RVB Top 50: Sicard RV a ‘Blue Ribbon Award’ Winner

Editor’s Note: Ontario-based Sicard RV 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.

Maintaining a successful business, particularly in a segment such as the RV industry where the customer base is changing, demands that the company evolve to meet the challenge.

That could be a pretty good description of Sicard Holiday Campers Ltd., better known as Sicard RV. According to Blair Sicard, general manager of the Smithville, Ontario, Canada dealership, “Every year we strive to become more and more innovative. Previously one of the most innovative things we implemented was the use of tablets and working toward becoming a paperless dealership. This year, we have become a living wage employer.”

According to Sicard, becoming a living wage employer — defined as a reflection of what earners need to be paid based upon the actual costs of living and being included in the community — “was an easy decision for us. We recognized that all the benefits it provided to not only our employees but also to our community.” And, he added, the benefits to the dealership include the ability to recruit more qualified candidates, decreasing turnover and absenteeism, resulting in increased productivity.

While becoming part of the Living Wage Network — and the first Canadian dealer to participate — Sicard RV’s acknowledgement of its desire to be a good neighbor also is reflected in its charitable contributions, both financially and through employee volunteer time, in programs ranging from local food drives to participating in events for not-for-profit organizations.

Sicard RV earned an RVB Blue Ribbon Award

Along with offering a living wage, Sicard RV also thoroughly trains its workforce. “We are committed to supporting ongoing development programs for any staff member,” Sicard noted. Career development opportunities include mentoring as well as training — including the creation of its own in-house program. “Our technical trainer has been certified with a variety of training programs, which allows us to offer programs unique to our business.” These programs include manufacturer seminars on a monthly basis, webinars and classroom training during fall and winter months. Costs of training relatable to the employee’s position is absorbed by Sicard RV.

Along with the uptick in wages, Sicard RV recognizes top-performing employees in a number of ways, including an Employee of the Month, and over the past few years has also implemented a profit-sharing bonus. Measured through the success of certain departments, the annual bonus is available to all employees.

“Yet another way we retain quality employees is, we do not have lay-offs,” Sicard said. “We are happy to say that there is no shortage of work even in the fall and winter months, and we are able to keep all of our departments working full-time all year.”

Employees, by the way, include road crews that travel across all of southern Ontario and are directed to emergency situations as necessary.

That same focus on helping travelers in an emergency situation is also reflected at the dealership. “Our philosophy is to service all customers who have a safety-related concern,” said Sicard. “We will try to accommodate all customers and will not turn anyone away. For emergency or safety-related ‘drop-ins,’ we will make the needed accommodations to see the customer immediately.”

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