It is turkey season, not elephant season. We have been very grateful regarding the number of inquiries and new customers this first quarter. We are in the start-up process with several of them and most customers have a similar initiation of business protocol.
The only time that process sometimes changes drastically is if we are asked to engage with a large entity that just needs inexpensive parts. I recall back from my salesperson days, we called them elephants. I still have my copy of the sales book Bag the Elephant, from 15 years ago. All salespeople salivated at the idea of working their way into and closing the BIG customer. That one customer that would be large revenues and offer an endless stream of leads through additional divisions, subsidiaries, and partner companies.
As with all business situations though, there were two sides to the story. Sure, such relationships came with some baggage, but as salespeople we were hunters. We went out in the field looking to bag big game, not small game, the elephants out there. For us, success meant bringing it back and throwing it into the plant where others would deal with the processing of it. We went back out into the field to find and bag more elephants! It was the processing that proved to be consequential. That would determine the relationship going forward. The book went into some details on how to manage the elephant to maintain or even grow the relationship. It is a time frame fraught with high expectations and lengthy communicated requirements. The bigger the elephant, the bigger the hoops to jump through.
PlastiCert is not a big game hunter. We do not look for elephants. That being said, we have some large OEM customers, but not all large corporate entities are elephants either. Typically, the elephants know they are elephants and act like elephants. Meaning they have enough expertise to where they can create designs, choose their material, and just request pricing, preferably cheap pricing. Some though, recognize or are self-aware enough that they look to operate like a partner rather than the elephant in the room. They ask for design input, resin selection assistance and general insight to the production of the component.
PlastiCert works with a few elephants, by choice, but we hunt for and love to engage with smaller and mid-size OEMs. Companies that require us for our talent. Our focusing on augmenting their plastic and composites knowledge base, rather than just remembering our place, and just supplying plastic parts ( at the cheapest cost possible).
PlastiCert looks to provide a service which includes knowledge and expertise prior to any steel being cut or molding press being heated up. We add value and look to be a part of our customers’ teams, rather than just a link in their supply chain.
So, whether you are big or small, if you are looking for a molding partner that can help you refine your designs and work WITH you to satisfy your goals, give us a call. If the first thing you are going to do is send us a 100-page Supplier Manual detailing steps we need to take to be added to the chain and warn us about what you will do to us if we do not comply with 100% with all your requirements, then perhaps we should not go down the path together. Elephants need not apply.