Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced today (Nov. 12) that it is realigning its furniture and seating divisions into a rebranded Lippert Interior Solutions. According to a news release, the company is also consolidating two 70,000 square foot seating manufacturing facilities in Goshen, Ind., into one newly outfitted 160,000 square-foot manufacturing plant.
“We want to bring all of our plants that are manufacturing furniture, seating and mattress products under one brand name with a new focus on putting out the best product available on the market for RV OEMS and other market niches,” said LCI CEO Jason Lippert.
The launch of Lippert Interior Solutions will include rebranding the Homestyle division in Idaho and the Michiana Mattress division in Goshen, as well as the plant realignment in Indiana.
The Indiana plant consolidation will result in additional employment at the new facility, taking the number of employees in that division to approximately 300. The new facility is expected to be online in the first quarter of 2013 and will be headed by General Manager Mark Taylor and Ryan Smith, vice president of sales for Lippert Interior Solutions.
“This consolidation and expansion into a larger facility allow us to ‘lean up’ the operation, improve workflow and consolidate raw materials and manufacturing into one plant,” said LCI Vice President and National Operations Manager Todd Driver.
“Consolidating the facilities will also make the operation more vertically integrated,” said LCI Director of Product Development Jeff Few. “Consolidating the wood division, the steel division, and the foam cutting operation streamlines management and communications, and accelerates production and product development while increasing quality control and improving design.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based Patrick Industries Inc., a major supplier of building and component products for the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing and industrial markets, reported significant sales and earnings gains for its third quarter boosted by strong performance from RV operations. The company also announced the establishment of a new $80 million revolving credit facility.
Net sales for the third quarter, ended Sept. 30, increased $35.5 million or 45.9% to $112.9 million from $77.4 million in the same quarter of 2011. The sales increase reflected a 66% increase in the company’s revenue from the RV industry and a 13% increase in revenue from the MH industry, which represented approximately 68% and 20% of third-quarter sales, respectively.
Approximately $18.7 million of the revenue increase was attributable to acquisitions completed in 2011 and 2012, with the remaining $16.8 million increase primarily attributable to increased RV market penetration and a 19% increase in quarterly wholesale unit shipments in the RV industry.
Patrick reported net income in the third quarter of $6.6 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $4.5 million, or 44 cents per diluted share in the third quarter of 2011. Third quarter 2012 net income was positively impacted by a net gain on the sale of fixed assets and on the acquisition of a business of $0.2 million. Earnings included a non-cash credit of $0.1 million, or 1 cent per diluted share, related to stock warrant accounting.
“We are pleased by our third quarter revenue and profitability growth as we continue to increase our market share in the primary markets we serve through new product introductions, line extensions and the realization of our strategic and operational initiatives that are an integral part of our ‘customer first’ culture and mission,” said Todd Cleveland, president and CEO. “In addition, we believe the newest members to our Patrick family, Gustafson Lighting and Creative Wood Designs, and the other acquisitions we have completed since August 2010 will continue to provide positive contributions to our operating profitability and allow us to gain additional penetration in the RV and industrial market sectors.”
Net sales for the first nine months increased approximately $101.7 million, or 44.3%, to $331.2 million from $229.5 million in the same period in 2011. Approximately $46.5 million of the sales increase was attributable to the acquisitions completed in 2011 and 2012. In addition, increased RV shipment levels over the prior year and improved retail fixture and residential furniture sales in the industrial market positively impacted revenue growth on a year-to-date basis.
For the first nine months, Patrick reported net income of $24.9 million, or $2.32 per diluted share, compared to net income of $7 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, in the same period in 2011. The period was positively impacted by a non-cash credit of $6.7 million or 62 cents per diluted share, related to the reversal of a deferred tax valuation allowance and a net gain on the sale of fixed assets and on the acquisition of a business of $0.2 million, which were partially offset by a non-cash charge of $1.7 million related to stock warrant accounting.
To view the entire report click here.
Unique Tooling, started in May 2007 to serve the RV industry, managed to grow during the economic downturn and has accelerated by diversifying into plastics, metal and wood-cutting devices as well as tool sharpening.
The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported that the firm, which operates in two buildings in North Liberty and has eight employees, had sales of $1.2 million last year, and owner Tom England expects to reach $2 million this year.
One of the North Liberty storefronts offers blades to homeowners and hobbyists and sharpening for chain saws, lawn mower blades and other cutting tools.
But Unique Tooling mostly supplies customers in the RV, aluminum-cutting, cabinet-making, marine and plastics industries in seven states as well as nearby towns including Elkhart, Shipshewana and Middlebury.
“We supply certain types of router bits and saw cutting items that they use in the RV market,” England says. “We diversified from that into wood and plastic and now we’re in the marine industry. We’re trying to diversify more and more.
“We’re hitting our little niches. A lot of it’s worked pretty well.”
To read the entire article click here.
ASA Electronics, a supplier of RV audio and video electronics, announced the appointment of Jennifer King as the RV OEM industry manager.
According to a press release King has served for the past seven years as RV OEM account manager for Elkhart, Ind.-based ASA. “I am thrilled to be able to turn over the reins of the RV industry to Jennifer,” said Pat McCullough, commercial industry manager. “With her enthusiasm, energy, and exceptional detail to customer satisfaction, she will help continue to lead ASA’s dominance in the RV industry.”
King looks to expand market offerings by continuing to serve the industry in new and innovative ways. “Product development has been my passion since the beginning,” King said. “I look forward to advancing industry leading AV and appliance products with the highest level of service to the RV industry.”
At Notre Dame Stadium, the football game is just part of the “Game Day” experience. As reported by the Goshen (Ind.) News, the parking lots that ring the historic stadium begin filling up early Saturday (Sept. 8) morning and by midmorning are packed with Fighting Irish fans cooking, eating, drinking — just soaking up the atmosphere that makes Irish football the tradition it is.
Goshen-based Lippert Components Inc. has turned the tailgate party into an art form over the past few years, hosting its own shindig before each home game.
Saturday was no different as Lippert Components staked out a spot in the Joyce Center lot, raised a tent, fired up the barbecues, cracked open a few adult and non-adult beverages, and invited employees, customers and friends to join in prior to the Irish’s 2012 home opener against in-state rival Purdue.
CEO Jason Lippert said the company employs about 5,200 people, most of those in Elkhart County.
The pre-game tailgate party was the brainchild of employee Marty McManus. From humble beginnings, the event now usually attracts anywhere from 200-300 people before each Irish home game – depending on a host of factors, including the weather and how good the team is at the time.
As the clock struck noon on Saturday — with about three and a half hours to kickoff — Lippert Components Plastics Group Sales Manager Rich Clark was manning the large covered tent, talking to guests and steering them toward the free food and drink offered.
Notre Dame football has been a family experience for Clark for more than 50 years. “My dad was an usher when I was young,” Clark said.
The logistics for putting on a tailgate party this large, as one might expect, can be tricky, Clark said.
“We have a set-up group that gets here at about 5:30 a.m. to get the tent set up, as well as the tables and chairs,” Clark said. “The food and another group gets here about 9, and then a teardown group takes over at about game time.”
Lippert said the party is a mixture of giving back to employees and customers. “They give us a budget, and we give them the money,” Lippert said.
To read the entire article click here.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Dicor Corp. has named Larry Lebryk as director of marketing, replacing Dwayne Nickel who recently retired.
According to a press release, Lebryk joined Dicor in January of 2011, serving as aftermarket manager where he assisted with aftermarket planning and execution along with other marketing and show activities.
Prior to Dicor, Lebryk worked in marketing and communications for Girard Products in San Clemente, Calif., helping in the marketing and coordination of their “On Demand” water heater new product launch. Lebryk also logged 17 years for a major supplier to the RV market, becoming director of marketing/aftermarket sales manager/manager of international sales.
“Larry has a successful history in marketing and management roles in the RV industry,” said Gregg Fore, president of Dicor. “Larry is well respected for his work with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, and that experience will serve him well as he directs Dicor’s marketing efforts into the future.”
“Dicor has had an outstanding marketing presence over the past few years that has brought new products and strategies to the fore,” said Lebryk. “I appreciate the opportunity to be an integral part of that momentum and to build on it. We’re focused on bringing new products and services to both manufacturers and the aftermarket that can make a difference. This is an exciting time to be at the Dicor Corporation.”
For more information about Dicor, visit www.dicor.com.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI), a key supplier of components to the RV and specialty trailer industries, recently made significant investments in its research and development systems. According to a press release, these investments will “allow the company to develop parts and engineer solutions faster in order to better serve the ever-changing RV market.”
Specifically, LCI acquired a rapid prototype machine designed to render and produce actual plastic prototype parts from a 3D CAD. In connection with the prototype machine, LCI also acquired CNC and plasma-cutting steel fabrication machines.
“We recognize that our industry moves quickly, and to be successful we have to continue to bring new, quality and innovative products to market in a timely fashion,” said Andy Murray, vice president of RV sales for LCI. “Now we will reduce new project turnaround times, and increase accuracy on first run prototype parts.”
Chris Greer, director of R&D for LCI, added, “With this new technology, parts are rendered in Solid Works CAD software and fed directly into the rapid prototype machine. After only hours of construction, prototype parts are completed. Our new prototype machine has been running non-stop since it was put into production, and is already paying dividends with the speed and accuracy with which we can complete projects.”
This new technology is also of immediate benefit to LCI’s aluminum extrusion facility, as it eliminates waste in the die production process for new extrusion shapes. The new equipment is located in a dedicated, 14,000-square-foot building retrofitted from an existing LCI facility.
“All testing, development and engineering for our specialty products will now be under one roof, creating synergies to benefit our customers,” said Greer.
Sumner, Wash.-based supplier Torklift International announced the hiring of Randy Fisher in the newly created position of national sales manager.
Fisher is a veteran to the recreational vehicle industry. He’s worked as the sales and finance manager at Southside RV in Tacoma, Wash., where he exceeded sales quotas by 40%, which translated to $400,000 in net profit for the dealership and improved closing ratios by 50%. Fisher was also the finance and marketing manager at Holiday Motorhomes and was a general sales manager for Family Fun RV in Fife, Wash., for several years.
During his career he’s reached several milestones including ranking among the top 10% in national sales, ranking third among 60 sales reps while employed at Pitney Bowes and consistently added new accounts and exceeded sales quotas by more than 100%.
“I have over 18 years of sales, management and marketing experience with inside and outside sales,” Fisher said in a press release. “Something I am very proud of is my ability to maintain and build strong sales teams and business relationships to meet and exceed goals. My focus is to help the team in any way I can.”
Fisher’s goals for 2013 include challenging Torklift International sales reps to continue growth on a daily basis and work toward driving sales. He’s working toward taking his current RV industry familiarity with the Torklift International products to become an expert on the entire product line and building profitable relationships with distributors, dealers and sales reps.
His educational background includes a communication degree from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Patrick Industries Inc. reported strong gains in sales and earnings for its second quarter, ended July 1, boosted by strong RV performance and the infusion of revenue from recent acquisitions.
According to the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier, sales for the second quarter increased $33 million, or 39.9%, to $115.6 million from $82.6 million in the same quarter of 2011. The increase reflected a 61% increase in the company’s revenue from the RV industry and a 15% increase in revenue from the manufactured housing industry.
Approximately $16.2 million of the revenue increase was attributable to four acquisitions completed since mid-June 2011, with the remaining $16.8 million increase primarily attributable to increased RV market penetration and a 4% increase in quarterly wholesale unit shipments in the RV industry.
The company reported net income in the second quarter of $13.3 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, compared to net income of $3.7 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2011. Earnings were positively impacted by a non-cash credit of $6.7 million related to the reversal of the deferred tax valuation allowance, which was partially offset by a non-cash charge of $0.1 million.
“We continue to focus on growing our market share in all three of our primary markets through new product introductions, line extensions, and innovative creativity and expertise from our sales team, product managers, and in-house design department that capitalize on our ‘Customer First’ culture and mission,” said Todd Cleveland, president and CEO. “In addition, we believe the acquisitions completed since June 2011 will continue to provide positive contributions to our operating profitability and allow us to gain additional penetration in the RV and industrial market sectors.”
Net sales for the first six months increased approximately $66.2 million, or 43.5%, to $218.3 million from $152.1 million in the same period in 2011. Approximately $27.8 million of the sales increase was attributable to the acquisitions completed since mid-June 2011.
For the first six months, Patrick reported net income of $18.3 million, or $1.70 per diluted share, compared to net income of $2.5 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the same period in 2011. Six months 2012 net income included the non-cash credit of $6.7 million or $0.62 per diluted share related to the reversal of the deferred tax valuation allowance and a non-cash charge of $1.8 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, related to mark-to-market accounting for common stock warrants.
“We are pleased with our operational and financial performance through the first half of 2012 and continue to execute on our organizational strategic agenda by making targeted capital investments and acquisitions, including our recently announced acquisition of Gustafson Lighting in Elkhart, which represents our fifth acquisition in thirteen months,” said Cleveland. “We remain focused on strategically leveraging our operating platform, resources, personnel, liquidity, and expertise to bring the highest level of quality products and service to our customers, which will in turn drive shareholder value.”
To view the entire report click here.
South Bend, Ind.-based supplier Clean Seal Inc. has passed its ISO 9001:2008 Surveillance Audit, according to a news release.
Clean Seal received its audit from National Quality Assurance USA Inc. The release stated that by passing the audit Clean Seal demonstrates “a continued commitment to meet rigorous criteria for assuring quality in the products and/or services they provide their customers.”
The process of achieving ISO 9001:2008 has enabled Clean Seal to continue to improve and streamline its operations. The company said that it also reinforces Clean Seal’s long-standing commitment to its clients and business partners.
Clean Seal, founded in 1978, is a national manufacturer and distributor of weather stripping materials to the bus, rail, general transportation, appliance, boating and recreational vehicle industries. The company also stocks an extensive line of rubber hose and recently added a line of electromagnetic shielding products.
HiSpec Wheel & Tire Inc., a supplier of aluminum wheels to the RV, medium truck and niche automotive industries, announced the certification of the company’s quality system based on the ISO 9001 standards.
According to a press release, international standards such as those required by ISO 9001 are critical to original equipment manufacturers and play an integral role in the quality of products they produce. ISO standards are also a key component in providing greater protection for consumers and the environment.
“This is a major step in our continuous effort as the industry leader in providing the safest and most reliable RV and specialty trailer wheels to our customers,” said Jim Guibert, director of sales and marketing for Mishawaka, Ind.-based HiSpec Wheel & Tire. “We have always been a leader and innovator in our industry and our ISO accreditation is yet another way that HiSpec differentiates itself from the competition in the specialty trailer and heavy-duty wheel manufacturing industry.”
“The fact that we were able to achieve it in nine months is an indication of the organization that has always been part of the HiSpec way,” added Ron Williams, general manager at HiSpec. “Moving forward we are committed to meeting our customer’s needs and providing innovative solutions and products at a competitive price. This is just another step to improve the quality and safety standards in the RV and specialty trailer industries.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Ultra-Fab Products Inc. has introduced the Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks, designed to add stability to travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and horse and cargo trailers.
According to a press release, the scissor jacks install easily by welding or bolting to the RV frame with 3-inch by 10-inch multi-hole mounting plates. The jacks are ruggedly constructed and feature a black powder coat finish that resists rust. A strong worm gear jacking mechanism eliminates slipping and the 5-inch by 9-inch footpads help combat sinking and tilting.
Once installed, the Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks are easy to operate. By using the hand crank that is included in the Twin-Pack, simply crank the jacks down until they are firm against the surface. And since they extend from 4 3/4 inches to 30-inches, the scissor jacks will offer stability even if the campsite is not level.
One of the unique features of Ultra-Fab’s scissor jacks is the use of a thread and nut at each end that work together when lowering or raising the unit. The company said the design allow RVers to move the jacks up or down 20% faster than other brands.
If RVers want to eliminate hand cracking, an Ultra Speed Socket scissor jack drill accessory is available. The 30-inch Scissor Jack also comes in a single pack but that does not include the hand crank.
The Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks are available through Arrow Distributing, Keystone Automotive, Stagparkway, NTP, Bell and Northern.
Hickory, N.C.-based components supplier Hickory Springs Manufacturing Co. has introduced the patented Fall-Away Cross Bar, a mechanism designed to raise the comfort level in sleeper sofas.
According to a press release, the Fall-Away Cross Bar is designed to sit 2.5 inches lower than previous models, creating a gap between the mattress and the bar so the sleeper does not experience any discomfort. While the middle bar of the mechanism is necessary for support when the sofa is in a seating position, once the bed is opened, the Fall-Away Cross Bar rotates to its lower position.
The new sleeper mechanism will be offered to all existing customers at no additional cost, making it an industry standard from Hickory Springs. The Fall-Away Cross Bar can be used in all towable and motorized RV models.
“Our new Fall-Away Cross Bar is a ‘hidden value product.’ You may not see the difference, but you can definitely feel it,” said Mickey Thomas, director of sales for the company’s JSI division based in Elkhart, Ind. “There is nothing else like it on the market. Complaints about the discomfort of RV beds are legendary. It was time to get innovative to eliminate the mid-back discomfort RVers feel due to the middle bar of a hide-away bed digging into their body. This truly gives our customers a unique selling point.”
Hickory Springs sleepers come with innerspring or foam mattresses in a wide range of sizes, lengths and depths, complete with a convenient patented Headlock Dual-Locking TV Headrest.
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier D&W Inc. announced the following hires and promotions:
• Angie Reed has been promoted to general manager. She will be responsible for day-to-day operations in the mirror and glass division. Reed previously worked in the company’s sales department and has more than 15 years of experience in the RV industry, as well as 10 years of management and purchasing experience. She is a resident of Elkhart.
• Paul Warning has been promoted to plant manager. He will be responsible for managing production and maintenance departments in the mirror and glass division. Warning has been with the company for 10 years. He earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry from Purdue University and a master’s in biology from Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis.
• Jay Riblet has been hired as a sales representative. He will focus on maintaining and increasing the customer base in the distribution and the mirror and glass divisions. Riblet, who graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s in general studies, is a resident of Elkhart.
• Shannon Eary has been hired as a buyer in the mirror and glass division. She will be responsible for daily purchasing of raw materials, negotiating with suppliers and controlling inventory levels. Eary has more than eight years of purchasing and inventory control experience, as well as 15 years of experience in the RV industry. She is a resident of Elkhart.
Founded in 1967, D&W D&W has continued to grow and has become a key supplier of mirror, heat ducting products, heating and AC outlets and sealants to the RV industry.
William Kuehne has joined Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Elixir Industries Inc. as division manager of its aluminum extrusion and RV products for its reopened facility in Mishawaka, according to a press release.
Previously Kuehne has held management positions with companies supplying the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing, mass transit and heavy truck industries.
Elixir President and COO Dwight Knowles reported that the Mishawaka plant, which had been in operation for over 35 years, reopened in 2011 with a number of additional offerings. Since reopening, the division has introduced an RV entry door with a production process that is “one of a kind in the industry,” according to Knowles.
He noted that new and additional jobs will become available at the Mishawaka location as the division restarts idled equipment and customer demand continues to increase.