truck and bus body manufacturing

$250M Revenue

Company Overview
  • The Company is a publicly traded manufacturer of specialized commercial vehicle bodies including: customized truck bodies, buses and trolleys; the Company also manufactures fiberglass products.  The Company is among the industry leaders in each of its key market segments.
  •  At the time of our engagement, the Company reported over $200 million in revenue, and operated eight plants across three divisions.
Engagement Overview

•  The Company lost money in the prior two fiscal years and was EBITDA negative in the prior year.
•  Working with Company management, Fort Dearborn developed a comprehensive Operating Plan, including detailed strategies and tactics designed to stabilize the Company and return it to sustainable profitability. The Plan was presented to and approved by the Company’s Board of Directors.
•  Key strategies included:

•  Immediate expense reductions including a reduction in force

•  Immediate price increases, drawing on Fort Dearborn’s extensive experience with dealerships to create a plan for strategic price increases on truck bodies, parts and service labor

•  Closing two plants and consolidating production into the remaining plants

•  Initiating a perpetual inventory system and significant improvements in cost accounting processes to improve product costing and increase margins

•  Identifying and effecting a key management change in the sales and marketing function that resulted in improved leadership and direction; revised pricing approach/strategy; reduced sales rep authority to offer discounts; revised  commission structure

•  Explore the sale of one under performing division


The Company was able to return to profitability by utilizing the Operating Plan developed by Fort Dearborn in conjunction with management which:
•  Identified and implemented $5 million in annualized profit improvement measures.
•  Initiated implementation of a perpetual inventory system and enhanced cost accounting processes that have aided in achieving improved margins.
•  Stabilized the Company’s performance and its existing bank relationship, affording the Company the opportunity to successfully refinance its senior debt facility.
•  A senior Fort Dearborn executive served as interim CFO overseeing implementation of the initial phase of the Operating Plan.

FDP News

Oct - 23

Max Bechtel and Austin Curtis join Fort Dearborn Partners

Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Fort Dearborn Team, Max Bechtel and Austin Curtis.

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Apr - 23

Fort Dearborn advises Reliable Knitting Works

Fort Dearborn Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor for the refinancing of Reliable Knitting Works, a $125 Million Wisconsin-based Company.

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