As the old joke goes, how do you tell an introverted engineer from an extroverted engineer? The introvert engineer looks at their feet while they talk to you. The extrovert engineer looks at YOUR feet while they talk to you.
Injection molding is a technical business and typically, the smaller the molder the more technical the leadership. Stereotypically, technical/engineer types revert to their introverted tendencies in stressful times and try to solve/fix whatever problem is before them without outside input or help.
At PlastiCert, 75% of our front office are degreed engineers. That being said, we like to think of ourselves as the extroverted types, and then some. We are more than able to talk to our customers about their molding needs, what options they have and what they should do.
We are also adept at seeking out and engaging outside technical resources to enrich our knowledge base and make us a better service provider to our customers.
On a business level, we are also adept at reaching out to better equip ourselves to manage the business environment before us. Aside from business contacts our networking has created, direct council from peers in similar circumstances has proven invaluable.
PlastiCert’s owner has participated in a peer council facilitated by Enterprise Minnesota for a number of years now. This particular peer council is uniquely configured, as all members (currently at nine), are business owners. While we are all manufacturers, there is no overlap in industries served. Yet our business issues are all the same and we work collectively to learn and derive quality solutions to make our companies better places for our coworkers and customers.
At no time has such a peer council been more valuable than during this COVID-19 crisis. We normally meet monthly, but now we have started more frequent on-line meetings and communicated together more frequently. We share information, resources and hash out ideas and actions that can help make our companies stronger.
Any company leadership not reaching out right now for help, is doomed to suffer the consequences of isolation. What is your supply base doing to make sure they will be there for you as we emerge out the other side of this environment?