Vandervest Harley-Davidson

Dealer Website:
1966 Velp Ave., GREEN BAY, WI
View on Google Maps:Google Maps
Type of Retail Business:
Franchised (selling new vehicles)
Rick and Lynn Vandervest, Erik and Amy Vandervest, Dixie and Eric Kinnard
General Manager: 
Erik Vandervest
Days of Operation: 
Days of Operation: 
Days of Operation: 
Days of Operation: 
Days of Operation: 
Days of Operation: 
Days of Operation: 
Years in Business: 
Gear, Apparel and Helmets: 
Harley-Davidson, Custom Chrome, Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties, Tucker Rocky/Bikers Choice, Kuryakyn
Parts and Tools: 
Custom Chrome
Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties
Tucker Rocky/Bikers Choice
Average Age: 
Total Facility: 
45,000 sq. ft.
15,000 sq. ft.
PG&A Departments: 
7,500 sq. ft.
Service Dept: 
17,500 sq. ft.
Total Acreage: 

Mission Statement

Teamwork, Commitment, Quality, everything we do and for everyone we serve.
HOG Chapter Mission = Ride and have fun!
A big part of our mission statement is in keeping everything consistent. We make sure all employees are trained on how we want different processes to work and then we continually monitor to make sure they don't stray from that. An example of this would be our customer sales path. When a customer purchases a bike, we put them on a internal poker run.  This allows them to take a store tour to each department that will give them a personalized shopping experience helping them to pick out riding gear and accessories as well as meeting our staff.  At each department they pick a card that will create a poker hand earning them a gift card that ranges from $25 to $500. At the end when they are going to take delivery of the bike, we ring a bell and one of the owners comes over to thank them for their business. This one process is the most important part of the bike sale. We strive to make sure it is consistent for every customer. It is a continual process to make sure all employees deliver the same consistent experience.

Showroom Design and Layout

Our Green Bay store has a unique showroom and MotorClothes retail area. The original two-story log cabin restaurant was remodeled to house the clothing and collectible departments on the first level with a very rustic look including a double-sided fireplace, slate stone flooring along with barn beam and wood ceilings. 
From the clothing department, the store opens up to a motorcycle showroom that boasts a 42-foot tall ceiling with a 22-foot Big Ass Fan and a floor full of more than 100 new and pre-owned Harleys. You will also see several collector bikes perched on displays overhead as well as a V-Rod Destroyer drag bike racing up the wall. We even have Evel Knievel  suspended in air, making a jump over the upper balcony. I also forgot to mention the windows that peer into the microbrewery called "Bare Bones Brewing Co."  We have not yet fired that back up but plan to in the future.  
The west end, with a lowered ceiling, showcases our parts and accessories department, which houses all of the chrome parts and accessories that Harley offers as well as a Chrome Consultant area. The Chrome Consultant area allows us to sit down with each customer to help accessorize their new bike, delivering a personalized one-on-one experience away from the normal parts counter.
The south side of the showroom has a set of sliding glass doors that open up into the service write up area. The write-up area is set up with double write-up kiosks as well as a customer lounge with vending machines. A double set of overhead doors allow the customer to pull right in so the walk around can occur right next to the counter. Our rental counter is located within this department as well.
The secnd level of the dealership houses a fully functional banquet/event facility, known as "Olde 41," which caters to weddings and other special events. This was an existing part of the building and has turned out to be a major part of our business.  One of its major advantages is that it brings in a whole new customer base into our building. People who may never have stepped foot in the dealership. From the banquet hall, guests can walk out onto a balcony that overlooks the motorcycle showroom.  The massive railing to the balcony is made out of huge hand hewn logs which ties into the rustic outdoor north woods feel of the entire store. This is where the stories come out or the dreaming begins for new enthusiasts.
The banquet facility has been doing so well we are in the process of adding another building. This structure will house our Riding Academy training center, along with a huge event room that overlooks picturesque Duck Creek in the backyard. Three large overhead doors will allow us to open it up in the summer to give an open air pavilion feel. In the winter it will also serve as  additional bike storage.

Service Department

The service department is the southern-most addition, and matches the existing log structure. It houses about 7,500 sq. ft. on the main level and has a 10,000 sq. ft. basement with a drive-through ramp and a freight lift. The state-of-the-art service department has an indoor drive-up area for service write-ups, along with a huge wash bay and a dual drum dyno. There are double bay set ups for eight technicians. We pride ourselves in the service department cleanliness. Technicians always make sure their work areas are kept neat and clean, with the use of rolling racks to house many of the parts while a bike is under service. Our motto is, "we never want to be embarrassed to walk a customer back into service at any time." There is also a second level above service that houses many of our overstock parts as well as take off parts. There is a freight lift that goes up to the second floor as well as down to the basement. The basement houses the dyno, along with our air compressor and oil drums.  This keeps the noise away from the techs and customers. We also use the basement for winter storage of customer bikes. With $500 worth of service work, customers get free winter storage.  This works out extremely well for us and keeps our technicians busy through the winter months.

Training and Employee Motivation Practices

We take great pride in having employees that are thoroughly trained and kept up-to-date with the latest and greatest of innovations. Departmental sales goals and margins are set and tracked so employees know where they are headed and where they need to go for success. Each department is responsible for creating their own unique sales tracking board, and we meet weekly to discuss progress along with successes and areas we need to improve on. Commission is paid based on departmental sales and margins. The motorcycle sales staff get a base and then commission is paid as a percentage of the selling price of the motorcycle. Service technicians are paid a base along with a bonus for collectible hours billed. We continually send our technicians to training every year and will bring every tech to a master level if they so desire.

Commitment to Customer Service

Our main focus is customer retention -- making sure we take care of our customers and that we know our customers. Word of mouth is your best advertising. Everyone in business is going to have a customer complaint now and then, it is how you handle the complaint that is key to the future success of the business. Our employees know our expectations and our customers have learned that we are always going to take care of them. We have continually ranked in the top of Harley-Davidson CSI scoring.

Involvement in the Community

Community is on the top of our minds for everything we do in running our store. Almost all of our events are tied in with a local fundraiser group of some sort. Our dealership strives to be a key component in the local community and we are very family-orientated.
At least once a month, we have a community-focused event and continually give back to the community. The Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer is our signature charity rides in conjunction with the Green Bay Packers. This ride has raised more than $700,000 since its inception in 2004 and it continually grows every year. All of the money raised on this ride goes directly to cancer organizations in northeast Wisconsin.
We recently teamed up with the local MDA office this year and created a summer long ride event called HOGOPOLY in which riders purchase a game board with 44 ride stop sponsors throughout Northeast Wisconsin.  Riders earn a sticker at each stop which will get them chances to win prizes at the end of summer MDA HOGOPOLY Party in August.  Our HOG Chapter also went to the local MDA Summer camp and gave sidecar rides to the kids and young adults during one of their day of activities.
We are firm believers that a huge part of a successful business comes from one's reputation in your community.  We strive to always have a fun, family friendly environment that makes people want to come back and tell all of their friends about it.