New Technology Adoption as a Business Strategy
One obvious benefit of strategic planning or goal setting is to make an aspiration a tangible concept by naming it and setting out along the steps necessary to achieve it. For Chuck Sholtis, CEO of El Paso, Texas-based custom injection molder Plastic Molding Technology Inc. (PMT), making the adoption of new technology tangible comes via setting a very simple goal.
“We’ve got like a smorgasbord of technology that we look at and by our own strategic plan, we want to introduce two new technologies per year. They’re not all earth shattering, but it’s thinking about, ‘How does this new technology apply to a small, progressive custom molder?’”.
PMT was the focus of Plastics Technology’s March On Site article, with a major thrust of that story being its ability to adapt, and ultimately stick to, its strategic plan in 2020 despite the raging pandemic that rendered most individuals’ and businesses’ goals for the year moot.
So what technology is PMT looking at in 2021? Targets include cobot implementation for automated boxing and packaging at the press, and “internal factory 4.0 tactics” as it progresses to a paperless factory floor. Automation and ERP were part of PMT’s technology tool kit before 2020; this renewed push in 2021 is about augmenting what’s in place with what’s new and taking action in response to a labor market that was tight before coronavirus but has become more strained since its spread.
“I think we’ve got a very skilled workforce here in the U.S.,” Sholtis says, “but to compete I think we really have to have higher productivity and invest in automation because our competitors around the planet, even in low-cast producing countries, are so I think that’s key.”
The overarching goal for PMT (and a good one for any molder)?
“That’s how [PMT] works to the vision of being our customers’ most reliable and responsive supplier.”
PMT makes new technology adoption part of its ongoing business strategy.