June '21

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80 • RV PRO • June 2021 rv-pro.com Breaking news exclusives from RV PRO's website In Case You Missed it RV I N S I G H T Duo Form Enters the Pets Market Duo Form launched in 1968 and for 50-plus years it has carved out a solid niche in the marketplace manufacturing thermoformed plastic sheeting for the RV market and other industries. RV OEMs were steady customers and still are, but the company recently has begun branching out. "It's only in the last year or two that we have spun into the aftermarket industry and kind of asked ourselves, 'Why have we never done this?'" said Shelly Ditmer, president of Duo Form. In that same "why not?" spirit, the company has launched a new segment called Duo-Pets and its first product is the Go Pet B&B, a hard-sided, clamshell-like carrying case that holds a pet's bed, food, water, leash, and accessories. The debut product will be for sale this summer. "It's been in planning for over a year now," said Ditmer. "We have brainstorming sessions and it's an idea that came up pre-COVID, and then it kind of paused during COVID times, with our thinking switching over to face shields and different PPE. Then, as things started switching around, we went back to 'the normal,' back to focusing on this project." A year ago at this time, Duo Form found itself uniquely qualified in being able to manufacture much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) because of the types of materials it works with every day and the type of equipment in its factory. Not only did making PPE keep the company open and operating when many other manufacturing plants were forced to shut down – including many of Duo Form's OEM customers – but it enabled the company to add staff over its pre-COVID numbers. Even though the idea for targeting the pets market pre-dated COVID, that experience with PPE proved a huge inspiration to the company, according to Ditmer. "(Manufacturing PPE) gave us the confidence and the know-how that we can do this, that we know how to launch it, and the PPE really gave us the knowledge on eCommerce and what it takes to launch a different division," she said. But why pets? "All of us here are pet owners, so it just seemed like a natural something for us to do," Ditmer said. "And a lot of campers are pet owners, and so when we're looking at bloggers or investigating people that camp, almost all of them are camping with a pet." Read more: http://rvpro.link/frkpl Lanciotti Settles in as Head of REV's RV Segment Mike Lanciotti has hit the ground running since taking the reins of REV Group's RV division, which had been without a president since late 2017. "Implementing best practices in regard to pulling everybody together," Lanciotti said of one of his priorities. "There's just a lot of talent in the group and having an RV decision-maker at the top of the group that is using his best judgment on some of the questions they have will make us progress pretty quickly." Lanciotti was named president of the REV Recreation Segment in April. That role will have him overseeing all of the recreation businesses and brands under the REV umbrella, including Fleetwood RV, Holiday Rambler, American Coach, Monaco Coach, Renegade RV, Lance Camper, Midwest Automotive Designs and Goldshield Fiberglass. He will report directly to REV Group President and CEO Rod Rushing. The Recreation Segment represents 29 percent of REV's total business; the other two divisions, Commercial – specialty vehicles such as delivery vans and tour bus coaches – and Fire & Emergency represent 21 percent and 50 percent of the company's business, respectively. "Today, roughly half of our recreation business revenue is in Class A RVs," Rushing told an investor conference in April. "Our Class A has shown great progress and promise over the past two years with improved quality, award-winning new products, new dealer signings, and an improved bottom line. "Our Class A business has been gaining share recently and has moved into a No. 3 market position. It includes the brands of Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler and American Coach. The other 50 percent of the RV portfolio is from businesses that have been very profitable, in high- single- to low-double-digit margin territory." One initiative that Lanciotti said he is jumping into immediately is bringing the RV Group up to the standards of the other two divisions in the area of "operational excellence." Company-wide, REV has been making a strong push toward improving its manufacturing processes using methods such as Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma techniques, and it's where the other two company divisions are ahead of the RV division. Read more: http://rvpro.link/gkrwp Lanciotti

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