April '19

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56 • RV PRO • April 2019 rv-pro.com A F T E R M A R K E T same money that could be used for a pool, a condo membership, snowmobiles. We're trying to get leisure dollars as an industry, and when companies sell those inferior products, they're really chasing people out of our industry." That means Progress depends on consumer education, so the company has both inside and outside sales teams. It also utilizes Dealer Resources Group rep firm associates to ensure coverage across the U.S. A similar arrangement with a repre- sentative group in Canada handles dealers north of the border. Obviously, Anderson says Progress really depends on its dealer relationships. "Our marketing efforts drive people to our website, and our website drives them to the dealerships, so we really push hard to get that consumer into the dealership to work with the dealership and hopefully by that point they're educated on our products," he says. Maintaining a Quality Company Culture As for personnel, Progress employs about 100 people and goes to great lengths to keep them. "We're in Utah, which is one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation, and we're in the middle of Silicon Slopes, they're calling it, so next to the Bay Area, we're one of the tech hubs of the world. Jobs are plentiful. We have to work hard to keep people happy with their jobs and engaged, because there's a lot of really good jobs around us people could go get," Anderson says. When Anderson came on-board in 1994, Progress was small enough to have a family atmosphere. As the company has grown, maintaining that feeling has been a top priority. One way Prog- ress has done that is by giving back to the community. "That's been a philosophy we've had and carried on for quite some time. It's really an integral part of the company and the people who work here," he says. "We view our company as a place that people can work in a way that empowers them to provide for their families, serve the Lord and leave a legacy of good. It's right there in our mission statement." Employees are divided into teams and given an amount of paid time and company funds to serve in ways such as guiding disabled vets through a local tulip festival, putting on a carnival for disabled children, or helping to clean city parks and facilities. "One of my favorite ones was fixing up a sidewalk, laying sod and preparing a playground for a place called 'Kids on the Move,'" Anderson says. "They teach families how to work with their disabled children." The teams also serve another purpose: Given that they are composed of employees from different departments, they intro- duce people who might not have otherwise met and help prevent silos from developing in the company. As for the future, Anderson assures Progress will not stand still. "We're going to expand our specialty shanks," he says. "We're finding with the truck craze, there's a lot of people lifting their trucks even higher than they were before, so we're coming out with shanks with even deeper drops than we already offer." The company also is expanding its 2.5-inch hitch shank line, a growing market segment with heavier RVs, based on dealer feedback. "We're not corporate owned. There are four partners who own the company and every one of us comes here every day," Anderson says. "In other words, we work here, so we make our decisions based on what's best for the customer – not based on what's best for the stock price – so we really are in-tune with the customer, and we all tow." Read More About Progress Mfg.: https://rv-pro.com/news/progress-mfg-adopts-mapp-pro- tection-policies https://rv-pro.com/news/equal-i-zer-teaches-teens- about-manufacturing https://rv-pro.com/news/progress-mfg-honored-rvaa- supplier-year-award Provo. Utah-based Progress Mfg. is run by its four owner- operators (left to right): Kenny Mauerman, director of engineering; Rich Elliott, director of sales and marketing; CFO Josh Binks and CEO Jed Anderson.

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