Are dealer/manufacturer agreements Grow Boating’s 800-pound gorilla?

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As a member of both NMMA and MRAA who’s worked with dealers and boat builders for more than two decades, I understand the needs, wants and concerns on both sides of the fence. But let’s face it: Differences will always exist between the needs of suppliers, their trading partners and customers. Just as there are differences between the needs of accessory manufacturers and retailers, the same holds true for boatbuilders and dealers.
Not long ago accessory manufacturers and retailers faced similar problems with vendor agreements, which many felt were one-sided. They established a Mutual Efficiency Forum (MEF) and worked to help solve each other’s problems. These meetings helped them arrive at a workable balance. Neither side would say today’s agreements are perfect. They never will be. But in one way or another, they are workable. And with every rendition, they get better. As a result of MEF’s efforts, our supply chain is more efficient and the overall boating experience is heightened for consumers.
Today, many feel dealer/manufacturer agreements are also one-sided. Quite frankly, that’s not as important as the fact that both sides are now in the process of seeking their own workable balance. The newest agreements come closer than ever. They are not perfect. They never will be. But just as accessory manufacturers and retailers discovered, with time and patience, both sides will come even closer. Each effort helps tame the 800-pound gorilla and brings us nearer the Grow Boating Initiative’s goal—getting more people excited about boating and improving the consumer boating experience.

George Bellwoar
NMMA - Past Chairman
PERKO - Vice President of Marketing

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