'Bigger purpose' valued at International Plastics

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International Plastics Inc. Because International Plastics Inc. is a smaller company, Mark McClure, vice president of operations, said it utilizes a 360 feedback and an open-door policy so management can receive comments and suggestions.

When it comes to the core values of International Plastics Inc., it all boils down to the acronym PRACTICE: People, Respect, Attitude, Commitment, Teamwork, Integrity, Customers and Excellence.

"We have a number of core values, but we try to treat our employees as we would want to be treated — the Golden Rule. The same way with our customers and our vendors, too," President Steve McClure said. "We try to treat everybody with respect."

The value from the company acronym that Vice President of Operations Mark McClure said he cherishes the most is "people."

"We trust our people emphatically. Our performance reviews are built around the culture of the company," Mark McClure said. "It took four or five years to work the strategic planning down to the lowest levels, but after that, we've paid dividends in what we've done. I can't talk highly enough about the people and the process it took to get there."

Because International Plastics is a smaller company — it has about 40 employees, not including temporary positions — McClure said they utilize 360 feedback and an open-door policy so management can receive comments and suggestions.

"If you looked at the org chart, you would not see a lot of pyramid structure; you would see a flat structure," McClure said. "It's more peer-driven and more collaborative than management top-down, heavy style."

J.R. McClure and his wife, Frances, started International Plastics in 1964, and Mark McClure worked there in high school and college. He officially joined the family business in 1989 and stayed in the marketing side.

McClure said the strength of his brother, Steve, lies in his knowledge of the products and vendors, while his sister, Carolyn Robinson, chief financial officer, is the organized sibling who handles the back end of operations.

"Even though we now have more non-family than family [working at the company], we treat it like a family business still," Steve McClure said. "Everybody here, to us, is family; hopefully they feel the same way."

Mark McClure said Steve's son, Ian, is involved with the company, but there are no plans to continue as a third-generation family business.

"We are at the point of growing the company the best we can so we have the options to figure that out as they come. … Until it's not fun anymore, I guess we'll keep doing it, but there is no plan to be a third-generation [company] at this point," McClure said.

When asked what he thinks employees would say is the No. 1 reason they love working for International Plastics, McClure said he believes the employees know they are working toward "a bigger purpose": "The company supports a lot of local charities and ministries and different philanthropic endeavors, so they know we are more of a community-based company," he said.

Some community work that International Plastics team members are involved in includes Miracle Hill, a nonprofit shelter for men, women and children; Meals on Wheels; pet therapy; and various marketing sponsorships.

"We are involved with just about anybody who asks," McClure said.

For all their hard work, International Plastics employees are treated to an annual Christmas party, which is held at a local country club. The event includes cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, music entertainment and sometimes some White Elephant or trivia games.

"In spite of ourselves, we don't take ourselves too seriously. We recognize that we're very blessed, not only in the opportunity for family business," McClure said. "It's all the people who are driving it behind the scenes."

International Plastics takes the fourth spot for Best Places to Work.

International Plastics Inc., Greenville, S.C., film and bag manufacturer, 41 employees.

Click here for links to other Best Places to Work businesses for 2017.