Gator Kennels has been building kennels since 2010 – so in terms of kennel manufacturing, we are the ‘new kids on the block’ (compared to other kennel manufacturers - some of which have over 100+ years in the market).
Before we built kennels, we were building machine-parts for Kodak, HP, Ball Aerospace, and other companies – using the same materials we use for the kennels. One thing we learned from that experience was to get in the habit of looking at the entire process. Instead of just looking at how to manufacture the product, we look at how the parts will be used: what are the good/bad qualities of the material? Is there a way to improve the product? Can an extra step in the manufacturing process make things easier for the end-user? Can we reduce parts of the process to make things more affordable?
When we transitioned to kennels, we spent over a year just observing the various industries: boarding, grooming, veterinary, and animal rescues – just to see the similarities and differences in how they operate and the needs of each type of industry. We have kennels in ALL portions of the industry – from the single-person boarding facility to multi-location franchises. There are quite a few differences in how those companies operate and how they take care of the dogs – and the kennels! Even though we haven’t been building kennels as long - our kennels are still being tested just as rigorously as our competitors. Tens of thousands of dogs are using our kennels every day.
Our team consists of a couple engineers with experience in a multitude of industries, materials, building projects and backgrounds. This enables us to consider multiple ways of manufacturing, materials, and designs. The rest of our team includes animal lovers and a microbiologist – where we can observe the safety aspect of the kennels, the dogs comfort, and cleanliness of the kennels. We build the kennels with the understanding that most of our customers’ time is spent cleaning after the dogs (regardless of which industry you are in - the dogs leave a mess!).
With the tens of thousands of dogs placed in our kennels everyday, we have learned quite a bit about dog behavior, tendencies, and capabilities! We naturally get feedback when things go wrong – and we have been surprised a few times with what the dogs can do! In every instance we try to determine what led the dog to do what it did – how it did it – and if there is a design change that can make the kennels better.
We are always working on improving the kennels – but we tend to take a ‘big-picture’ approach. What might work in one situation will not work everywhere. Also, we have to weigh the costs of manufacturing against the cost of the wear-and-tear against the kennels.
The Gator Kennels team hopes our dedication to quality and our ‘big-picture’ approach to design show through in every project. We want kennels to last a lifetime – but we also want kennels that look great, make your life easier, and keep the dogs safe - while still being affordable!