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Old 11-17-2014, 04:11 PM   #1
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Winnebago Employees Benefit From Suggestion Program



Over $1 Million Paid Since Program Inception
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FOREST CITY, IA -- 11/17/14 -- Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO), a leading United States (U.S.) recreation vehicle manufacturer, has paid out over $1 million in awards to employees since the company created a product and process improvement suggestion program. As a result of implementing these employee generated ideas, Winnebago has continually improved internal processes and realized ongoing savings of over $10 million.

The program pays employees 10% of the first years savings realized from implementation of the ideas. Ideas range from utilizing materials more efficiently, to developing processes that save time and energy and most importantly, maintain or improve product quality. Approximately 95% of the awards are material related, while 5% are from process suggestions.

"Our employees have a wealth of great ideas," said Charles Tweeten, Suggestion Process Administrator. "We learned long ago that the people who work most closely with the manufacture of our products have a unique opportunity to see where improvements can be made that benefit the company in the manufacturing process."

Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts, agrees. "We welcome our employees' great ideas. Rewarding our employees for thinking outside of the box is one of the most fun parts of my job. I want to make sure every employee knows the great contribution they are making by suggesting ideas, both great and small. Every single one of them has a significant impact on Winnebago."

In total, Winnebago has reviewed over 20,000 suggestions since the program's inception. The recipients' awards vary greatly in size from $5 to as much as $10,000 for any single suggestion. One of the largest awards to an employee was $9,390.25 for an idea that suggested utilizing drop off material from a previous cutting process to manufacture a sidewall section below an entry door frame. This suggestion not only reduced the amount of new material needed, it also reduced scrap.

About Winnebago Industries
Winnebago Industries, Inc., "The Most Recognized Name in Motor Homes®", is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities. The Company builds quality motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheel products, and transit buses. Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since 1996.
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Old 11-18-2014, 04:15 PM   #2
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Good to hear. Certainly a step in the right direction. I am surprised though that the vast majority of improvements have come from material and not process improvements.

Seems to me that developing a Pareto Chart of the biggest causes of warranty claims and tracing those back into the factory to assess where a process went wrong would get them greater bang for their buck.

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Old 11-18-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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I toured the factory last Summer and was amazed. Everything is so well coordinated and precise. They practically support the little town of Forest City and have done lots of local improvements such as a power plant, airport, ect.

Great outfit.
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