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Company News

ITC LIGHTS UP LETTUCE GROW

June 21st, 2021 by cassiel

When Lettuce Grow began to search for a lighting partner to expand their Farmstand into an indoor/outdoor, year-round product, ITC was a great fit. Drawing on years of experience working with customers to provide innovative products, ITC recognized the importance of understanding the Lettuce Grow philosophy when designing, producing, and delivering a lighting solution. Lettuce Grow’s vision is that the company will “provide families access to clean, unprocessed food” while also “decreasing transportation emissions, drastically reducing water usage, and recycling ocean-bound plastics from places that lack recycling initiatives”.

Understanding the driving force behind the Farmstand and the Lettuce Grow mission gave ITC the essential knowledge to take the Lettuce Grow light design concept and engineer a final solution that was consistent with their values and also effective at advancing plant growth.

As an expert in horticultural lighting with ongoing scientific studies on the effects of various LED light spectrums on plant growth, ITC had detailed, validated data to apply to the light spectrum choice. ITC was also able to bring to bear our experience in designing lights that meet strict certification an d quality standards for wet and harsh environments, such as vehicle undercarriage lights, underwater lights, marine lighting, and external RV lighted products. Our expertise in sourcing materials from a variety of vendors and managing quality processes ensured we could meet the required material and quality standards. Because ITC has an established assembly facility and sophisticated supply chain, we were able to help minimize the carbon footprint associated with production, packaging, and shipping.

The final product, Glow Rings™, has received glowing reviews from Lettuce Grow customers. The Lettuce Grow light design concept became a fabulous success story, with comments such as “Beautiful and effective and efficient!”, “Best lighting available.”, “Beyond expectations!”, and “Easy to assemble, everything growing”.

Interested in learning how ITC’s Contract Manufacturing capabilities can help your business develop your unique product solutions and bring a cutting edge to your business? Email us at HortSales@itc-us.com


CONTRACT MANUFACTURING

June 21st, 2021 by cassiel

ITC INCREASES VALUE FOR CUSTOMERS

ITC has a long, successful history of partnering with our customers to provide contract manufacturing services that add value. Our highly progressive, sophisticated product development processes enable us to provide innovative solutions at any point from initial concept sketch to fully developed drawings for corporations ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Core to our contract manufacturing process is attentiveness to the customers’ needs and wishes, and then translating that information into customer specific solutions.
During each stage of product development, ITC’s engineering team focuses on function, aesthetics, material, manufacturability, installation needs, and design enhancement. Our quality team works collaboratively with the engineering team to ensure processes are followed, tolerances are met, testing is completed, and the products meets all the customer’s requirements. These teams coordinate scientific spectrum arrangement, environmental testing, code submissions, and third-party certifications and listings acquisition.

ITC IS MUCH MORE THAN AN ENGINEERING FIRM


In addition to design and development, we have specialized teams with expertise in each aspect of the supply chain, including material selection, product manufacturing, and delivery of goods. ITC’s wholly owned manufacturing and assembly facilities, which include an ISO-9001-2015 certified production team, have expertise in LED board and fixture design as well as manufacturing lighting fixtures and electronic products. Sourcing materials and components and evaluating, auditing, and overseeing component vendors are part of ITC’s everyday processes, as is navigating the complex logistics of importing and shipping product. For manufacturing technology outside the expertise of our factories, ITC has both a network of vendor partners and the expertise in sourcing new finished-goods vendors.

ITC has successfully provided customer focused product solutions for varied customers in diverse markets by flexing our capabilities to meet the needs of the customer.

Interested in learning more about how ITC’s Contract Manufacturing capabilities can develop and deliver your unique ideas to your customers? Contact our experienced sales team today.

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How Millennials are changing the RV Landscape during COVID

March 22nd, 2021 by ryans

BABY BOOMERS VS MILLENNIALS

Historically, baby boomers have been the primary group affiliated with RVs. More recently, we’ve seen the industry shift sharply towards a younger demographic, more specifically— Millennials. Millennials, as we have all heard think about life, careers, and family a lot differently than the post-war Boomers. They are more diverse and have split from the older generation on issues such as immigration reform, criminal justice reform and environmental protection. Perhaps the biggest split is the recent fascination with “Van Life” or “Living on the Road” and they are rapidly becoming the largest demographic of full-time RVers. The number of people that consider RVs as their primary home are growing quickly with the ability to travel, work, and live on the go while pulling your home with you to places of interest, beauty, and adventure is a big draw for many millennials searching for freedom.

MILLENNIALS AND TECHNOLOGY

Millennials are known for their digital savviness and ability to use technology to stay connected 24/7, especially with the continued functional increases of cell phones. Social media, Teams/Zoom, the Cloud and file sharing are all tools used by Millennials for work, family, and social connections. All of this connectivity allows for work to happen anywhere and anytime, providing the freedom to make work fit around life v life fitting around work.

TRADING IN TRADITIONAL HOMES FOR RVS

Whether Covid was a motivator or the last straw, it certainly spurred a migration to outdoor/RV living. Ditching the stick and brick house for a travel trailer may sound very appealing to the Millennial but there are hurdles to get over. The first hurdle might be the Baby Boomer parents. Having worked hard for their whole life to buy a house, raise a family, and now buy their Class A to hit the road for retirement, boomers are struggling with the notion of their kids not following these traditional life goals. Millennials are either skipping home ownership entirely or are selling their starter homes and using the equity to fund RV living and many are hitting the road with their kids in tow. Although, kids may present the second challenge, many people feel home school, or trailer school in this case, is a great alternative to online school or dealing with the mask debate. Juggling space for kids’ lessons along with space for a work zoom call, and don’t forget a pet, all within a tight interior of an RV presents challenge number three. On the upside, heading to the warmer states makes the great outdoors a wide-open learning environment where life, nature, and science lessons are plentiful for the whole family.

A DIFFERENT DREAM

As with many things, Millennials are setting their own path and defining what is the right way for them to follow their dreams. Millennials are reported by several media outlets such as USA Today, The New York Post and Bloomberg to show the highest increase of RV ownership in the past three years. So, move over Baby Boomers and make way in the national parks, camp grounds, boondocks, and back roads cause the Millennials have a new thought on the American Dream.

QUICK NOTES:

  • U.S. Census Bureau reports that Millennials now outnumber the former largest population group – the Baby Boomers, plus they are not only the largest population group they are the largest group of campers, according to the Camping Report.
  • You don’t have to buy new – you can renovate! There are lots of deals on used motorhomes and trailers – you just have to have a good understanding of your needs. Such as, is an exterior shower important? Yes, it is great for the pets, kids, and muddy trail shoes. Should you replace the old overhead lights with newer LEDS? Also a yes – you will appreciate the energy savings and the consistent light color with new LEDS.
  • ITC Incorporated has been a trusted supplier to the RV and Marine manufacturers, plus 6 other industries for nearly 40 years. We support RVers and Boaters with our replacement and upgrade parts available at ITCShopNow.com.


ITC President Mike Camarota’s Review of 2020

March 2nd, 2021 by ryans

The last twelve months has been a very strange year that will be remembered for a long time. The last twelve months seem like 36 months. So much has changed; so much has happened. It is almost hard to remember what it was like in January of 2020. Do you remember the Australian wildfires? It was considered the biggest international event of 2020 at the time; now it is a footnote.

COVID changed everything.  First, it attacked China and we watched in awe and fear as the government shut down cities and provinces.  We sympathized with the sick and mourned with families that lost loved ones.  We believed at first that the virus could be contained to region, but we were so wrong.  COVID expanded beyond Wuhan and millions of people were put in lockdown throughout China.

The lockdowns were not enough to stop the spread.  Next, COVID hit Europe and then many other countries including the United States.  Each of us will remember forever where we were when the world stopped or at least slowed down a lot!  Dominoes fell one by one!  Sports, restaurants, events, weddings, businesses, states and countries all underwent some form of lockdown.  New words entered our vocabularies like social distancing,  quarantine and virtual.  Misinformation or at least lack of information ran rampant. Some countries like China recovered more quickly but others like the United States limped through all of 2020 with staggering death and hospitalization rates.

Still, as we return from Chinese New Year there is hope.  Death and hospitalization rates have dropped significantly in the past month in the United States and few cases in China are reported.  Vaccinations are starting to roll out even if they are slower than desired.  We can start to envision a life beyond the tightest grips of COVID, not completely free of it, but at least not as fully constrained by it.

One major disruption caused by COVID lingers and that is our ability to connect with friends and family! Please look to your right and to your left.  These are your ITC friends and family.  These are the people that have helped you and us weather the tumultuous events of 2020.

Our business over the past year was filled with rush, stop, slow, surge, delays, overtime, pressure, and anxiety!  Lots of anxiety!  We went from nearly zero shipments in February 2020 to 19 containers in January and the first week of February 2021.  As the demand for our products surged, we expanded our China labor force by over 100 people. Today, we have over 360 members in the ITC family with more than 250 in China. Through diligence and commitment by the people in this room, we were able to produce a record amount of product during the last half of 2020.  Further, we were able to make this product with shorter lead times and at the lowest warranty record in our history.

Our vendors were also instrumental in this production success story.  They invested in material and people resources to meet the surge in demand.  Even though the surge was not forecasted and every forecast we provided seemed too low, the vendors stuck with us and did everything they could to improve their processes to meet the quality and on-time requirements.  We could not have done it without them.

What’s next, I don’t know! The current ITC outlook is very good.  Demand in the Marine and RV market is very strong as many Americans are looking for family social distant activities.  Most companies in these industries have orders extending out until November 2021.  Besides office furniture, our other markets are also growing nicely.  We expect 2021 to be our strongest revenue year yet.  However, 2020 has taught us one lasting lesson.  We do not know what will happen next.  We need to prepare each day and be ready to adjust.  I am just glad to figure it out with team that is resilient as you!

I do not know why it is or whether it should really be so, but I find that the holiday season in the USA and have been told the same is true for Chinese New Year, generates a certain attitude among people. Regardless of religion, culture or country, people are just a little kinder to one another and recognize more often the good in our neighbors, friends and co-workers.  We also fondly remember those far away and who have been lost and there certainly has been a lot of loss this year.  At the end of last Chinese New Year all we could see ahead of us was more loss in the form of life or business interruption. This abundance of loss and fear is why this Chinese New Year celebration is especially important. We both need and deserve to feel special after a year of so much anxiety.

We have responded admirably to adversity and I am proud of our team of employees and vendors. Additionally, I am inspired by a phrase uttered by recovered COVID patient in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA who said about his nurse who was the sole person with him on the pivotal night that he nearly died, “To the World we are just one person, but to one person we can be the world!”

Please remember that what you say, do and act matters in far reaching ways! Each of us can be the world to those around us!  It takes just one interaction! My family is blessed to share time with you. I very much look forward to the time when I can return to China and share a meal with you.  I miss you all. May you be blessed and may you be a blessing to others.


Rachel Perales, ITC Customer Care Receives Honor from Newmar

November 13th, 2020 by ryans

Rachel Perales was presented the 2020 Customer Service Award from Newmar. Newmar is one of ITC’s largest RV customers and has been using ITC’s products in their RV’s for over 20 years.  The award, presented via video last week, was a big surprise for Rachel.

Rachel has spent her career as a customer service professional and has been an integral part of the ITC Customer Care team for the past seven years.  She feels this prestigious award should be shared with the whole company, including those she works closely with each day; purchasing, sales, production, and her Customer Care teammates.

Thank you Rachel for representing ITC with such great Customer Care!

Read the RV Business article recognizing Rachel for her outstanding dedication to Customer Care.


ITC Incorporated Continues its Growth Path

November 3rd, 2020 by cassiel

ITC Incorporated is enthusiastic about the surging demands in our markets and we are doing everything possible to keep pace with the dynamic requirements of our customers, provide the quality products our customers expect, and continue to develop innovative high-quality products.

ITC continues growing, despite the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since returning to work from the government mandated shutdown, ITC has been ramping up production as quickly as possible to meet the surging consumer demand our customers have been experiencing for COVID-19 friendly activities.  Our dedicated teams in both the USA and China allow ITC to provide a continuous, around-the-clock work force, thus providing our customers highly responsive solutions.

ITC has increased the capacity of our internal production lines, which manufacture LED and other electronic products and components, both in the USA and in China. We have expanded our production team by over 50 people since April.

ITC currently has 300 employees worldwide and plans to increase the number of employees to nearly 350 in the coming months to meet the exploding demand for products. We have invested in new equipment, including extrusion machines and soldering stations, to improve output. Our Alliance Supplier Partners are similarlydedicated to meeting rising customer orders and have flexed their staffs to react as quickly as possible.

Our focus on developing innovative, high-quality products, especially in LED and other electronics, has not stopped. ITC is excited to showcase expanded product offerings this year. Our product development team has several new products nearing the launch stage which will be unveiled in the coming months. Our new linear overhead lighting, waterproof shower light, and the adjustable wall mount table leg are just a few of the exciting new products scheduled for launch in the next few months.

ITC is committed to providing the quality products our customers expect in a timely manner and to delivering innovative customer focused product solutions. As 2021 approaches, ITC continues to investment in people, equipment, and core competencies to enhance the customer experience in 2021 and beyond.


ITC Diversity Commitment

September 1st, 2020 by cassiel

A Message from ITC President, Mike Camarota

In early June, I reaffirmed ITC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as our aspirations for an environment in which every individual is shown respect and dignity. Bigotry should not be tolerated in any form or place. Each person needs to feel safe and secure. People need to believe that they will have fair opportunities to succeed and that their freedoms will be protected. We sympathize with the many that do not yet feel they are respected, afforded dignity, or are safe at this time. The events in the last week related to the shooting of Jacob Blake and the reactions of members of his community and the nation at large indicate that we still have a long way to go toward achieving a society in which all people, regardless of the color of their skin, the faith they follow or gender, feel that their rights will be respected equally. Nobody expected that we would resolve race relations issues in a couple of months. Still, the recent events are a sad reminder of how far we need to go to eliminate racism and bigotry as well as limit violence in our communities.

As I watch Fortune 500 companies issue statements on diversity commitments and pro athletes use their platforms to push for change, I am left wondering what we can do to improve the situation. How can we support the pledge that I made earlier to listen to all perspectives and to support positive interactions and more constructive relations among all races and people? We do not have the resources or the platform of Microsoft or Lebron James to reach millions of people. As everyday citizens, we seemingly do not have the power to bring about police reform, end racism, or to stop protests from turning into destructive riots.

The answer came to me from one of my favorite Ted videos by Drew Dudley called Everyday Leadership. The central premise of this video is that leadership for most of us does not originate with a speech or tweet recorded by national media. Instead, it comes from everyday interactions. Even if we do not recognize the impact of these interactions, each interaction has the potential to be positive or negative. We do know that there are billions of interactions every day and that if even a few more of them could be positive, there would be a substantial change for the good. So, in our quest to improve race and culture relations within the United States, we can start by reflecting on our interactions with those around us. Each of us can consider how our speech and conversations with others tacitly accept or support the morals we espouse as individuals and leaders at ITC. Opportunities to indicate that comments or actions could be considered inflammatory, derogatory, or racist should be taken. It should be our goal to be not just a passive supporter but rather an ally for race relations improvements. To be an ally, we must be willing to actively reflect and take affirmative actions that support our commitments.

I hope you will join me in my journey to be an ally for improved experiences of equality and safety for all races and cultures, one interaction at a time.

Best Regards,

Mike Camarota


ITC Goes to Lansing

September 19th, 2019 by oliviam

 

Two of ITC’s leadership team members, Scott Wright and Grant Cheney attended NMMA’s Michigan Fly-in. The event saw attendees from all corners of the marine industry and aimed to build relationships with legislators and provide a better understanding of the marine industry and the impact it has on the local economy. Topics of the event included workforce development and the impact of invasive species on the industry.

ITC was proud to have representation at the event and be part of the discussion around the challenges and opportunities within the marine industry.


2019 Summer Event

September 4th, 2019 by oliviam

Last week the ITC Hudsonville team, and their families, were invited to the annual summer event. For 2019, we hosted the event right here at the ITC Global Headquarters. The event included a catered dinner, yard games, a blow up slide and time for employees and their families to gather together.

Mike, Sue, Tom and Kelli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the event, employees with milestone work anniversaries were recognized by ITC President, Mike Camarota. Sue, our Accounts Receivable Specialist, celebrates 15 years with ITC. Tom, our Controller celebrates 5 years. Kelli, ITC Marketing Manager, also celebrates 5 years with the company.

During the event, employees could buy tickets for a raffle, or the opportunity to dunk members of the senior management team. All of the money raised was donated to buy school supplies for the Malabog Central Elementary School in the Philippines. Thanks to these generous donations, and the brave senior managers, we were able to raise over $600!

Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the ITC 2019 summer event!

 


ITC President Speaks at Annual Party

January 22nd, 2019 by oliviam

ITC Incorporated has three owned and staffed locations, Hudsonville, MI, Elkhart, IN, and Guandong Province, China. We have a tradition of celebrating with our co-workers throughout the year, and as has become a tradition Mike Camarota, president of ITC, addresses the employees during the celebrations.

The below is the transcript of Mike’s address given at the 2018 Annual Year End celebration for our China location.

Mike highlights some of the exciting developments that are coming in 2019 and lays out guidelines for continued development of the ITC culture.

Annual Party Address | Mike Camarota | January 2019

It is once again a great honor to speak at the ITC annual party. My only regret is that I cannot be with you in person this year. I truly enjoyed being present for the event the past two years. The team does an amazing job of organizing the event and I know many of you have put in hours of practice on your skits. I expect some of them will be funny, others impressive and all entertaining. Each will include energy and enthusiasm. It is this energy and enthusiasm that contributed to ITC’s success in 2018.

If 2017 was the year of physical expansion, 2018 was the year of operational and personal advancement. At ITC alone, we added 34 new positions, countless work instructions, and new processes that strengthened all of our teams. Our vendors followed our example and changes are notable in both people and processes that are yielding better and more responsive products and services. Aristotle is reported to have said, ”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” In 2018, we worked very hard to live up to this credo.

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