February '20

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80 • RV PRO • February 2020 rv-pro.com The Home Team Advantage While LaVanture Products today serves a multitude of indus- tries, the RV market was the first one the company served – and it remains an important one to this day, accounting for about half of the company's sales, according to Rhinesmith. Fortunately, LaVanture Products has plenty of experience to call upon. The company observed its 50th anniversary in 2019, and many of the company's roughly 50 employees have worked at the business for decades. Rhinesmith has been asso- ciated with LaVanture since 1996, but left the industry for several years. She returned to the company in 2010. Rhinesmith's sales team numbers 12, with six serving as "boots on the ground" in Elkhart's RV industry. Familiarity with the RV OEMs and the people who work for those busi- nesses – from workers on assembly lines to decision-makers – gives LaVanture Products a decided advantage in terms of knowing what products are a good fit for RV applications, according to Rhinesmith. "We grew up with these people; we went to school with our customers," she says. "A lot of them are friends and family. I have only one sales rep who did not grow up here. "They (OEM employees) contribute to our personal lives, Warehouse Manager Ron Dempster confers with Lea Lucas on the warehouse floor. About 90 percent of the space at LaVanture Products' headquarters is dedicated to warehouse space.

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