After massive layoffs and plant closings, one company says it’s seen an increase in business. For Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co., that could mean a callback for some of the company’s 300 laid off workers starting next week, according to WSBT-TV, South Bend.
“It’s hard to let people go, but for the overall health of the company we had to do it,” said Executive Vice President Bob Martin.
Like many RV companies over the last several months, Keystone RV had to make some tough decisions. It chose to close and consolidate two plants in Goshen and one in Howe, Ind. – a move to make the operation more efficient.
“As you consolidate, downsize, your efficiencies become much better,” Martin explained. “As you look at the factories here, rather than running a factory at 10 units a day, as you consolidate another product into that plant, you’re able to run it at 16, 18 a day.”
But amid the bad news of cutbacks and consolidation, Keystone is now getting some good news. Dealers are increasing orders for more units after finding credit seems to be loosening.
“Although it’s not as good as we’ve experienced in the past, it’s still very exciting for us out there,” added General Manager Chris Hermon.
As a result, the company has been able to increase the number of work days at plants on the Goshen campus, as well as ramp up production of some of their different product lines.
“We were at four days a week complex-wide,” Martin said. “We’ve just taken about all of them where we’re going to five days a week and we actually have several plants, that we’re creating such an order backlog, that we’re going to go six days a week.”
With that upswing, they’re preparing to hire back some who have been laid-off with the recent consolidation moves.
“Right now we’re in the situation that we will be calling back some people next week,” Martin said.
Keystone says it’s not sure how many workers it may call back. The seasonal nature of the business or another downturn in credit or sales could change that number in the future.