FLORENCE, MASS. — Helping firms survive the pitfalls of the injection molding business is the goal of Terry J. Minnick's new venture, Molding Business Services.
``I think I've found a niche,'' said Minnick, former chief executive officer of Summit Plastic Solutions Inc. ``I'm trying to offer any type of commercial service an injection molder might need.''
He said that a typical consultant needs to learn about the business before implementing a plan of action, but he has worked in plastics for 23 years. As a former owner, chief executive officer and chairman of Summit, he experienced the ups and downs of the business. He also has compiled a database of about 450 injection molders and a listing of 2,000 people in the industry.
``I like helping small companies,'' said Minnick, ``They may have 10, 20 or 30 employees. ... These are good business folks. They are hard workers, but they don't have expertise in-house.''
Turnarounds, interim management, business planning, sales and marketing, human relations, operations, mergers and acquisitions, refinancing, ISO 9000 implementation and executive recruiting are all areas in which Minnick says he can make a difference.
He plans to charge a day rate of $1,500 for a small company.
``A day or two may be all they want or all they need,'' he said.
As an example, he pointed to a small client with sales of $1 million.
``They didn't have a business plan or a sales and marketing plan. I went in and in a very short period of time, I helped write a business plan and select the target markets,'' he said.
The phone is ringing. He's working with companies in New England and the Midwest.
Minnick said the demise of Summit was a difficult time for him.
``It was one of the more painful experiences I've had in my life. I wanted so much to succeed.''
Summit, which claimed to be North America's oldest plastics injection molder, was forced into bankruptcy in July. The court later approved the purchase of Summit by PMC Group Inc. of Stockerton, Pa., in October. During that time, Mesirow Private Equity Investments Inc. replaced Minnick as chairman and CEO.
``I was very frustrated with the situation we were in. There was a lot of debt. It was an old factory with old equipment,'' he said, ``It was like trying to run a race with a 50-pound weight on your back. I'm not one to give up and quit.''
As the second-largest shareholder and a creditor, he said he lost a lot of money with the Summit bankruptcy, but said he is happy that much of the work force is still employed. He is rooting for them to succeed.
Minnick worked in the fall of 1997 as a consultant for G.I. Plastek Inc. of Elyria, Ohio.
``They had $60 million in sales and tremendous resources.''
That convinced him that his niche was helping small molders build their businesses.
Minnick started his career with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. He worked at Dow Chemical for nine years. In 1983, he joined American Tourister as vice president and general manager of the special products division. He was named president and CEO of Pro Corp. in 1986. Three years later, he bought the company. Pro and Apogee Plastic Technology of Daytona Beach, Fla., were combined to form Summit. In 1994, he sold the company.