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AIMExpo News: MIC Board panel discussion

We arrived at the AIMExpo 2023 event Wednesday morning and got busy getting reacquainted with industry friends and getting the floor layout figured out. Then we looked over and saw that we were missing the MIC Board of Directors panel discussion. Is a panel discussion the top priority at a motorcycle show filled with amazing new vehicles and parts? Well, honestly, it should be. So we sat down to listen. Here is a snapshot of what these industry pros shared with dealers. Editor’s Note: These aren’t exact quotes, but they are pretty close and capture the message these executives delivered to the dealers on hand. We arranged these somewhat random comments by topic.  

MIC Board of Directors panel discussion at AIMExpo
MIC Board of Directors (seated at table, l to r): Marc McAllister, Tucker Powersports; Tim Calhoun, Tim Calhoun Powersports; Shawn McLean, BMW; Rod Lopusnak, Triumph; John Hinz, KTM; Derek Brooks, Yamaha; Bill Savino, Honda; Jim Woodruff, NPA.

Digital Operations

Bill Jenkins, Board Vice Chair – Kawasaki

We’re behind here (he said while holding up and showing his cell phone). This is not the future, it’s the present right now. Check your web traffic and pay close attention to mobile engagement, and improve digital operations and communication.


Jim Woodruff, Secretary Treasure – NPA

A lot of dealers had concerns about product quantity and always wanting to increase quantity. But it’s not just about product quantity. It’s about your product mix, especially considering seasonality. Also, watch turn times, that’s more important than margin.

Rod Lopusnak, Director – Triumph

Inventory management is one of the biggest issues, post Covid. You need to have a dedicated staff member who owns this on a weekly basis.

Labor / Staff

Shawn McLean, Director – BMW

Value your employees. Current generations values have changed, they are working for different reasons and goals. Work must have meaning. You need to consider how you can make your dealership a career option to gain long-term employees.

John Hinz, Director – KTM

Recruiting isn’t the answer, and if you’re asking about retention, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s about maintaining a company culture where you don’t have to worry about retention. Look for people that will add to you culture.

Tim Calhoun, Director – Tim Calhoun Powersports

Reach out to local schools and community colleges to make pathways to your dealership. Then give them opportunities to advance. Make sure you can prevent burnout, let them go ride, let them take a sabbatical. Provide training and education opportunities.

Rod Lopusnak, Director – Triumph

Your dealership is the cool place in town, make sure people know that they can work with you, and that you have opportunities for people interested.

Supply Chain

Tim Calhoun, Director – Tim Calhoun Powersports

Some companies have found ways to produce more on their own campuses, trying to reduce their reliance on other companies and suppliers, and to better supply their customers.

Marc McAllister, Director – Tucker Powersports

Supply chains are stabilizing; they’re fixing themselves.

Bill Savino – Honda

One good thing, we’ve all improved processes and/or created new processes, and that will help us avoid supply chain problems in the future.

Derek Brooks, Director – Yamaha

Communication is key now to help avoid supply chain issues. This might sound like common sense, but it’s an important reminder for dealers and all of us.

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