It was a positive sign of recovery for Winnebago this holiday season - workers had to forego their usual one or two week holiday vacations in order to fill a backlog of sales orders.
According to RV Business, while most employees did get to take the Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's holidays off, the company did not institute a company-wide plant shutdown this year.
CEO and President Bob Olson said that working through the traditional shutdown would allow the company to keep up with demand despite the holidays and an inventory day set for the second quarter of the 2010 fiscal year.
"We are now working overtime and have increased our hourly employee base by approximately 350 since the end of the fiscal year on August 29," Olson said.
Winnebago had laid off about 900 workers at two of its plants and closed another plant in a restructuring process that began in January 2008. But with demand increasing, it's been using all three of its production facilities in Forest City, Indiana since October.
The increase in production is good news for the company and is a sign that the industry as a whole is on its way to recovery following its worst year in its 100 year history. Olson says the next challenge will be ensuring all of the suppliers can keep up their increased demand.
"But these challenges are much better problems to have than the downside of challenges we faced throughout this recession," he said.