As a small manufacturer, you set up your operation to benefit your company, your customer, your coworkers and your community. You ask for customer feedback, you measure performance, your make plans, you communicate direction. Things like positive performance indicators in your business, longevity in your staff, the long tenure of your customer base, are all indicators that you are doing well.
When you get the opportunity to see both how you measure up, and what more you could be doing, you jump at that opportunity.
When Plastics Technology magazine offered to benchmark us against the rest of their readership that would respond, PlastiCert responded right away.
The results just came out and PlastiCert was named one of 27 Top Shops from among the survey respondents around the country.
In addition to demographic data, the survey asked for information on some key performance metrics, including areas like sales growth, sales per machine and employee, scrap rate, and setup time, among others. Scoring on 10 of these metrics was used as a means to separate 2019’s Top Shops from the rest of the respondents.
Naturally, there were a lot of similarities in technology, equipment and capabilities. Where the separation started to occur was in the areas of providing the customer added value, beyond the injection molding itself. Differences also emerged in how the respondents managed their companies. Critical aspects like training and leadership opportunities, safety and health programs. Higher (non-management) floor pay, better benefits, and education reimbursements. Not surprisingly, the turnover rate at Top Shops was more than 40% lower than at other respondents, (it’s very low single digits here at PlastiCert.) Also appearing is a distinct change in the management of Top Shop firms, not the people but how the companies are run. For instance, 71% of Top Shops undertake a regular review of business compared with just 25% of the rest of respondents. Similar gaps were seen in business-metric goal setting (71% vs. 28%), business-strategy development (74% vs. 23%) and occurrence of regular management and department-head meetings (68% vs. 39%).
So yes, recognition is nice, but more gratifying is the knowledge that you are paving the way for your firm to continue to provide for your constituency; coworkers, your customers and your community. Put the mechanisms in place to satisfy those three, keep your eye on the horizon, and you can take your ship anywhere.