The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Wed Mar 15, 2017
Elkhart, Indiana - Lippert Components, Inc. has announced a series of digitally-inspired initiatives that aim to improve camping and RV experiences. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently visited LCI’s Digital Innovation Department, located in Ignition Park in South Bend, Indiana, to discuss LCI’s technology initiatives. LCI’s Digital Innovation Department is charged with one task: to increase customer satisfaction by leveraging the latest technological advances and digital innovations.
LCI’s Digital Innovation Department, led by Director Michael Rupchock, is comprised of dedicated staff and passionate stakeholders from various internal departments who work to identify the latest digital technology opportunities and analyze their potential use within the company, as well as for practical use for the RV and camping lifestyle. The powerhouse team is essentially an internal startup that analyzes and tests technologies that could be beneficial for RVers, campers and the RV industry.
In addition to the formation of the Digital Innovation Department, LCI already has several departments in place that specialize in technical applications and electronically-controlled products and programs. Now a company with international operations and employing more than 8,000 team members, LCI’s various divisions and departments are embracing digital tech to improve existing processes and products and to develop fresh alternatives to industry standards. LCI’s Automation team is using technology and automation to improve efficiencies within the company’s many plants.
“We’ve made significant investments into the integration and automation of our operations," LCI President Scott Mereness says. "To a certain extent, these efficiencies have all been made possible because of the technical infrastructure we’ve laid down.”
“The location of our electronics division has been instrumental to our technology advancements," LCI Vice president of Electronics Rob Ford says. "We’ve been able to tap into the innovation and talent of the automotive industry in Detroit and that’s proven to be a huge advantage to the features and compatibility options of the recreational vehicle products we manufacture. In turn, it’s helped propel our growth.”
The company has implemented PLM software that effortlessly integrates product data with other business processes. Similarly, IDS, LCI’s electronics division, is dedicated entirely to the development of electronically-controlled RV and camping products and has produced a number of industry-first, digitally-operated products. Additionally, LCI’s Vice President of Customer Support Services, April Klein, and the customer support team have been partnering with Salesforce, a cloud computing company, to improve customer experiences at every stage in their journey.
“We’re exploring some really inventive concepts that we’re very excited about," LCI Chief Administrative Officer Jamie Schnur says. "Along with all of our internal efforts, our partnerships with tech-savvy businesses like Salesforce have enabled us to create unique solutions to industry-wide problems.”
Most recently, LCI has been challenging established industry products and processes with the introduction of several digitally-operated products. Ground Control 3.0 and Ground Control TT, products that automate the previously manual process of leveling a fifth-wheel trailer or travel trailer, respectively, have been met with excitement by consumers and younger generations, new to the RV and camping lifestyle. Similarly, OneControl is another of the company’s digitally-progressive products. The software, operated with a mobile app, allows users the advantage of controlling and monitoring their trailer’s operating systems from the palm of their hand, all but eliminating tired processes requiring physical exertion and RV-know-how.
“We’re very proud of the advancements were making," LCI CEO Jason Lippert says. "We are focused on integrating technology into all aspects of the RV experience. Because we manufacture so many of the products used in RVs, we’re in a unique position to integrate technology and push for digital advancements throughout the industry, and that’s exactly what were focused on.”
For more information, visit www.lippertcomponents.com.