May '20

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rv-pro.com May 2020 • RV PRO • 35 Dometic's roots in the U.S. RV industry run deep, but company officials are quick to note that its North American operation today is very different than it was just a few short years ago. For one thing, it's a lot bigger. Thanks to some strategic acqui- sitions, Dometic Americas has grown from 1,584 team members and $605 million in revenues in 2016 to 2,563 team members and $981 million in revenues in 2019, according to the company. And even while Dometic has sought greater diversification by entering new markets in recent years, com- pany representatives say the RV industry remains a core one to the business. The company's product OE offerings for the RV market are unmatched, according to Stefan Brosick, vice president and gen- eral manager of Dometic's RV OEM business. "Dometic has probably the industry's widest range of products, with significant depth in multiple categories," he says. "With that said, our biggest areas are: refrigeration, climate (including heating and air conditioning), ventilation, hot products (including water heaters and furnaces) and awnings." What's more, Dometic has significantly stepped up investments in R&D and product development in recent years, which is paying dividends for the company, as Dometic has launched a number of new products within the past 12 months, according to Brosick. "The most important launch was our best-selling Amerciana II refrigerator. This redesign offers a new door, hidden controls, and LED lighting with a modern, updated look," he says. "In addition, we launched a redesigned two-burner drop-in cooktop, which suits a range of applications from outdoor cooking with wind guards to upscale kitchen with stainless-steel, cast-iron grate, and flush-fitting dark glass cover. "We have also seen a rapid adoption of our PowerChannel Hard- ware that allow customers to customize their outdoor living space by clipping in a new line of modular accessories, such as lights, speakers, and USB chargers," he adds. "Most recently, we launched a new 6-gallon water heater that offers three times longer showers with less wait time. Our OEMs are very excited about this product." Meanwhile, Dometic is constantly gathering input from its OEM partners on how it can best serve them, according to Brosick. "For OEM events, we do what we call 'Innovation Sessions'. ... The stronger the input, the more 'ideation' we can take away," he says. "In some cases, it has resulted in a direct product idea and creation of an agile product develop team, as was the case in our Dometic Interact product." Likewise, Dometic actively seeks feedback from end users, using those insights gathered to better serve both RVers and OEMs. In terms of quantifying its success serving its OEM partners, Brosick says Dometic uses several criteria. "We measure success in multiple ways – certainly market share is one of them," he says. "Content per vehicle is very useful as well. Nowadays, we are focused on segmentation – making certain our products are designed for the correct application, depending upon vehicle type, and making certain we have the targeted pen- etration at that level." Meanwhile, Brosick notes that Dometic has recently made a number of important investments in back-end operations specif- ically designed to serve its OEM customers. "Dometic prides itself on customer service and being a reliable, dependable partner for OEMs," he says. "We recently made an enormous investment to move from our outdated IT system to a new ERP (enterprise resource planning system) so we can better serve our customers. Although not without growing pains, the new system will enable more people greater access to correct data and allow us to digitize many aspects of our business, thereby making transactions faster, more transparent and less resource-intensive for our OEM partners." Strategic Investments Paying Dividends for Dometic Dometic manufactures a plethora of products for both RV manufacturers and the aftermarket, just a few of which are pictured in this Dometic file photo.

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