Dig into Expanded NATM Dealer Affiliate Program

Posted By: Andrea Boetticher NATM News,

The National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) is expanding its Dealer Affiliate Program based on the business needs of the trailer dealer industry. You asked, and NATM listened! Dealer Affiliates can take advantage and start using many of these benefits right away, and other benefits will continue to be launched in the coming months. 

The NATM Dealer Affiliate Program is organized through five major categories: 

  • Education and Resources 

  • Network and Community

  • Services and Solutions

  • News and Publications 

  • Industry Data and Surveys

Take a look at the program benefits in each of these categories. 

Education and Resources 

Online Education through NATM Academy 

Full courses, micro-courses, training, and other education will be accessible online and on-demand through the NATM Academy. Education will be tailored for dealer owners and their staff in the following focus areas: dealer owner, leadership development, financial management, operations and office management, and sales, service, and parts department management.  

Dealer Management Guides

If you have ever found yourself needing to create a procedure document or need a starting point for best practices related to your business, the dealer management guides will be of interest to you. The NATM dealer management guides are best practices, standards, and templates for everything related to operating a trailer dealership including topics like creating a business plan, developing employee manuals, procedures for financing, banking, contracting, and much more. 

Education and Resources for Dealers’ Customers 

In addition to education and resources for dealer owners and their staff, the Dealer Affiliate Program will be offering additional resources for dealers to pass on to their customers. With its focus on safe trailering, NATM can serve as a bridge between dealers and their customers. NATM is stepping up its efforts to improve the safety of the nation’s roadways through increased awareness of safe trailering. And as an NATM Dealer Affiliate, dealers show to customers that same commitment to safety. 

Dealer Affiliates have access right away to NATM’s existing trailer safety education resources such as brochures on safe towing, pre-departure checklists, and fact sheets on state towing laws, regulations and requirements. On top of that, NATM is working on creating an even more robust catalog of customer resources on safe trailering, including a suite of online interactive tools like a glossary of trailering terms, guides on how to understand trailer labels and weight ratings, as well as infographics on how to properly load a trailer, and much more. 

Network and Community

As small business leaders, NATM recognizes that dealers do it all, but they don’t have to do it alone. That’s why the next category of benefits focuses on network and community. The NATM Dealer Affiliate Program provides many opportunities for dealers and their staff to engage with each other and industry partners - the program itself is built by the community of trailer dealers. Here are some of the ways Dealer Affiliates will be able to network and join the community, with more opportunities to connect with the whole trailer industry coming in the future.

NATM Connect - A Private Online Community Forum

NATM will offer dealers and their staff access to a private online community forum where they will be able to network, discuss topics and ideas, and ask questions. The community allows dealers to instantly engage with other professional peers who understand the same challenges and needs. The discussion board is organized based on how dealers’ businesses operate, making it easy to connect to the right people. 

For example, if a service technician has a question, they can post it on the service board to learn how others in the industry troubleshoot the same issue, or if an owner is interested in connecting with other dealer owners to discuss leadership development ideas or tips on how to motivate staff, they can connect in the dealer owners group in the community. NATM Connect gives dealers access to the industry and opportunities to network and connect without the need to interrupt day-to-day business.

Opportunities for Volunteering through the NATM Dealer Affiliate Committee 

NATM is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the success of the trailer industry. It exists to serve the industry and can only operate with participation from dealers. With that in mind, there are opportunities for dealers to volunteer with the Association to help build programs like the Dealer Affiliate Program.  

Business Engagement Groups 

The NATM Dealer Business Engagement Groups will be an opportunity for dealers to interact with a small group of non-competing peers to explore topics related to business management, growth, and profitability. In each engagement group, dealers will be able to discuss challenges, build relationships with peers, and brainstorm ways to implement new ideas.

Services and Solutions

When professionals in an industry come together with their association, there are huge benefits. One of the benefits is a market curated specifically for dealers’ business needs. This third benefit category - services and solutions - will take form in two major ways. 

Affinity and Discount Programs 

In addition to the existing services available to Dealer Affiliates, NATM will be building out its affinity program to offer beneficial services and solutions to dealers. The NATM affinity programs are thoroughly vetted by dealers to ensure the program is beneficial and provides true cost savings.  

Services and Solutions Directory

Word of mouth is often the best recommendation. NATM will be offering Dealer Affiliates a services and solutions directory, with listings coming straight from dealer peers. This directory will include everything from CRM systems, financial and accounting software, to website hosting, marketing solution providers, IT management and cyber security solutions and more. The directory will be an objective source to help dealers search for something new or switch providers.

News and Publications

Tracks Magazine

NATM Dealer Program Affiliates continue to receive a subscription to Tracks Magazine. Printed bimonthly, the magazine includes technical articles, industry updates, Association news as well as other relevant topics for the trailer industry.

What do you want to read about? NATM is always taking requests on what dealers find relevant and want to read about. Tracks also regularly hosts articles featuring dealers and their businesses at no cost! If you have a topic suggestion or are interested in a feature article, contact Advertising@natm.com. 

Dealer Monthly eNewsletter 

In the coming months, NATM will be developing a monthly eNewsletter specifically for trailer dealers with curated topics just for them. 

Industry Data and Surveys 

NATM will be providing valuable industry data and surveys so dealers can forecast trends and measure their business operations against the broader industry. This category will focus on three major areas including economic outlook webinars and resources, trailer dealer industry surveys, and workforce surveys. More details will be coming in the future. 

As NATM Staff and the Dealer Affiliate Committee continue to expand the NATM Dealer Affiliate Program, we’d love to hear from you. If you have questions about the program or have a dealer who is interested in joining, contact the NATM Dealer staff - Membership Outreach Specialist Scott Simons at Scott.Simons@NATM.com and Dealer Programming Specialist Andrea Boetticher at Andrea.Boetticher@NATM.com.