Adventurer Manufacturing has added a 20,000 square foot building, a dedicated Scout production line and is undergoing intensive modernization. Here’s what this all means for the 50 year family-owned company, and how these changes impact Scout, Adventurer, and Eagle Cap truck campers.
We have the privilege to speak to a great number of RV industry decision-makers on a regular basis. For the past year or so, those conversations have been dominated by the impact of pandemic-triggered demand and the resulting supply chain issues and labor shortages. Leadership teams that had previously focused on big picture challenges and opportunities have been putting out routine fires related to purchasing and production for months.
That’s not to say that these leadership teams haven’t been successful in adapting and even transforming their businesses to meet these situations. We can report that nearly every camper company has found new suppliers, inventoried more parts, and developed numerous production efficiencies. You might be surprised that industry leaders are actually excited about what they’ve learned through this process. You won’t be surprised they all can’t wait for the supply chain and labor issues to finally abate.
Back in 2018, we reported that Adventurer Manufacturing aggressively updated their production process. They had instituted 5S Lean Manufacturing company-wide and were bringing on best-of-breed technology and CNC equipment online including an automated TigerStop TigerSaw, Biesse Silco SK4 cutting center, and a Manzelli TopLine Lift.
That moving spirit of modernization went into overdrive over the past twenty months. In that time, Adventurer Manufacturing introduced Scout truck campers, completed an addition of 20,000 square feet, and created a second production line.
To shed light on exactly what all this means for Scout, Adventurer, and Eagle Cap truck campers, we talked to Kyle Grozelle, Marketing Manager for Adventurer Manufacturing.
In the photos you sent, we don’t see a separation between the new expansion and the main building. Are we looking at a new building, or an extension?
Technically, it’s an extension. Some may view it as a new building that’s separated by a cinder block firewall from the main factory. The new building is 20,000 square feet. Not all of that square footage is dedicated to the new Scout line. It also serves the first production line that handles Adventurer and Eagle Cap. That’s line 1. The extension gave us the ability to extend line 1 and build out line 2.
In the photos we see a Scout emerging from the plant. Is that the first Scout off the new production line?
Yes, that’s is the first Scout coming off Line 2; a Scout Yoho. Line 2 will be dedicated to Scout for now, but it’s flexible for future endeavors.
Did you need to move or reset any of the large equipment to create Line 2?
None of the larger equipment needed to be moved. They were not located on the line, and offer more than enough capacity to handle the increased production volume. We did need to add tools, workstations, and cranes to support the new line.
How much have you increased production volume?
These changes will allow us to increase our capacity by at least 50-percent. Given the lessons we’ve learned and additional planned changes, there’s further progress to be made.
If anything, the new building and Line 2 is just the first step. We are taking our time to make sure each decision is in line with the company values. We want our team to be involved in the innovation process and create an environment where people get to be part of the change.
There have been a number of personnel changes at Adventurer Manufacturing. Who is coordinating this effort?
Over the past year, our team has grown. We have expanded our production, supply chain, and engineering teams. We are working towards optimizing every step of our manufacturing process including new tooling and processes. We learned the most from our own team in-house. Every member of our production team has been critical in building up this new line. The growth of our team and adding in expertise from diverse industries are important to our sustainable growth plans and further modernization.
What do you mean by modernization? Are we talking about more CNC equipment?
New equipment is part of that effort, but it’s a combination of people, automation, and information that will support the success. With an Industry 4.0 approach, we can take everything Adventurer Manufacturing has learned over the past 50 years and analyze it for even higher quality and production efficiency. It gives us the ability to innovate the camper market without disregarding our previous success.
That sounds very high-concept. Can you give us a specific example?
Yes. We are able to gather continuous data from our automated equipment and team on the production line. With the right processes and information, we can immediately and continuously spot challenges and opportunities, and make predictive and proactive decisions based on data history. That’s Industry 4.0.
Will you be hiring additional team members?
Yes. We have already been building a larger team. In the group shot, you can see at least 120 people from our production lines and management team. We are celebrating what we’ve accomplished for the past year and a half. We have made great strides with the new Scout brand, increased quality, increased production, and a new production line. With the skill set of our team, we have also been able to promote heavily from within. It’s been exciting to see many take on new roles.
What does all this mean for the consumer?
For the Adventurer Manufacturing customer, this will translate to an even higher quality product than before and more product innovation. This is all about making sure we honor our company’s 50 year history and grow with integrity and the customer experience in mind.
You alluded to the next big thing CEO, David Epp is working on. What’s this next big thing?
I can’t tell you that right now. What I can tell you is to imagine what we can do with Adventurer and Eagle Cap with the technology we are integrating and the design and material lessons from our 50 year history.
That sounds very interesting. Can we look forward to debuting that news right here in Truck Camper Magazine?