I've seen countless stories in Plastics News and other news publications focused on the importance of uniting the plastics industry. Much of what is usually discussed focuses on the need to combine efforts to have one voice in Washington so our country's leadership understands the importance of manufacturing and supporting strong manufacturing-based policies.
And although I support these efforts, I strongly believe that there are many other very productive ways that our industry and the executives who run plastics processing facilities can connect. I've experienced different methods of plastics processors assembling that truly impact the competitive nature of our businesses yet preserve the intellectual property we've all created in our own facilities.
Over the last year, both my staff and I have had the opportunity to tour several other plastics processing facilities. The paradigm shifts that occur from listening to somebody's business journey can not only impact the way you look at your own facility and management styles but can literally be life-changing.
To take this even further, I was playing golf the other day and realized, in my competitive outlook to win, that my counterpart had the exact same golf clubs, we were using the exact same golf balls, and playing in the exact same elements. However, I was losing the match, and later came to find out that my counterpart (competition) took a golf lesson which shifted his paradigm on “ball-to-feet” spacing that literally changed his game. After learning this, my game immediately improved.
I know that we as small to midsized business executives are trying to win the game of profitability. In all seriousness, the more profitable we all become, the more competitive our industry becomes on a global basis.
Not a day goes by, where something negative is not printed about American manufacturing. However, this is my livelihood and the livelihood of my employees, and I am very focused on winning.
With all of this said, there is a true format where plastics processors come together in the format I've described above. We tell stories of our lean journeys; we tell factual epilogues of our successes in identifying and reducing waste; we share those hidden little details about how to get more out of our equipment, more out of our people, and more out of our leadership teams.
This year, on Oct. 27-28, hundreds and hundreds of manufacturing professionals will meet in Indianapolis for the MAPP Benchmark and Best Practices Conference for the purpose of getting better. I will be there with five of my staff members. We will leave the conference with greater enthusiasm, we will leave as better managers, better leaders, and better polymer processors. I encourage you to attend.
In the words of our executive director, Troy Nix, “America is what America makes!” I hope to see you at the conference as we all work to define America's future.
Thogus Products Co.
President, MAPP-Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors