Thomas Built Buses announced plans for another stepup in production levels and staffing in response to significant orders for its Saf-T-Liner C2 school bus products from the state of North Carolina and other customers. Planned production and workforce changes were shared with employees at all Thomas Built facilities on Jan. 19. A total of 50 new line positions were posted in January, since the recall list now has been exhausted due to recent ramp-up activity and rehiring.
“We are delighted with the positive response of the state of North Carolina to our recent bid and honored to be considered the preferred choice for the state’s school districts,” said Kelley Platt, president and chief executive officer of Thomas Built Buses. “Customers are recognizing the value and quality of our products as they focus on the total cost of ownership in today’s challenging environment. We look forward to welcoming our new employees to the Thomas Built family.”
The company said it also recently launched a reorganization of its field sales and service teams. As part of the reorganization, a new fifth region has been created, reducing the number of dealers assigned to district sales and service managers, and allowing the managers to provide more attention for each dealership and those region’s customers.
“In 2007, Thomas Built Buses integrated its sales and service functions to enhance the entire customer experience,” says Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, service and marketing. “And now this newly-expanded sales and service field organization will build on that foundation, allowing us to partner even more closely with our dealers and customers and provide more face-time. There is no substitute for having the right people in the field, providing assistance.”
Staffing the five regional groups are:
• Central: Randy Walker, sales; John Byerly, service
• Midwest: Terry Darr, sales; Jeff Allgire, service
• Northeast: Tommy Smith, sales; Steve Groat, service
• Southeast: Mike Adams, sales; Ronnie Cobb, service
• Western: Robert Kanter, sales; Rich Thornburg, service
Vance Nofziger will lead the dealer sales team, and Mitch Miller will lead the dealer service team. Cory Compton, government fleet sales manager, will focus specifically on sales to the federal government. Dee Dee Campbell will continue in her current role as manager of sales operations, and Joe Craver will continue in his current role of direct sales manager.
In addition, Paul Start will lead a newly-created market growth development team, responsible for developing effective customer-centric programs. With their extensive knowledge of the school bus industry and Thomas Built systems, Sid Adams and Chris Blaha also will join the market growth team.