Smokecraft Furniture

Smoker Craft, Inc. – a leading manufacturer of fiberglass, pontoon and aluminum fishing boats sold worldwide under the Smoker Craft, Starcraft, Starweld, Sylvan and Sunchaser brands – has announced that it has sold its in-house marine furniture manufacturing operation to Elkhart, Indiana-based Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI).
 
The agreement includes a long-term, non-exclusive supply agreement that will see LCI provide Smoker Craft with upholstery and seating products. It is anticipated that the furniture business will continue to operate from its current location at Smoker Craft’s New Paris manufacturing complex for several months, in sync with the company’s current production run.
 
“This is an exciting day for Smoker Craft, Inc. We feel very comfortable with the Lippert team and believe the cultures at Lippert and Smoker Craft are an ideal fit,” said Doug Smoker, President and CEO of Smoker Craft, Inc. “We have worked closely with Lippert to ensure that employee seniority is retained in the ownership transition and that employee benefits align with what our employees enjoyed at Smoker Craft, Inc. We are excited about this relationship, as well as the team concept and core values that Lippert brings to our business. Proceeds from this transaction will facilitate future infrastructure investments, acquisitions and improvements through other areas of our supply chain.”
 
Smoker Craft, Inc. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development, Peter Barrett, notes that the outsourcing agreement is unique to the furniture manufacturing business and that no other areas of the company are involved. “This transition will allow Smoker Craft to leverage the efficiencies of Lippert’s furniture manufacturing competencies and provide much more scale on the upholstery end of the business in terms of buying power and resources,” said Barrett. “It simultaneously affords us the capital and the manufacturing space to focus on what we do best, which is building boats.”
 
“We are thankful to our partners at Smoker Craft for entrusting us with their furniture operations,” said Ryan Smith, Senior VP of Sales and Operations for LCI. “Over the last four years, LCI has become one of the leading suppliers of marine furniture to the industry. We’ve grown to the size we have because of the foundation of trust we’ve built with our marine customer base, along with the steady flow of innovation that we’re pouring into the industry. I’m excited to add the Smoker Craft product to our seating catalog and I assure all of Smoker Craft’s customers that they are in good hands with LCI.”

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IMPACT PROFILE: BEN PILON, KINGSTON ANCHORS

 

Ben PilonBy Rob MacLeod – The Informed Boater

Ben Pilon, CEO of Kingston Anchors and its parent company BPE Group of Companies (BPEGroup.ca) in Kingston, ON grew up in manufacturing. By the age of 15, Ben was sweeping floors in his parents company. After graduating from University of Guelph with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree, Ben’s first thought was to go into manufacturing. What he found was, Canadian banks were less receptive than he had hoped, so he started BPE Development at age 24.

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