Dicor Corp. is rebranding its companies, which operate independently of each other, to create a uniformity of design message, websites and packaging, according to a report in the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.
“All of our companies share some very basic philosophies and basic competencies,” said Gregg Fore, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier who also serves as chairman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “Our decision to blend the strengths of the various companies into a single brand began 18 months ago. “It’s a very long process, but I can tell you that only 18 months in, the value is very real.”
Dicor primarily serves recreational vehicle markets throughout North America and is known as a supplier for roofing and wheel products. Over the years, it has expanded its market through acquisitions and startups to include United Shade, which makes window shades — including motorized ones — for RVs; Vixen Composites, a manufacturing system that addresses problems with composites used for RV sidewalls; SealDesign, which manufactures sealants to keep out the weather and insulate RVs; and Window Expression, a subsidiary of United Shade that sells to commercial construction companies instead of the RV industry.
“They are a combination of new startups to fill a market niche or new purchases of companies that we can blend into our core operation,” Fore said. “If a company blends well with our core operational values — that’s what has interest to us.”
The company is growing fast. In the first six months of 2011, revenue increased 15% compared with the same time period in 2010.
“We’ve shown a consistent pattern of growth both in terms of revenue and employment,” Fore said. “We’ve had a lot of longevity with our employment. When I started with the company 21 years ago, we had around 10 employees. Now we have about 120 or so.”
Recently the company has also added new management personnel, facilities and products. This growth and innovation landed the company on the 2011 “Indiana Company to Watch” list.
At the Louisville Show in November, Dicor showcased some of its newest products — some the company has developed and some it is partnering with other companies to make available.
These include an all-new system of RV cabinetry the company brought in from Europe, that simplifies the structure and allows more design techniques and a new composite — a large, flat panel made of all synthetic products — that’s up to 10 feet wide and up to 4 inches in diameter, which is used for an RVs walls.
“We started this brand-new venture in Vixen Composites. It is rare for a private company to start something that no one else is doing,” Fore said.
The South Bend Tribune reported that the company wanted to set itself apart from others of its kind, so it built a machine capable of making up to 10-foot-wide composites. It uses a moving mold process, where the composite is molded as it travels along a production line, rather than a static — or stationary — mold process.
“It has a smaller footprint, fewer emissions, results in a panel that is seamless and has a greater strength than static panels and is lighter in weight than a static mold,” Fore said.
The company’s website demonstrates the strength of the panels with a video showing what happens to a panel when a brick or bowling ball is dropped on it from one story up. (Watch the video on the RVBUSINESS.com home page).
In addition to the composites, Dicor also demonstrated some of its older products at the trade show.
“We played on the long-term history. We’ve been in the roofing industry for almost 22 years and we have a majority market share,” Fore said, explaining that the company also showcased its decorative wheel products, which is a line it has produced for 27 years.
So, what are the company’s plans for the future?
“Well, we don’t want to stop growing. Our goal is to continue down that path. It will be internal growth through market share and through product line. Through acquisition or startup as those things become available to us.”
“It is important to us to build an enterprise that has longevity for the employees, that has teeth, that can continue to grow whether or not I happen to be involved or one of the other partners is involved,” Fore said. “They know that we are trying to do things in the future in their best interest, consequently they will do things today in our best interest.”