Since its Goshen, Ind., facility is bursting at the seams, Dave Carter & Associates, an 11-location nationwide supplier of electrical, plumbing and building products for the RV and other industries, broke ground today (March 27) on a 68,000-square-foot expansion project to its Goshen, Ind., facility.
General Manager Doug Wilson said the expansion to the south of the current 180,000-square-foot building primarily will provide additional storage for material that is in high demand due to the booming RV industry. Plans call for four additional grade-level truck docks.
“We’re just trying to keep up with the industry really. The expansion is purely because of the volume of product that is going out our doors and, even though we built our current building in 2014, we’re out of room already,” Wilson told RVBUSINESS.com, noting the company has enjoyed double-digit growth every year since the Great Recession.
He explained that since about 40% of the company’s products are imported – although the recently enacted steel and aluminum tariffs may impact that, he inserted – they typically have shipping containers stacked floor to ceiling.
“It takes a little bit different method to unload and receive that product, so we want to have something a little more dedicated to being able to handle the amount of containers that come across our docks every day,” Wilson said.
A major component to the expansion, he added, is hiring additional workers and implementing warehousing automation and other efficiencies to assist them.
“When you get this big of a building, you have to make sure that you’re pretty efficient because you can waste a lot of time just traveling around the building,” Wilson said. “We’re already using RF and bar codes – we don’t have any paper out in the warehouse – but we’re looking into conveyors and other kinds of equipment that would help our manpower and would move products quicker and a little more safely.”
The contractor for the project is Nuway Construction, and Wilson said they hope to be able to move into the expanded warehouse sometime in the middle of this year. “That’s kind of our goal. We could use it tomorrow, but they tell me they can’t put it up overnight. I haven’t found a contractor that can do that yet,” Wilson quipped.
For his part, Nuway President Andy Nesbitt said the company is looking forward to another project for RV manufacturers and suppliers, whose surging production needs have kept his company busy as of late.
“We set a sales record in 2016. In 2017, we actually doubled 2016. And 2018 is looking as strong as 2017 did. We’re anticipating that we’re going to hit the same sales goals that we did in 2017,” he said, noting that last year the company completed 14 projects ranging from $500,000 to $10 million.
“We have built over 25 RV production plants over the years,” Nesbitt continued. “In the recent years we have built for Crossroads RV, Grand Design RV, and Cruiser RV. And we have done various projects for RV-related suppliers like Genesis Products and Dave Carter & Associate.
“Grand Design would be our biggest projects,” he added. “Last year we completed plants six and seven, which were the customer service and production plants, and then this year so far we’re working on plant eight, which is another production facility, and we just started setting steel on plant nine, which also is going to be for production. And then we’re finishing up an addition to plant two at Grand Design, and we just signed the contract for an addition on plant three.”
Having lived in northern Indiana all their lives, Nesbitt said, Nuway employees have “lived and breathed RVs,” so they truly appreciate that industry’s specialized needs.
“We’ve all grown up in it, and so we have the expertise and the know-how to not only put up a building, but we know how to help those guys design the building around their RV lines by moving columns here and there,” he explained.
Nuway employs a collaborative approach to each of its projects, Nesbitt said, meaning company architects work with clients to make sure the facility’s design is in sync with its intended use.
“And then from the time we shovel dirt to the time it’s finished is usually about seven months,” Nesbitt added.