WAY Celebrates Grand Opening of Expansive Elkhart HQ

From left: WAY VP of Operations & Product Development Chris Greer, VP of Sales Tom Halbert, and President & CEO Wayne Kaylor.

Hundreds of well-wishers on Wednesday (Oct. 5) helped WAY, the Elkhart, Ind.-based distributor of a wide variety of RV components and appliances, celebrate the grand opening of its impressive new 800,000-square-foot headquarters.

Located on the north side of the Indiana Toll Road, just west of County Road 17, WAY’s massive new facility will house the company’s corporate headquarters, warehouse operations, a 6,000-square-foot showroom, and a product testing and development center.

“We tout ‘Take Your Home on The Road,’ but WAY’s home is firmly grounded here in Elkhart County. This new headquarters will greet not only travelers on I-90 but visitors to the RV Capital of the World,” said President & CEO Wayne Kaylor.

It’s difficult to put into context just how big WAY’s new headquarters is, but consider this: Almost 14 football fields would fit under its roof. It takes a full five minutes to ride a scooter around the perimeter. A drone needs to climb 1,000 feet just to be able to take a photo of the entire facility.

Kaylor told RVBusiness that he was “incredibly proud of everybody’s effort” over the last couple weeks to get the building ready for the ribbon-cutting and grand opening festivities that included refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and local, state and national dignitaries.

“This is a big day for us, and we’re excited for the employees, the community, and a big thanks to all of our customers for their support,” Kaylor said before reflecting back on the day 13 years ago when he founded what was then known as WAY Interglobal.

“I never envisioned this,” he said. “I mean, we had a pretty good business plan when we got in. We shifted off of our original business plan, became a distributor instead of a supplier. But some of the products that we had in the pipeline have come to fruition. They’ve really changed the industry, and it’s propelled our growth, and we’re proud of where we’ve gotten to from where we started.”

Saying WAY has been “building towards this moment for many years and we’re eager to get comfortable and make ourselves at home in this beautiful new space,” Kaylor said WAY’s new building “makes a statement” for the RV industry for those driving along the toll road.

“This is the gateway, right? When everybody passes by, they can see the RV industry is thriving and doing well, and we’re proud to be a part of it,’ he said.

From left: David Behr of the Indiana Economic Development Council, Elkhart County Commissioner Brad Rogers, Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson, WAY President & CEO Wayne Kaylor, Elkhart Chamber of Commerce President Levon Johnson, Nuway Construction President Andy Nesbitt, and representatives of U.S. Sen. Todd Young, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun.


Chris Greer, WAY’s vice president of operations and product development, said the company is in the process of consolidating its 6,000-some SKUs from its five warehouse locations in Northern Indiana and southwest Michigan, totaling a combined 400,000 square feet, into the new 800,000-square-foot building – and it will take 1,500 semi-loads to do so.

“About two years ago we really decided, ‘Hey, we need to start looking at some space,’” Greer told RVBusiness. “If anybody knows anything about Elkhart County, there’s just not a lot of large warehouse space around. So, we started looking into building. We were like, ‘Okay, let’s build something that’s 300,000 square feet.’ And then we’re like, ‘No, we probably need more than that.’ Okay, maybe 400,000 square feet. And then we’re like, ‘Okay, that’s not going to work either. Let’s just build it large enough so that we have some room for expansion.’ So, here we are today sitting in an 800,000-square-foot warehouse with 54 back-down docks and six grade-level docks.”

WAY will now grow from 105 employees to as many as 170 along the way, he added.

The operational efficiencies gained by having everything and everyone under one roof is immeasurable, Greer added.

“Operationally it’s great for us because we have five warehouses right now. So, you have lots of remote employees. We’ve doubled up in some places as far as we have two shipping crews, we have two receiving crews. This is going to allow us to all be under one roof, one set of rules, one set of employees,” he said.

“As a company grows and you get spread out into five different places, you really can’t get everybody together and make them feel like family. And that’s really what WAY is,” Greer mentioned.

Attendees gather in WAY’s partially finished showroom.


As mentioned, the new building also includes a 6,000-square-foot showroom that features 30-foot ceilings and a massive wall of glass marking the main entrance into the facility. Without making any apologies, WAY Vice President of Sales Tom Halbert said the new showroom is an enormous improvement over the current one.

“To state the obvious, yes, we are very excited, especially with the showroom,” Halbert said. “It’ll be great bringing customers in here to show them this type of layout compared to the ones we’ve had in the past.

“Our new showroom really and truly properly displays our products,” he continued. “You can walk around, you can see the 12-volt refrigerators and see all the kitchen appliances. We’re very excited about getting everybody in here to take a look. And I think it’ll ll be sometime in December when we’ll start showing everybody.”

Once completed – much of the showroom was left vacant to accommodate the grand opening activities – the new space will display the company’s wide-ranging line of products under several brands such as Everchill, Greystone, Elite and Drive.

In addition, some of the showroom space will be dedicated to WAY’s innovations, and an East To West Alta travel trailer along the back wall serves as a real-world demonstration of many of its RV products, which include refrigerators, coolers, cooking ranges, portable griddles, fireplaces, water heaters and electronics as well as power solutions such as solar panels, lithium batteries and generators.

While WAY primarily services the RV industry, the company also does business in marine, manufactured housing and other markets, officials noted.

“We really wanted a showroom that had the ‘wow’ factor, and I think the location of it right in front of the glass entrance is great because you walk in and one of the first things you see is a showroom with everything in it,” Halbert added.

“We’re just super excited,” he continued. “Plus, now we have a space for each department – like our sales department. We have four people in one office right now. So, just to have everybody get their own space? We’re extremely excited.”

The crowd gathers outside the WAY headquarters in anticipation of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.


Greer also pointed out how the new facility – which, among its employee amenities, includes skylights for natural lighting and an exercise room – also will allow WAY to ramp up its R&D efforts.

“We have a full engineering team and service team that work on prototypes, special situations for customers,” he said. “We have a smaller testing lab today at our current location. But in our new building we’ve essentially doubled our testing lab space and our capacities there. So, we continue to build our product innovation team.

“I’ll just be really honest,” he continued. “A lot of people are not good at that. They’ve really gotten away from being customer-centric and being able to help and work with customers on issues that may arise. That’s one of the things that I pride myself on. Our company is very customer-centric and we’re able to solve problems for people – and sometimes they don’t know until the 11th hour and they need some help.”

WAY primarily imports its products from China, but as Greer is quick to point out the company has salaried workers overseas to ensure quality is maintained throughout the production process.

“That’s why we have those two offices overseas,” he said. “Some of our competitors will just go by whatever they can find off the shelf, no questions asked. They have no eyes in the factory, they have no feet on the ground. That’s just not how we do it. We have direct line of communication with the factories and we have our people who are on the Way payroll in the factory.”

Wayne Kaylor, right, with his brother, Tom. Kaylor personally greeted every attendee as they made their way into his company’s new headquarters.


Among the dignitaries to take the podium was Nuway Construction President Andy Nesbitt, whose company built WAY’s massive new facility. Nesbitt credited the “teamwork” between the staffs at Nuway and WAY to help pull off what was said to be Nuway’s largest construction project to date.

“Our slogan is, ‘At Nuway, we build on relationships,’” Nesbitt said. “And what’s really cool is you can build an 800,000-square-foot building over 18 months and you can still go up and Wayne (Kaylor) can jaw at me and we still fist bump and Chris (Greer) still shakes my hand. We appreciate these guys; we appreciate the relationship we have. It’s truly an honor, Wayne, to build this building for you.”

“Thank you, Wayne, and your team for your continued investment here in Elkhart,” said Levon Johnson, president of the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. “Here is what I love most about this project; it is homegrown. As people look to come into this community and invest, they will know that we have companies like Way who have been here for a long time and know that this is the right place to both stay and grow.”

Other dignitaries who praised and congratulated WAY included Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson, Elkhart County Commissioner Brad Rogers, and representatives of U.S. Sen. Todd Young, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, and the Indiana Economic Development Council.

Source: https://rvbusiness.com/way-celebrates-grand-opening-of-expansive-elkhart-hq/