July '18

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70 • RV PRO • July 2018 rv-pro.com O R I G I N A L E Q U I P M E N T Charlotte that operates from April through October. The Spartan RV Owners Training Academy is a training course that includes sessions on the mechanics of the chassis and how to service it, as well as driver training with a professional driving instructor. Spartan even has an RV park on-site, where owners can park their coach for the duration of the training session or while Guillaume says it's a very popular way to support its OEMs. "We also have a dedicated call center for motorhomes, with a pretty sophisticated case-management system," he says. "We're able to track specific problems a customer might have, and if there are any warranty or service issues, as well as the unit's technical history." He stresses that all of its phone support staff are trained motorhome technicians so they're able to offer help in real time. One distinct advantage Spartan has is its location. Not only is its Michigan location close to the heart of the U.S. auto industry and its suppliers (as well as within easy driving distance of Elkhart, Ind.), but the company benefits from that state's strong workforce; some 1,300 of Spartan's 2,300-person team work in Charlotte. "Charlotte and the Lansing area have proven to be a great place for us to find hard-working, qualified employees that have been able to support our growth," Guillaume says. "And, we strive to maintain good communication and rapport with our employees to ensure Spartan is a good, safe place to work." Maintaining that workforce is also critical because Spartan stresses that it's an American company that makes all of its products in the U.S.A. "Not only are we very much American-made, but a high percentage of our components – in the upper 90 percent – are made here," he says. "We're also proud that we're Amer- ican-owned. We're American from ownership to assembly to our supply base." Besides supporting American jobs and American suppliers, Spartan also supports this country in another way. It was recently honored with an award for Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and about 10 percent of its employee base is veterans or those still serving. "That's another one of our strengths," Guillaume says. "People who serve our country have a strong work ethic and are committed to helping us provide a high-quality product at a fair price." Spartan employs 2,300 people, of which 1,300 work at its facilities in Charlotte, Mich. About 10 percent of the company's workforce are veterans or those still serving in the National Guard or Reserve, for which the company was recently recognized with an award from the Department of Defense.

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