Competitive Enhancements Inc., a holding company for Indiana Die Cast Tool in Franklin, Ind., recently purchased the mold-making subsidiary of Tandy Corp. in Fort Worth, Texas, for an undisclosed sum. The company has been renamed CE Tool Engineering. Mal Bass, president of the holding company in Indianapolis, said Tandy Tool Engineering had been both a customer and a supplier to Indiana Die Cast Tool. When he made a customer visit to the plant a year ago, Bass discovered Tandy had decided to divest its molding operation.
``With the molding leaving, I figured they wouldn't need a mold-making facility either,'' Bass said in a recent telephone interview.
Tandy sold its Tandy Molded Products division during the first half of 1994, about a year after selling its money-losing manufacturing operations for personal computers, TE Electronics Inc., to AST Research Inc. of Irvine, Calif.
Bass said the opportunity came when he was considering starting a mold-making operation in the Southwest.
``We knew the organization there, so it seemed a natural for us,'' Bass said. ``They're a complementary fit.''
Although a Tandy subsidiary, the mold-making division built tools for numerous other companies, including custom molder Texas Jacobson of Braunfels, Texas, AST Research and Honeywell Inc. Both Indiana Die Cast Tool and CE Tool Engineering manufacture injection molds for the computer, electronics and telecommunications industries.
Bass said the two firms together can take on large projects and reduce lead times, helping original equipment makers get their products to market faster.
``There's a trend toward customers placing entire projects with one supplier,'' Bass said. ``This will enable us to be more efficient and emphasize quick deliveries.''
Bass put in place new management at CE Tool Engineering, but kept all 20 production employees. The company now operates from a leased, 8,000-square-foot building. The company plans to purchase a larger facility in the Fort Worth area and expand capabilities.
Indiana Die Cast Tool operates in a 30,000-square-foot facility and employs 45.