More flexibility, leaner manufacturing and hopefully more jobs. That’s what Utilimaster Corp. is looking to gain this year as it moves into its new Bristol, Ind., facility.

“It’s a strong commitment to our future. We’re laying out our facility in a more efficient fashion. We have a facility that will be in a condition that easily could last us another 20, 30 years, probably even beyond that,” said John Forbes, Utilimaster president.

According to a report in The Elkhart Truth, the move was announced last year and won’t be finished for months, but work has been under way.

Shelving and equipment are starting to fill the cavernous building on Earthway Boulevard, and workers are testing new assembly processes. When the move is completed in the second quarter, “It will allow us to be more connected,” Forbes said. “Even when you’re in 15 different buildings on a different campus, you have a lack of connectivity. There’s nothing like face-to-face and eyeball-to-eyeball. Even when you have mail and phones from one end of the campus to the other, it doesn’t have the same level of connection.”

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