Tim Erdmann first got deeply involved with plastics 17 years ago. While with management consultants Plante & Moran LLP from 1990-97, he led a team in conducting a national benchmarking study of plastics molders and mold makers. That study continues today. During his stint at P&M, he helped manufacturing clients to increase productivity through plant-floor realignment projects, cut costs by implementing Kaizen team processes, and develop strategic and business plans.
From 1998-2003, Erdmann headed his own consulting firm, OPS Team LLC (for the Operations Performance Solution), and provided contract executive management and operational and financial consulting services to manufacturers across various industries.
In 2003 he was named president of St. Clair, Mich.-based automotive injection molder and mold maker Pine River Plastics Inc. and helped transform that company into a lean manufacturer of complex plastic assemblies and niche decorative interior components. Operating four facilities in Michigan and South Carolina, Pine River had sales of $43 million when Erdmann took over. The 500-employee firm grew quickly, but problems at some of its key automotive customers, combined with soaring resin prices, eventually led to financial problems that prompted the firm to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2007 with 2006 sales of $65 million. When a last-minute deal to find a buyer fell through, Pine River shut down earlier this year.
Erdmann, who has bachelor degrees in both chemistry and biochemistry from Michigan State University as well as an MBA from University of Michigan, previously worked as:
c international business director for Technical Training Inc., which involved overseeing operations in Latin America, Europe and Asia;
c Senior consultant for Manufacturing Consulting Group, delivering consulting assistance to clients of Deloitte & Touche, including several automotive supplier quality audits;
c administration manager for Raycon Machine Tool Corp.; and
c in the early 1980s, plant supervisor in the nutritional packaging area for Bristol Myers.