An increased backlog of sales orders meant many employees skipped the traditional extra holiday time off at Winnebago Industries Inc.
While most had their normally-scheduled holidays of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, some were set to work New Year’s Eve, company spokeswoman Sheila Davis told the Mason City, Iowa, Globe Gazette.
Winnebago employees typically have an extra week or two of vacation over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, she said.
Working through that traditional plant shutdown will help ease the impact of four holidays and a physical inventory day planned during the second quarter of fiscal 2010, Winnebago Industries CEO and President Bob Olson said during a Dec. 17 review of the first quarter results.
He said the company, which laid off about 900 workers at its Forest City and Charles City plants and closed a Charles City plant in a restructuring process begun in January 2008, has been using all three Forest City production lines since October.
“We are now working overtime and have increased our hourly employee base by approximately 350 since the end of the fiscal year on Aug. 29,” he said.
Olson said a rapid production increase could be limited if suppliers can’t meet Winnebago’s need for raw materials.
“Our suppliers have been faced with the same reductions in demand as we have seen throughout this past year,” he said. “We are concerned about their ability to react quickly enough to increase their production to meet our needs as soon as we would like.
“But these challenges are much better problems to have than the downside of challenges we faced throughout this recession.”