RVB Top 50: ‘Alpin Haus’ a Blue Ribbon Award Winner

Editor’s Note: New York-based Alpin Haus was one of five dealerships to earn a Blue Ribbon Dealership Award during the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards ceremony, which took place Nov. 13, 2019, during the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in Las Vegas. The RVB Top 50 Awards were sponsored by Airxcel, Brown & Brown, Cummins Power Generation, Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Northpoint Commercial Finance, NTP-STAG, Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and Wells Fargo CDF. Read more about the Top 50 Awards and the RV Dealers Convention/Expo in the January/February issue of RVBusiness magazine.

There’s an old saying that runs along the lines of “If you don’t know where you’ve been, you don’t know where you’re going.” Yea, it’s a cliché — but it underscores the metric-driven success enjoyed by Alpin Haus.

Literally everything at the Amsterdam, N.Y., dealership is measured, evaluated — and, when necessary, improved upon. The family-owned dealership, said owner Andy Heck, is “not just focused on today but (we) are looking out five, 10 years and beyond with every decision we make. We have been very innovative in the past few years with the work we are doing to be on top of business and build a culture.”

Among the metrics employed at Alpin Haus:

• Software to track weekly priorities;

• An online platform for employee engagement and input;

• Trainers on staff in both sales and fixed operations;

• Review the analytics of all online marketing and advertising to gauge effectiveness;

• Weekly companywide meetings, as well as weekly departmental groups;

• Focus on employee wellness, with paid time off for cancer screenings and on-site paid fitness center memberships — which, by the way, is also open to the community. Alpin Haus also is intimately involved in helping non-profits in Amsterdam, ranging from youth sports to local charities. In fact, the dealership worked with one to purchase and retrofit a motorhome for outreach use.

Alpin Haus President Andy Heck (center) accepts Blue Ribbon Award

“Overall,” said Heck, “we contribute to more than 200 different charitable efforts annually.

Still, it’s the way Alpin Haus stays on top of every facet of its operation that earned the dealership a Top 50 Blue Ribbon award. Among other things, the company brings in renowned trainers to meet with its sales, F&I, customer service, merchandizing and service staffs and invests in staff attendance at regional and national conferences and belongs to 20 Groups.

“We also continue to prepare all midlevel and newer/younger managers for greater roles,” Heck added, while noting that the company also hosts an annual awards banquet to recognize top performers and employees, those with escalating years of service, and more.

“We also bring our employees together to work on companywide ‘playbooks,’” Heck said. “It’s our No. 1 focus this year.” The playbooks, he added, focus on sales, customer service and “work class internal culture” and are used to train employees. Depending upon the dealership segment, training is usually weekly but can be daily “with new staff.”

While such exercises doubtless help lead the dealership to success, there also is added benefit to employees. Alpin Haus recognizes its top salesman each month, each quarter and annually; recognizes the employee who “really goes above and beyond,” Heck said, adding that yet another award highlights “an employee who consistently demonstrates hard work,” and each department has a weekly peer-to-peer recognition.

There also are monthly companywide breakfasts and luncheons for employee appreciation.

“In 2019 we had our first-ever companywide awards banquet,” Heck noted, “where we recognized employees from all areas of the business — including those in support roles.”

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