Iowa Manufacturer Reflects on a Bustling 2 Years
Lake City, IA - Bowie Manufacturing has been a part of this community since 1960, but few dates have been as noticeable for the company as June 12th, 2007. On that day, the company was purchased by Scranton Manufacturing Co., a larger family-owned Iowa corporation. Scranton then acquired Bowie's largest competitor, Porta-Vet, and brought the two companies to work together under one roof. A related company, Custom Fiberglass Coaches, was also purchased recently to extend the Scranton lineup: specializing in animal transport, the brand fit nicely with the capabilities of the other lines made in Lake City. Together, all these changes have meant a busy couple of years for the manufacturing plant.
"When Scranton bought the company, we had 15 employees. We've more than doubled that figure now," said Steve Sinnard, Executive VP of Bowie. Most of the new positions have been filled by local workers, with a few coming from surrounding communities. Defying the economic trend, Sinnard says, “Sales are still positive and the the prospects for future growth are outstanding as we enhance our technologies and continue to diversify product lineup.” Recent advancements include integrating more automated processes and moving to a closed-mold fiberglass process, which will cut down on waste and emissions while increasing production volume.
Though the past years have seen a lot of attention and activity at the plant, the history of Bowie Manufacturing has always been one of "firsts". In 1960, Bowie was the first to manufacture mobile vet clinics from fiberglass. And in 1969, they became the first to create units which slipped into trucks beds, as opposed to mounting on the chassis. Again in 1985, Bowie was the first to manufacture mobile clinics for SUV's and vans. Sinnard believes that more innovative "firsts" for the manufacturer are on the way soon, though he could not reveal details at this time. "There are developments in the works which will continue to enhance our offerings and keep us strong into the future."