In any business that hinges on sourcing good quality material at fair prices in real time, maintaining updated records of supplier details is more than important. Even after you have established a great working relationship with one supplier, you have no idea when you may need a back up or extra material for an order. What’s more, what sells today may not sell tomorrow and a good reseller stays a step ahead by ensuring that he always carries an updated supplier database which can keep him in business for times to come.
Too many people make the mistake of spending months on supplier research only to throw it all away or at the very least, lose touch with those very people that they have painstakingly cultivated at parties, events and forums. In this business, knowing good suppliers can give you a real competitive advantage in any number of ways. Let’s examine some of the top few advantages that a supplier database gives you:
1. Products are often out or low on stock. Having a second or third supply source is always a great way to ensure that you do not have to turn away any orders. It also means more chances of completing an order in time as you have the flexibility of sourcing from the right guy.2. Falling out with a supplier: Relationships don’t always last and people with no supplier backups often get arm twisted into contracts and arrangements that are not beneficial for them. Having a ready database of suppliers ensures that you always have a fall back option.3. Shopping around for the best price: A cost advantage is one of the biggest advantages that a reseller can enjoy. Having more than one supplier allows you the flexibility of shopping around and subsequently negotiating the best price.4. Market Intelligence: Knowing suppliers in the market ensure that you can find out about competitors, new products in the market, trends and other information that you may need from time to time.
It is important to remember that maintaining a supplier database is not about having a diary of numbers to call. It is about building and maintaining relationships in the supply market that you can call upon when you need to. Remember the adage, `don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. Well, supplier relationships are a lot like that; they are determined by businessrealities and what works today, may not always work a day after.
Knowing more people is a little bit like having more tools in the market to work with. Every supplier brings their own expertise to the table and if you can manage it, it may be wise to work with more than one at any given time. It is however, important to be able to do justice to each relationship without compromising the basic understanding you have with any one supplier. Good software and some basic sensitivity can go a long way in helping with that.
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RV slide-out rooms have both inner and outer seals (I also refer to them as gaskets, but seals is probably the more accurate word). They keep the slides sealed against the elements whether they are extended or retracted. Keeping them working smoothly is a quick and easy once-a-year maintenance item… probably the simplest task on our annual spring cleaning list! lol
Although there are commercial products available for lubricating slideout seals, when we picked up our new motorhome from Newmar, they recommended that we simply rub them with baby powder / talcum powder once a year, and nothing else would be required. This has worked well for us over the 7 years we’ve owned our RV, and avoids the cost of commercial products. Another benefit of baby powder is that it doesn’t attract dust and dirt the way many liquid products can.
Our slide-out room seals look pretty much brand new, even after nearly 7 years of full-timing. If your manufacturer recommends some other method, by all means follow their recommendation, but we’re pleased with this method and highly recommend giving it a try.
The intro music is my own piano performance of Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag from 1899.
DO YOUR RV SLIDE TOPPERS NEED REPLACING? Tough Top Awnings are thicker and stronger than OEM fabric and cost far less too! Get higher-quality fabric and save at least half the cost by replacing your slide toppers yourself. Watch RVgeeks’ Slide Topper Installation Video to see how easy it is – http://youtu.be/7EXgaoRNkYg – and visit http://www.toughtopawnings.com for complete details. Be sure to tell Ray (the owner) “RVgeeks sent me!”
RV Geeks offers basic DIY (do it yourself) RV service, repair, maintenance and travel tips from full-time RVers who have been handling most of their own maintenance since hitting the road in 2003.
Be sure to confirm that all methods and materials used are compatible with your particular recreational vehicle. Every type of motorhome, motorcoach, fifth wheel, travel trailer, bus conversion, camper and toy hauler is different, so your systems may not be the same as ours.
While we’re not RV technicians, we’re very mechanically inclined and have learned a lot about RV systems over the years. We handle most of our own minor service, maintenance and repair work on our 2005 43′ Newmar Mountain Aire diesel pusher. We also maintained our 2002 39′ Fleetwood Bounder Diesel during our first two years on the road.
We meet lots of newer RVers who are eager to learn some basics about maintaining and caring for their rigs. After more than 10 years on the road, we want to share what we’ve learned (some of it the hard way). 😉
We hope our experiences can help other RVers go DIY, saving some time, money and effort, while experiencing the satisfaction of a job well done.
We do not pretend to be experts on any particular RV topic, and mostly know about maintaining our own rig. But lots of things are the same on RVs in general, and diesel pushers in particular.
Comments welcome! Thanks for watching!