February '20

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14 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com January 2018. In July of that same year, she sold her company to Forest River and became general manager of its newest division. East to West moved into its new facility that November. The fresher and much larger production facility boosted morale and allowed East to West to fill orders much quicker, Rees contends. When East to West started off with the Della Terra in the stick-and-tin market – the largest and most competitive segment of the RV industry – the challenge was daunting. Rees credits her company's success to two primary factors. The first is product simplification. Instead of fol- lowing the industry norm of offering RV models in a plethora of floorplans and options, East to West began building Della Terras in eight floorplans, with one exte- rior color (gray-white with blue accents), one interior décor (an earth-tone brown) and very few options. This approach simplified production, increased product quality, and facilitated easier retail sales, thereby yielding greater customer satisfaction, Rees contends. As for the second factor, Rees credits the initial dealers who took a chance on the new product, adding that they were rewarded with quick turns and a low war- ranty claim rate. An Expanding Product Lineup However, a laminated trailer was always in her busi- ness plan, Rees says, as Alta took about a year to go from conception to prototype. "We took some of the key features that we believe East to West is about in terms of quality and con- Julian Crow installs the plumbing in a Della Terra travel trailer. Workers install a front cap on an Alta laminate trailer. The trailer has become popular with dealers and consumers since it was introduced during last year's Elkhart Open House Week. Brian Watson uses a fixed-base router to prep an East to West trailer roof for the next stage in the production process.

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