2009 Online Dealer Certification Workshop schedule unveiled

CHICAGO – The Marine Industry Dealership Certification program is implementing a series of online Launch Workshops beginning in January that are designed to reduce costs to program participants and make it more convenient for dealerships to earn the “Marine Industry Certified” designation, organizers stated in a recent report.

Attendance at a Launch Workshop is the first step for all dealerships that wish to get started on the Certification process. During the workshop, program requirements are explained in detail and dealerships are provided with tools necessary to complete the Dealership Certification program.

“The new Web-based workshops provide exactly what the dealers themselves told us they wanted: A quality program with an eye toward keeping the dealers’ program costs as low as possible,” explained Phil Keeter, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) and vice president of Marine Certification Inc.

The online format may allow more dealership personnel to participate, as numbers may have been previously limited due to travel and budget concerns, according to organizers. In addition, web-based workshops are often less disruptive to participating dealers as they can take part in the workshops on their office computer. Web-based workshops will be conducted in two segments over the course of two consecutive days, allowing dealers to participate in the program’s first steps while attending to customers during normal business hours.

“After facilitating more than 40 regional Marine Industry Dealership Certification Launch Workshops, we’ve learned how to effectively capture that experience in an online, interactive format and provide a comparable educational workshop that is less costly for the dealers to participate,” said Bob Williams of Five Star Solutions LLC, which conducts the Launch Workshops and on-site Dealership Certification program visitations.

Upcoming Web-based Launch Workshops dates include: Jan. 20-21, Feb. 24-25, March 17-18, April 7-8, April 21-22 and May 12-13.

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Those who wish to register for any of the Launch Workshops listed above can visit DealerCertification.org or call (800) 975-7894.

The Marine Industry Dealership Certification program, first developed in 2005 by dealers and part of the industry’s Grow Boating Initiative, focuses on the major areas impacting consumer satisfaction and dealership excellence — operations, facilities, professional sales/service processes, customer satisfaction and employee training/satisfaction, explained organizers. To date, a total of 425 dealerships have earned the official “Marine Industry Certified” designation.

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