MRAA Becomes Owner and Operator Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program

Grow Boating Inc. has transferred ownership of the Marine Industry Certified Dealership (MICD) Program to the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA). As the new full owner of the MICD Program, MRAA is responsible for every aspect of managing, operating, marketing and promoting the program for dealers, including conducting dealer Certification reviews and consultations.

The MICD Program was originally created as a pillar of the Grow Boating initiative to help ensure a positive experience for boat buyers. However, Grow Boating gradually developed a need for an increased focus on creating future boat buyers through the industry's Discover Boating marketing program. As a result, Grow Boating sought a partner to shepherd the MICD Program in order to dedicate more time to Discover Boating.

"Transferring ownership of the MICD Program to MRAA improves synergies across the entire industry as we work to create the best experience for boaters,' says Grow Boating President Carl Blackwell. "The Grow Boating Board of Directors unanimously approved transferring the MICD Program to MRAA because we know they'll have a laser focus on growing participation in the program to improve the customer experience.'

In 2013, MRAA began managing the MICD Program, working directly with a committee of dealers and manufacturers and the Grow Boating Board of Directors (also made up of manufacturers and dealers) to identify ways of reinvigorating the program.

"MRAA's entire reason for being is focused on helping our industry grow and succeed by helping our dealers grow and succeed,' says MRAA President Matt Gruhn. "As we have built new services and programs over the last three years, we've always viewed the MICD Program as the ultimate tool to help dealers find greater success. It combines proven principles and best practices to guide dealers in building high-quality, sustainable organizations. We are honoured that the industry, and particularly the Grow Boating board, entrusts us with the responsibility of building upon the foundation of this great Certification program.'

The MICD Program provides dealers with standards, business processes and best practices to help them improve retail operations, increase sales, and continuously improve customer/employee satisfaction. To date, the MICD Committee and MRAA have responded to requests to streamline the Certification process by: Creating a digital portal and home for program materials and standards completion on; lowering the overall cost of Certification; moving Recertification from every year to every-other year; instituting lower Certification cost options for multi-location dealerships; and creating a tiered program (based on a series of escalating steps) that allows dealers to enter the program and navigate it at their own pace.