November 30, 2021 3 min read 14 Comments
THE WAY OUR LEAD TIMES HAVE BEEN, you’re probably thinking that we should change our name to “Go Slow Campers.” Or “Go Fast Campers (When You Finally Get it in a Year.)” Just doesn’t have the same ring though, does it?
We get it. It sucks waiting so long for something that you reeeeeally want. Maybe even neeeeed. But you know the saying, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast?” It kinda applies here, too.
Since our inception in 2017, we’ve been working on solving two big problems. The first you’re probably familiar with, which is why you like our products so much. When we started out, nothing like a GFC existed, so we set out to make the most kickass camper ever.
The second problem, which might not be immediately apparent, is this: How do we, a small group of people, competitively manufacture a complex product—and do it right here, in the USA?
Quite a few people (who know a thing or two about manufacturing) recommended we outsource production, ramp up the volume, and rake in the cash as fast as we could. But that’s not our ethos or approach for doing things.
Instead, we moved slowly—methodically—to lay the foundation for something steadfast. Something sustainable. Something truly great, that we could learn from, start to finish. Our approach to this puts problem solving at the core of our company and identity.
The reasoning is simple: When you outsource your problems, you forfeit the opportunity to be the creator of their solutions. That might work fine when sailing smoothly, but inevitably, as soon as rough seas come, you’ll be at the mercy of someone else to sort your problems out.
And let’s be honest. No one will ever care as much about your problems as you do. That’s why we want to own our problems, so that we can own the process for solving them—and own the results. When we fuck up, it hurts, but it motivates us to get to the bottom of it and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
And when we succeed, all of us—employees, partners, and customers alike—get to revel in those rewards.
Designing a great product in and of itself is a huge undertaking, but developing the processes required to produce said product, as an independent manufacturing company, takes time; for the past three years, we’ve been grinding it out and doing the work.
We’ve invested in great people and empowered them to solve problems. We’ve invested in automation equipment that allows our people to focus on problem solving instead of menial machining tasks—while gaining efficiencies that allow us to pay our people better. We’ve invested in local vendors—partners whose services and supplies help keep the machine humming. We’ve invested in infrastructure—the raw materials, equipment, and space required to increase our bandwidth to meet demand.
Since 2017, we’ve been laying that groundwork. Slowwwwwly. That allowed us to ramp up from 12 GFCs per week, to 48 GFCs per week in 2021. Fast.
What does that mean for you?
It’s time to kiss those year-long lead times goodbye and get your ass in a GFC.