'Work hard, play hard' part of the secret at Plastic Components Inc.

By Jeannie Reall
Correspondent

Published: March 19, 2014 12:32 pm ET
Updated: March 19, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Image By: Plastic Components Inc. Owner and President Tom Duffey participates in chair races at Plastic Components Inc.'s annual Christmas lunch.

Related to this story

Topics Best Places To Work, Injection Molding, Rapid Prototyping

Being named a Best Place to Work was no happy accident for Plastic Components Inc.

Owner and President Tom Duffey said his company works hard to hire employees who know what to do with autonomy. Employees who “fit.”

“It’s kind of embedded in our culture,” he said in a recent phone interview. “What we’ve tried to do is create an environment that rewards and recognizes initiative, insight and effort on the part of our employees.”

Rather than issuing top-down initiatives, Duffey said, he’d rather have people who develop ideas.

“We give people a lot of latitude. They have to be accountable, but if you ... can find a way to do things better tomorrow than you do today, this can be a great place to work because we recognize it and encourage it and we require it,” he said.

People can have strong technical skills, “but if all they want to do is show up, do their job and go home,” they just don’t work out well at the Germantown, Wis.-based injection molder.

“I’d rather take motivated people and train them ... than someone with a higher skill set, but who’s not really emotionally invested in their job,” Duffey said.

“We’ve really hit a sweet spot here in terms of our performance throughout the organization. Not only do we have a good culture, but we’ve done a really good job of bringing people into the organization that fit.”

And the company, which currently employs about 50, is bringing more people in all the time, thanks to a successful expansion.

In the fall, PCI opened a 15,000-square-foot center in Germantown to make rapid prototype, single-cavity injection molds. The enterprise “has exceeded every possible expectation we had,” he said.

“Within 90 days we knew we’d made the right decision. ... The benefits have been spectacular,” he said. “We filled a niche in our customers’ universe that wasn’t being filled.

“I’ve had good ideas about four times in my life, and this was one of them.”

A mindset common among the Plastics News Best Places to Work finalists seems to be, “Work hard, play hard.” There is fun to be had at PCI, which ranked No. 9 on the list.

The company holds appreciation lunches and has cookouts and softball games. Chair races. Remote-control car races. Halloween costumes. There was even an officewide wellness program known as the “pedometer challenge,” in which Duffey himself took part.

“I think I gained weight while I was doing it, though,” he said.

“From time to time, we’ve done a lot of silly things around here. It’s been fun. And we’ve got a great group of people in our organization that are catalysts for that kind of thing.”

PCI, which Duffy said has annual sales between $20 million and $22 million, was Plastics News’ 2008 Processor of the Year. The company won a 2013 Manufacturing Leadership award for operational excellence and a 2009 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award for commitment to community and employees.


Comments

'Work hard, play hard' part of the secret at Plastic Components Inc.

By Jeannie Reall
Correspondent

Published: March 19, 2014 12:32 pm ET
Updated: March 19, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Spain's ITC Packaging acquires Coveris rigids plant

July 31, 2014 9:59 am ET

International packaging group Coveris Holdings has sold its Spanish business Coveris Rigid Spain, including an injection molding plant, to the...    More

Image

Tessy investing $10 million in new plant, infrastructure

July 30, 2014 4:57 pm ET

Tessy Plastics Corp. continues to buy factory buildings in upstate New York — acquiring a 112,000-square-foot former Honeywell building in...    More

Image

One51 adding injection molder Straight to its bin molding portfolio

July 29, 2014 10:12 am ET

Dublin-based One51 plc has had its purchase of British trash bin maker Straight plc cleared by the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority.    More

Image

Columbine Plastics moving to new Colorado site

July 25, 2014 11:38 am ET

Custom injection molder Columbine Plastics Corp. plans to move from Boulder, Colo., to the Colorado Technical Center in Louisville, Colo.    More

Image

Metals and plastics company NN to buy Autocam in $300 million deal

July 25, 2014 10:07 am ET

A Tennessee metals and plastics company said it has agreed to acquire auto parts supplier Autocam Corp. in a deal valued at $300 million.    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events