LOS ANGELES — An upper Midwest sales organization has linked 20 independent mold-making shops representing more than $40 million in annual sales.
Industry veteran Scott Wahl organized the Midwest Tooling Association in Stillwater, Minn., in March. As the group's president, he aims to procure and split major orders for plastic injection, die cast and thermoset molds and be compensated on a commission basis.
"I can split up a 32-tool package among two or three mold builders" and see the project to completion, he said in an interview at the association's Plastics Encounter Los Angeles booth. "All [of the shops] are within a two-hour drive. An engineer from a large molding company can view every mold he's got being built."
The group has 225 tool makers, most in small shops. The largest are the 75-person Mo-Tech Corp. in Oakdale, Minn., and the 35-person Diamond Tool & Engineering Inc. in Bertha, Minn.
Wahl and engineering manager Jesse McConaughey will split orders and seek to create long-term relationships. Clients will work directly with the shops.
Wahl contracted with many of the mold shops as an owner of Global Tool & Engineering Inc. in Oakdale from 1994 through May 1999 when CMS Hartzell Inc. bought the operation. Wahl remained with the business under CMS Hartzell through June 2000. SCI Systems Inc. acquired CMS Hartzell in November.
Wahl expects to get consistency on speed and price. "I know the availability and where the costs are," he said.