Going Strong and Growing after More than 50 Years in Business
Campers Inn RV is one of the largest family-owned and operated RV dealerships in the United States. The company started in New England in 1966 and today operates more than 30 locations across 19 states, with more than 700 employees.
Managing Standardization During Acquisitions and COVID-19
Over the past ten years, the RV industry has grown primarily through dealership acquisition and consolidation. For Campers Inn, this has meant challenges with standardization. Each acquisition might bring 50-100 new employees and a host of HR considerations, from payroll benefits to workers’ comp and safety. And that’s on top of recruitment and team-building concerns.
Then, during the surge of COVID-19, Campers Inn had to juggle pandemic-related operational disruptions, such as initially laying off just under half of their employees related to physical locations closures–only to have to rehire them as stores opened back up. At the same time, business was booming from new customers drawn to the relative safety of RV travel versus other types of travel.
Laurie Hirsch has helped navigate these challenges as the company’s Administrative Services Manager. She initially joined Campers Inn in 2015 to lead acquisitions. Then, in 2018, her role grew to include HR as well.
Dealership Audits plus Learning Management Equal a Comprehensive Solution
Campers Inn was already a KPA client when Hirsch joined the company. In her early days, KPA was used primarily to support dealership audits.
Since then, they’ve taken advantage of much more capability, adopting KPA’s EHS and HR course content as part of their internally developed Learning Management System.
“That’s been a cool feature, to have that library of courses,” Hirsch said. “All Campers Inn employees take safety training by job role. I’m the course content person, which is insane because we have like 90 roles.”
“Everybody in the company takes a core set of courses including: Slips, Trips, and Falls, Harassment, Ethics in the Workplace, and a few more. Then you get your job-specific courses on top of that.”
Additionally, Campers Inn appreciates KPA’s quarterly site visits for both F&I and safety audits as a resource for compliance to complement the efforts of the company’s internal auditors.
“It’s a great resource because these topics are not something we specialize in internally. Especially as a growing organization, you get to be a bigger target [for auditors], so it’s good to have that outside source,” Hirsch said.
“The KPA team is quick to adapt to what we need,” she said. “For instance, we have a safety binder, and they’re looking at it with outside eyes to ask, ‘Does this make sense if I’m a brand new receptionist? Would I know how to find an SDS and report an injury?’”
“It’s a great resource because these topics are not something we specialize in internally.
Especially as a growing organization, you get to be a bigger target [for auditors], so it's good to have that outside source,”
KPA Sets Campers Inn up for Continued Growth
While Hirsch says it’s difficult to draw a direct correlation to dollar savings, she thinks KPA’s partnership is helping change the company culture to spot potential problems before they become issues. She specifically points to lack of major injuries and a reduction in eye injuries.
Service from the KPA team is also greatly appreciated. “We like to customize, and we like to grow fast. So, Matt and Stephanie [from KPA] understanding how we operate and how they can help us improve has been fantastic. Getting all the consultants on the same page, plus implementing the safety binder, has been a huge help.”
Hirsch said that KPA has become such a trusted part of operations that she can’t imagine operating without it.
“I hope we keep digging deeper,” she said, noting that when the next spate of acquisitions comes along, she’ll feel better knowing they’re prepared with KPA Software as their foundation.
“We like to customize, and we like to grow fast. So, Matt and Stephanie from KPA understanding how we operate and how they can help us improve has been fantastic. ”
Thousands of dealers nationwide, including 8 of the top 10 dealership groups, rely on KPA’s expertise.
- Facility audits
- Deal jacket audits
- EHS program management
- Online and on-site compliance training
- Hiring, onboarding, and employee retention tools
The combination of KPA’s software platform, EHS and F&I consulting services and award-winning training content helps dealers minimize risk so they can focus on what’s important—selling and servicing cars. For over 30 years, KPA has helped 10,000 + clients achieve regulatory compliance, protect assets, and retain top talent.