.

This fee represents a 40 percent discount to the standard “Business Level” membership plus the cost of the standards. For each year thereafter, for at least five years, dealerships will continue to receive 40 percent off their membership fee per location, provided that the dealership remains certified through the MIDC program.

“The process of becoming a certified dealership is both challenging and an expression of one’s commitment to the industry, to boating safety and ultimately, to the customer,” said Skip Burdon, ABYC’s president. “We want to reward dealers for that commitment by making it easier and more affordable to use and to train to ABYC standards.”

An integral part of the MIDC program is the requirement for dealerships to provide employees with regular training and professional development opportunities. To assist dealerships in making technical training more available and affordable, ABYC is also providing all certified dealerships with a 20 percent discount off regularly scheduled basic and technical workforce certification courses as part of this membership offer.

Additional ABYC member benefits include: free standards-based technical consulting; access to archived standards; a 10 percent discount on Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology’s distance learning courses; discounted prices in the ABYC Ship’s Store; listing on ABYC’s online Member Directory; a subscription to ABYC’s quarterly standards-based professional journal The Reference Point; Westlawn’s quarterly e-newsletter The Masthead; access to ABYC member marketing materials; the opportunity to participate in the standards development process and more.

“As boats become increasingly more sophisticated and complex, potential buyers have specific demands they have researched off the Internet, from other boaters and even from competing dealers,” said Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America. “That is why dealership staff must be well prepared to discuss the technical aspects of any boat on the showroom floor. Service experts must be trained and confident in discussing current safety standards and practices when performing regularly scheduled maintenance or when conducting a needed repair. ABYC now provides certified dealerships with an opportunity to add value across all departments, and in turn, meet or exceed customer satisfaction.”

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