Ignite Sessions Provide Bursts of Manufacturing Excellence

New to this year’s MAPP Benchmarking & Best Practices Conference were the Ignite sessions, five-minute MAPP Member presentations focusing on the strategies and tactics that have improved their own companies. Why go looking for new and creative ways of doing business when industry peers are willing to share their own successes?

Throughout two sessions, 20 MAPP Members spoke on everything from tool room reorganization to creating a smoke-free workplace, accountability on the production floor and the impact of additive manufacturing.

  • Dan Cunningham, Parish Manufacturing, discussed a new focus on marketing, spurred by an overall slow growth in net income. Cunningham hired a full time sales and marketing manager, in addition to working with an outside consultant to the manufacturing industry.
  • Kassy Davis, DeKalb Molded Plastics, explained the process of turning a workplace where 82 percent of employees were tobacco users into a smoke-free environment – without employee mutiny.
  • Lindsey Hahn, Metro Plastics Technologies, shared his company’s success in implementing a 30-hour work week for full-time pay, leading to a production environment with low employee turnover and employees who clocked in on time, every time to avoid losing their 10-hour bonus.
  • Bret Joslyn, Joslyn Manufacturing, discussed improvements seen in the tool transfer process when the company bypassed the purchasing department and worked directly with the customer’s engineers and quality staff.
  • Carl Bartle, Deluxe Plastics, explained the methods his company used to improve morale, including increasing management responsiveness to issues, creating a skills-based pay system, rewriting rules that no longer made sense and asking employees to recognize their peers.
  • Ben Harp, Polymer Conversions, shared the way his company has created a funnel of local talent by developing a paid internship program for top-level juniors at a local high school. To date, four of the students have elected to pursue engineering degrees after graduation.
  • Jay Bender, Falcon Plastics, discussed the four additive manufacturing machines that have given his company an edge in closing the sale with new customers and running low-volume production parts.
  • Bill Renick, XTen Industries, explained the turnaround seen within his company with a focus on lean manufacturing. Renick told attendees about the $100 rule, in which any improvement suggested by employees with an overall cost under $100 is authorized immediately.
  • Craig Carrel, Team 1 Plastics, focused on the success his company has experienced in creating content for its website using video interviewing, with a goal of becoming an information source for the plastics industry and resulting in a significant increase in web traffic.

Many of these best practices will be featured in greater depth in future issues of Plastics Business magazine.