One of the things that has always confounded and frustrated me throughout my editorial career in plastics is why you, the plastics processor, don’t market your services more. I will grant you that some of my frustration is self-serving: As a magazine, we publish monthly plant-tour articles that we call On-Site, and we sometimes find while pursuing story ideas that processors aren’t all comfortable about letting us into their plants.
Or perhaps they don’t want their competitors knowing what they are doing.
Maybe they are just plain bashful.
This is nothing new. It must have been 20 years ago that I was a reporter covering extrusion for the now-defunct Plastics World magazine. I was assigned an article on sheet extrusion and found what I thought was a willing interview subject in the Midwest. I flew in the night before, stayed at an airport hotel, and rented a car so I could drive to the plant the next morning. I got there in plenty of time. I was whisked into the conference room, where I spent maybe an hour asking questions of two company executives. Nothing unusual so far. But when I was done with the formal Q&A and started walking toward a door that read “Safety Glasses From This Point On,” I was politely but firmly told the discussion was over and a plant tour would not be possible.
I’m fairly certain it was nothing I said during the 60-minute background interview. I showered and brushed my teeth that morning, so that couldn’t have been the problem. And I’m sure the two gentlemen at this sheet processor did not have rude intentions. I think, quite simply, they didn’t know what do to with me. Or, perhaps more to the point, they didn’t know “what was in it for them” to give me access to their plant.
What’s in it for you is the opportunity to showcase your company as a leader, an innovator, a solutions provider…as one that can easily be distinguished from its competitors. These have always been important issues, but I think they are even more crucial now. It’s my view that North American processors don’t do enough talking about themselves—self-promotion, or bragging, if you want to call it that.
There are many notable exceptions to this perceived deficiency, of course. More than enough to give us willing processors to write about each month. One that stands out is the Rodon Group, a custom injection molder in Hatfield, Pa. Last month, this 56-year-old company announced a new program for American entrepreneurs looking to use plastic injection molding for their inventions.
Rodon calls it The American Entrepreneur Program. They promote it as unique to the molding industry, and say it offers entrepreneurs an ideal low-cost, on-shore solution to get their projects off the ground.
“We are excited to be able to offer this service to entrepreneurs looking to get a solid head start on their idea or invention, while keeping the production in the U.S. and at a low cost,” said Kevin McGrath, Rodon’s v.p. of sales and marketing. “Rodon’s expertise, capabilities, and in-house resources make us an ideal partner.”
The cost of the program is $4999 for the first 50 people that sign up, a savings of 50% off the regular price. This includes design time, prints, 3D prototype parts, and more. You can learn more at rodongroup.com/entrepreneurs.
So cheers to Rodon for embarking on this neat initiative. Maybe you’re doing some neat things too. Don’t be shy about letting us know.