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Rotational Molder Helps Watercraft Manufacturer Speed Delivery Time for New Canoes

Rotational Molding

ASHTABULA, Ohio--NuCanoe (, a Bellingham, Wash., manufacturer of watercraft, was swimming in sales after earning rave reviews from several key sport fishing publications and from hundreds of customers. But customer demand had outpaced its manufacturing capacity. Many of its retail dealers were growing concerned about lead times that sometimes approached an entire month from order to delivery and occasionally left them feeling up the creek without a paddle--or a NuCanoe to sell.

NuCanoe Director of Business Development Blake Young began looking for a rotational molder with the production capacity to meet demand, and the track record for quality that would rival his own meticulous commitment to quality. Young turned to custom rotational molding and design firm Meese (formerly MODRoto), of Ashtabula, Ohio. Meese operates 23 rotomolding machines in four plants nationally and has earned several awards for manufacturing excellence from the Association of Rotational Molders International (ARMI) for both industrial and consumer products.

In addition to molding the 10- and 12-foot NuCanoes, Meese assembles each NuCanoe, installs hardware, and ships directly to the dealer ready for retail sale. "Our reputation is on the line, so it's a huge issue that we're trusting someone else with our quality," says Young. "I've been very impressed with the level of quality and professionalism from everyone at Meese; it surpasses that of other molders we've worked with and feedback from our dealers has been superb."

With increased capacity, faster production rates, and by shipping directly to dealers from Meese's Ohio facility, NuCanoe is able to deliver in quantities as low as one unit at a time in only one or two days. Previously, the company had to bundle several orders on a truck and later separate them for delivery to each dealer, a process that sometimes required up to a month to reach eastern dealers, who account for 66% of sales. The streamlined logistics has cut lead times by up to 93% and shipping costs by up to 50%, according to the company.

"Now, our dealers can stock our product in the size, color, and style they want at all times, and we have consistent production quality at less cost," says Young. "Meese understands the end result we want and figures out the best way to get it done."

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