Why is Forest River switching to the new system, Forest River Dealer Connect?
The reason is two-fold: From a technology standpoint, we needed to upgrade our internal and external systems as many of our systems were dated and no longer being supported by current technology platforms. Also, Forest River is continually looking to enhance our position as an industry leader and, after listening closely to feedback from our dealer partners, we recognized the need for a better, faster, and more efficient communication platform to manage our Customer Service operations.
What is the tentative timeline for the roll-out?
Rollout began in May 2019. We anticipate the timeline to continue until the beginning of 2020, after all active dealers have been added to the new portal.
What does the deployment of the new system look like?
The deployment roll-out will occur with groups of dealers being placed into Go Live “waves”. Dealer Principals will be notified FOUR WEEKS PRIOR to GO LIVE with a short check list of key milestone tasks necessary for their dealership’s implementation.
What if my dealership isn’t ready for "Go Live?" Can I delay my dealership’s implementation date?
Unfortunately, not. We understand that there will be various conflicts with Go Live timelines. However, we are committed to notifying dealers at least 4 weeks prior to implementation and encourage you to utilize this advanced timeline to accomplish all required tasks prior to Go Live.
What can we expect of Forest River Dealer Connect?
Forest River Dealer Connect will be significantly better than our current Dealer Central portal:
- Forest River has upgraded and added servers to improve the system’s response time.
- The system is more user-friendly and intuitive, enhancing the speed and efficiency of work flow.
- Most of the key portal information will update in real time.
- Parts Catalog searches are easier and more intuitive with improved descriptions and more pictures.
- Flat Rate Manuals have been streamlined by division for quicker and more accurate processing.
- Dealers will be able to see all the units sold to your dealership and filter by retail sold.
- Dealers will be able to have access to multiple location accounts with a click of a button.
- Your dealership will be able to maintain your own list of Users and their access to information.
- Extended “time-out” periods set at 2 hours.
Will Forest River Dealer Connect create changes to my workload or staffing requirements?
We do NOT anticipate any changes to the dealer workload or staffing requirements. Our goal is to make you more efficient and actually provide additional available time for your current staff.
Will all Forest River brands be in the same system?
Yes. All Forest River RV brands will now be using Forest River Dealer Connect.
Will statements, invoices and claims all be located and accessible in Forest River Dealer Connect?
Yes. Most key reports will be readily available and displayed with current daily balances
Will our dealership be able to submit manual "paper" claims instead of using Forest River Dealer Connect?
No. Forest River will not accept manual claims once your dealership goes "Live".
How do we sign up our people to Forest River Dealer Connect?
Forest River will contact a designated Dealership Administrator approximately two weeks before it’s your turn to “Go Live” and provide them directions to create new Dealer Users. New Users will receive an invitation from Forest River directing them on how to log-in.
How do we update access for our people as they change in our organization?
The Dealership Administrator will update Users in their account. This includes adding new Users, removing Users, and changing privileges for Users.
Are there any limits to the number of people a dealership can give access to?
There are no limits to the number of people you can create as Users at your dealership.
Who should we sign up so they have access to Forest River Dealer Connect?
The following types of Users should (can) have access: Dealership Administrator, General Managers, Warranty/Parts/Service Managers, Warranty/Parts Clerks, Service Technicians (optional), Sales Persons and Spiff Managers.
Will there be “roles” or security levels/parameters for Users? If so, what are they?
We have created several security roles for various levels of access on Forest River Dealer Connect. Each User role can be customized based on the User’s normal duties and responsibilities at your dealership. Please see our training materials for information specifically on creating and managing Users.
What training will be provided?
PDFs of the Training Manuals and How-To Instructional Videos will be stored and accessible on Forest River Dealer Connect. We strongly encourage dealership management to schedule group and user-initiated self-training PRIOR to Go Live using the available training materials.
How will I access on-line training material?
Once you receive your invitation to activate a User account and log into the portal, training material will be available on the portal Home Page in the Quick Links section found on the right of the page.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding training if I’m unable to find the answer in my tutorials?
Forest River Warranty and Parts personnel from your individual brands will be trained to answer most of your procedural and how-to questions. If you are experiencing problems with the portal’s operation, you can contact the Forest River Dealer Connect Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will we transition from the current system to Forest River Dealer Connect?
Once a dealership arrives at their Go Live date, the ability to start a NEW warranty claim, parts orders and SPIFFs/Registrations in the current Dealer Central system will be disabled and you will begin entering new parts orders, warranty claims, and SPIFFs/registrations in Forest River Dealer Connect.
Do I work in both systems? How long will I have to work in both?
You will be required to work in both systems until all of the existing approved items in the current system are completely processed. The timetable required to work in both systems will depend on completion of your existing items. You will NOT be able to create new items in Dealer Central (the current system) once you Go Live with Forest River Dealer Connect.
Will I be able to see the old claims and orders in the current system (Dealer Central) and for how long?
Once you are live in Forest River Dealer Connect and all your orders and claims are finalized in Dealer Central, you will have READ ONLY access in the current system. We anticipate READ ONLY access for all dealers a minimum of 1 year AFTER all dealers have fully transitioned to Forest River Dealer Connect. Forest River will store and retain all Dealer Central data for a minimum of seven years.
What improvements can I expect with Parts Ordering?
Forest River Dealer Connect will be more user-friendly and intuitive enhancing the efficiency of your work flow. A significant improvement will be visible with our improved Parts Catalogs:
- Unit VINs will direct the User to specific BRAND catalogs.
- Improved search capabilities allow the User to input multiple key words when searching.
- Advanced filters – Model Year, Category, Sub-Category – allow the User to further refine a search.
- More (and better) pictures will be found in every new catalog.
- Part descriptions have been improved and offer more consistent terminology across all Forest River brands.
- Real time tracking ability will exist for all UPS shipments.
- Graphic Layouts have been set up to show a Parent item with Supplemental parts attached to it.
Will parts still be separated by manufacturer/brand?
Each Forest River brand will have their own unique Parts Catalog.
Does Forest River Dealer Connect allow me to initiate a part return from a Part Order?
At this time, a part return from a Parts Order cannot be initiated on Forest River Dealer Connect. Please contact your Forest River parts advisor for assistance.
Will I be able to see orders placed by Forest River parts reps in my order history?
Yes, you will be able to see orders placed by Forest River parts advisors.
Will we be able to track all order shipments?
With our initial roll-out, you will only be able to track UPS shipments. We anticipate being able to track motor freight shipments in the future.
Will we be able to see the availability of a part when looking up a part number?
Real-time inventory levels of a part will not be available at this time. We understand this is a desired feature and the system will support this functionality in the future.
Will order confirmations show estimated ship dates? Will the order itself show an estimated ship date?
ETAs will not automatically show up on orders or order confirmations.
Will the complete order history for an account be searchable?
Because Forest River Dealer Connect will be new, there will not be a history of orders for some time. As historical order data builds up, historical data will be searchable by various parameters.
Will I be able to search and find parts using the unit VIN?
The VIN will take you to an associated brand’s catalog where you will find a variety of drop down menu choices that allows you to drill down to additional levels that will include model year. The entire system is designed to make it easier and faster to quickly find the right part.
What improvements can I expect with Warranty Claims and Processing?
Forest River Dealer Connect will be more user-friendly and intuitive enhancing the efficiency of your work flow. However, there are numerous improvements over our current system based on your feedback:
- Each Forest River brand will have a dedicated and streamlined Flat Rate Manual.
- The system will allow you to quickly attach multiple pictures when necessary.
- Claims that need review will be easily identified and offer a process for streamlined responses.
- When necessary, it will be easy to “split” a claim for processing.
- When applicable, the User can “Load Parts” on warranty claims directly from parts orders.
- For convenience, check dates and check numbers will be posted on each claim header so that payment status and approved amounts are readily visible.
- There will be a significantly easier Parts Return process.
- Service campaigns affecting your customers and inventory will be easy to identify, track and process.
Will all the pre-authorizations in the current system transfer to Forest River Dealer Connect?
Pre-authorizations will NOT transfer to Forest River Dealer Connect. You will be required to finalize and submit for payment existing pre-authorizations in the current Dealer Central system.
Will we have to work in the current system until the pre-authorizations have been completed?
Yes. You will be required to finalize and submit existing pre-authorizations in the current system.
Will Forest River Dealer Connect print UPS labels automatically?
The flat rate code will clearly indicate when a part needs to be returned. A simple process to print out the UPS return label on demand will be provided on claims requiring returned parts. If you use the UPS labels, you will not have to worry about entering the correct return address.
Will I be able to access payment information in Forest River Dealer Connect instead of having to use the Vendor Portal?
You will be able to access the check number and approved payment information in Forest River Dealer Connect on the claim itself and on the data grid. A link to the Vendor Portal will also be available.
Will Forest River accept mailed or faxed "paper" retail registrations?
Yes, but we strongly encourage dealers to register the unit and upload the PDI document on Forest River Dealer Connect. This process will streamline your operations and allow the dealer salesperson to claim their SPIFF in a timely manner.
Who will be able to create and submit a retail registration at your dealership?
By default, only the Dealer Administrator and SPIFF Manager will have permission to create and submit a retail registration. However, some dealerships will want to grant this permission to other Users, so this function can be granted to any User at the dealership by the Dealership Administrator. A training tutorial and how-to video will be available showing the Dealership Administrator how to change User permissions.
Will SPIFFs be submitted in Forest River Dealer Connect?
Yes, requests for SPIFFs will be submitted and processed through Forest River Dealer Connect.
How do I know whether to use Forest River Dealer Connect or the old portal (Dealer Central) to claim my SPIFF?
Once your dealership is "Live", all of your current inventory will be available for registration on Forest River Dealer Connect and all SPIFF submission for these units must also be done in Forest River Dealer Connect.
Who will be able to submit for SPIFFs?
Any approved User at the dealership can request a SPIFF payment once they have filed a completed and approved W-9 form. This form can be found by clicking on the GEAR Icon and clicking on the W-9 Info link in the left hand column.
What will be required to submit for a SPIFF payment?
Before an approved User can successfully submit a SPIFF request for payment, the unit MUST be retail registered in Forest River Dealer Connect and a completed PDI Document uploaded to the portal during the registration process.