It may seem like it's mainly larger molding companies that preach the contract manufacturing mantra, but smaller firms also are taking it to heart - mom-and-pop shop Triad Plastic Technologies plans to spend $2.5 million to nearly double its space as it gets more into assembly and other value-added work.
The small Reno, Nev., company, which built its 40,000-square-foot molding plant three years ago, plans to add 35,000 square feet in the next 18 months to cope with what it said is booming demand.
``Assembly, decorating, actual shipping and logistics - [we] pretty much take it from conception to completion,'' said President Greg Latimer. ``[Customers] don't want to handle anything.''
The firm expects 21 percent growth this year, after 13 percent last year, albeit from a very small base. It has $4.6 million in annual sales now.
Triad has six injection presses, 35 employees and an in-house toolroom, and plans to add workers as it boosts its assembly work.
Much of the firm's work is already in the contract manufacturing vein. It makes a drinking fountain for house pets, doing all the manufacturing and shipping for a customer, for example, and is working on products like a meat tenderizer and a home beer-making kit, Latimer said. He was interviewed at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show, held Jan. 6-8 in Anaheim.
Latimer said the company aims to keep debt low. The firm has paid off 80 percent of its 3-year-old factory, and owns all the injection presses debt-free, even though it replaces all its machines every three years. Keeping debt low means the company does not have to worry about laying off people in slow times, Latimer said.
He credits following religious teachings, particularly what he learned as part of a group called the Fellowship of Companies for Christian Interaction, for the company's growth. Those principles include treating customers and employees properly, while striving to exceed expectations.