Brentwood Enviro Builders LLC
It started with a simple May 2010 email from a member of the Brentwood Hutterite Colony in Faulk County South Dakota: "We are currently looking to add another enterprise to our community and wonder if there would be an opportunity for building RTM Homes for your company. We are located in North Central SD” Joel Wollman.
On opening day in November 2011 for the Aberdeen SD American RTM Homes™ Design Center over 400 people came through the 3 Brentwood built RTM Show Homes on display - the general consensus of customers was that the homes on display were the best built RTM or redi-built Homes in the State.
The delay between production start up in September 2010 and the sales location opening in November 2011 resulted from a Brentwood decision to postpone marketing while they built a new building for RTM Home production
The initial Customer response and sales success resulted in 12 RTM Home sales within the first 7 months - by June of 2012 - and 23 sales in the first 23 months. The reason for the sales slow down resulted from Brentwood not being able to ramp up their production capability to meet the demand created by ATech for their American RTM Homes™.
American RTM Homes™ Value Proposition
These were the first 3 new homes of any type ever built entirely by the Colony members - Elias, Zach, Jared, and Joel, with part time assistance provided by other Colony members with specialized skills - who had been assigned from farming duties to develop this new business enterprise for economic development in their Hutterite community.
On their own it would have likely taken years – if ever - to get to where they got in just one year, and while this is certainly a great accomplishment for Brentwood Colony – it also speaks volumes in support of ATech’s American RTM Homes™ Value Proposition, or its proprietary systems and training.
Technology transferred to Brentwood was under a long term, profit share Joint Venture Agreement with ATech and provided them with everything they needed - every initial RTM Home floor plan and artistic design feature, along with every special manufacturing process for RTM Homes, Enviro System℠ insulation, and OVE techniques, along with all the necessary business and marketing processes needed to support this.
Without ATech Intellectual Property the Colony would NOT have had a marketable product any better than what is offered by some Canadian Hutterite Colonies or in South Dakota by companies like Pro Build or Cashway, and certainly not the quality level offered by South Dakota’s other premier RTM Home builder, Steinmetz Redi-Built Homes.
It was also ATech’s marketing decision to associate its American RTM Homes™ with Brentwood craftsmen because of the general public perception that Hutterites were skilled builders even though the skills being marketed resulted directly from ATech technology and training– and even though some Colony members had initially expressed concerns about taking this approach.
ATech Setup Services
ATech was able to set up a new OEM Supply Chain for Brentwood to bypass their traditional contractor options and to increase their profit levels by using the American RTM Homes™ Business Model to establish credibility for their manufacturing business – it also contributed to obtaining special startup discounts from major suppliers.
ATech developed the Colony’s local RTM Homes Building Trades Cluster mostly by training Colony members – either directly or by using supplier reps for some product use training – but also by sourcing some local trade contractors with specialized skills for things like drywall and flooring.
The challenge ATech faced in training the Building Trades Cluster was both significant and unique as Colony members had never worked in a commercial production environment, had a lifestyle not conducive to tradition new home building production work, and lacked many base skills typically present with regular tradesmen.
Hutterite Colonies are traditionally a closed agrarian and religious society that places family and quality of life ahead of everything else, as such they do not have a great deal of experience in retail business or commercial manufacturing operations – for more on their way of life go to Hutterites.org .
However what Colony workers lacked in base skills they made up in a desire to excel and the work attitude of Brentwood Colony labor trades combined with what ATech provided has allowed Brentwood built American RTM Homes™ to be viewed as best-in-the State since opening day.
As a result of the unilateral termination in July 2012 by Brentwood Colony of their Joint Venture Agreement with ATech - after achieving unprecedented startup sales success - Brentwood, now operating as ProComm Builders LLC, no longer has rights to use the business operating technology, including ATech's RTM Home designs, intially supplied to them.
ATech also has no control over any changes or modifications that Brentwood Colony may have made to its super energy efficient Building System that they were authorized to continue to use under a second agreement entered into in October 2012.
Currently ATech and Brentwood are engaged in a lawsuit initiated by ATech in January 2014 alleging breaches of this second agreement by Brentwood and ProComm.