Based in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Zone RV designs and manufactures custom-built recreational vehicles, but it wasn’t until it radically changed its ideas that success came.
Zone RV head of design and engineering Brad Marshall explains that the founders boat-building background led them to disrupt the sector with vehicles from carbon fibre, fibreglass and other composites.
Marshall said: “There’s no wood in our caravans, (they are) 100 per cent composite panels.
“This means each caravan is ultra-lightweight and fully bonded together, so they are arguably the strongest caravans in Australia.
“It is much more like the way you would construct a boat.”
Flooring is similar to that used in a racing yacht and even internal cabinetry is part of a substructure within, increasing strength and longevity.
Marshall said: “This is a small business that’s grown very rapidly over the last year.”
However the fast growth and total customisation offered through the company’s new approach necessitated a whole lot of changes in the way the company worked.
Zone RV turned to Central innovation to develop a smooth data transfer system so the same data could be shared from CAD designs to finished product.
Marshall said: “Our products are highly customisable, each unit can be fitted out differently and the customer will typically buy off the design, so we needed a way to be able to push the data across to our Manufacturing Resource Planning system quickly and efficiently.”
The company needed to fill what was a gap between the engineering department and production.
“We currently output a new product every one to two days, and because our products are highly customisable, essentially that means we’re outputing a new design every one to two days, and that adds up to a lot of data.”
Marshall admits streamlining data has ‘had its challenges.’
“But now we’re this far into it, I think we’ve really ironed out the issues.”
Still Zone RV is bedding down what has done before a stage two linking of workflow management and project management software, and a stage three linking to the sales process.
Picture: Zone RV
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