Category Archives: Plastics Molding

New Market Expansion in Plastics Manufacturing

To better understand our fit and penetrate new markets, DeKALB Molded Plastics sent representatives to several industry trade shows. As an innovative, evolving company, our marketing department is investigating segments where we have a sustainable fit to determine where we can add more value and develop long term relationships.

For many years we have been successful delivering high quality, competitive products in Medical segments. Hence, we are investing to broaden our value proposition in this growing area. We attended the industry’s premier tradeshow, Medical Design and Manufacturing: Midwest and West Coast. There, we confirmed our best fit to add the most value is in the design and manufacturing of medical housings or casings for large medical equipment. Our current success supplying housings for dialysis machines prepares us well to meet expectations of large equipment manufacturers. Other medical applications we are experienced in manufacturing include bone density machines and MRI equipment.

Other tradeshows attended were the CFSA (Casket and Funeral Supply Association), G2E (Global Gaming Show), and AWEA (American Wind Energy Association Expo). The renewed global focus of caring for the environment has generated the increased need to convert metal to plastic in basic staple segments of Death Care, Entertainment & Energy. We will utilize our proven experience to help these industries accomplish their goals cost effectively and contribute to all of our environmental goals.

The pressure to manage and reduce costs has recently impacted even these recession resistant industries. Our extensive experience and proven track record reducing part weights, converting materials and commercializing innovative applications will definitely benefit these basic life staple industries in the process of restructuring in the new global economy. Darryl Warren, New Business Development Lead at DeKALB Molded Plastics states, “We will flawlessly execute our long term, sustainable marketing strategy to deliver the best value to our customers. Our investments will continue to grow life-necessary market segments and contribute successful results in good and recessionary times”. This strategy will work well to ensure this structural foam manufacturer will be delivering value for another 30 years, plus!

Surviving the Recession

DeKALB Molded Plastics celebrated their 30th Anniversary of business in the Structural Plastics industry in 2009. Much has changed over those 30 years — from the structural foam products they first produced to the techniques they now employ to run the business. From products such as the first swimming pool panel, to the computer housings, and now on to the complex medical cabinetry—DeKALB has maintained their primary focus of “providing customer satisfaction that is unequaled in the Structural Plastics Industry”. Over the past 30 years, however, more has changed than just a few machines and the products DeKALB creates. DeKALB has become an ever-changing company in the midst of economic crises, and meeting the needs of its customers.

The president of the company, Rick Walters, said that DeKALB Molded Plastics has been through downturns in the economy before and they have learned how to manage through the tough times. They “know how to plan when business gets tight”, but this time they were going to have to “anticipate even less” in order to stay ahead of the recession curve. To ensure survival for both DeKALB and their customers, lower costs and higher value of services had to be made available.

Recognizing that this recession was going to touch virtually all companies, DeKALB knew their customers would be implementing some of the same financial strategies they would be forced to consider. Cutting inventories, staff, and general expenses would be the norm. But rather than “hunker down”, DeKALB chose to be proactive. They knew they would have to provide options and solutions to help their customers weather the storm. They chose to take customer service to a new level.

DeKALB decided to be aggressive, to invest and grow; positioning to support their valued customers and to prepare for the return of the better economy. First, a new Sales Team was established. Amy Aleshire, Sales Administrator, was promoted to oversee all existing accounts. She works closely to better understand each customer’s needs, for today and the future. A new position was added to focus on new business opportunities. Darryl Warren, New Business Development Lead, was hired. His mission is to find new and non-traditional applications for the future. A marketing initiative was launched. SMP of Milwaukee, led by Teresa Schell, is helping share the DeKALB message with those looking for a plastics solution partner.

Understanding that to meet their customer’s needs DeKALB had to be better every day, they partnered with Harbour Results Inc. to lead and train them in Lean Continuous Improvement techniques. At DeKALB, they are learning how to cut back on all forms of waste, make their products more environmentally friendly, and shift their overall focus even more towards serving their customers. Over the next few years, DeKALB will expand further into their local and global communities, to help people learn that plastics can be a safe and efficient product for thousands of different uses.