Plastics News has selected Prism Plastics Inc., a fast-growing automotive molder with plans to expand into new markets, as the winner of one of its PN Excellence Awards, for customer relations.
The newspaper presented Prism with the award Feb. 5 during the Executive Forum in Las Vegas.
The judges, who are Plastics News reporters and editors, evaluated candidates for the Excellence Award on three individual criteria — customer relations, employee relations and industry and public service. Those are three of the seven areas used to determine the overall Processor of the Year Award.
Other PN Excellence Awards went to Evco Plastics Inc. and Nicolet Plastics Inc. The Processor of the Year winner is Stihl Inc.
Prism began in 1999 — but it was far from a typical startup — and this has led to some long-term, happy customers. The average tenure of customers is 10 years.
Three industry veterans, who had been executives at Huron Plastics, launched Prism: Rodney Bricker, Gerry Phillips and Jerry Williams (who died last summer). From the very first day, they bought only all-electric Toshiba injection presses and Yushin robots. They implemented IQMS right from the beginning, and Prism uses IQMS to its full potential to tie together its three factories, in the headquarters in Chesterfield Township, Mich.; Port Huron, Mich.; and Harlingen, Texas.
Statistics tell the story: Prism officials say the company has had 100 percent on-time delivery over the past three years. Ninety-nine percent of the parts are never touched by human hands.
Customers had good things to say about Prism when contacted by the Plastics News judges. “I can't say enough good things about Prism Plastics. … Whenever I'm taking a customer to a molder, that's the first place I want to take them,” said a supplier quality manager at one customer. He noted the automation and organized, clean factories. And he said everybody is on the same page: “When I deal with somebody at Prism Plastics, they feel like they have ownership in the company. They know the owners are behind them in everything they do.”
A purchasing manager at another customer is “very, very satisfied … in general, they do an outstanding job.”
Prism's submission gave case studies detailing its work on transfer molds. The company dramatically boosted cycle times and quality from the inherited steel. In one fast-turnaround job, Prism retooled and saved the customer more than $300,000 in the first year of production.
In 2014, a customer that makes steering systems gave Prism awards for superior customer service and perfect quality and product launches. Another customer, Takata Corp., named Prism Supplier of the Year in 2013 for its molded seat belt components. In 2011, Prism earned Autoliv Inc.'s Supplier of the Year Award.
Prism had $30.1 million in 2014 sales and set an ambitious goal: $100 million in automotive sales by 2020. And company executives also want to diversify into other markets such as medical, appliance, industrial and aerospace/defense. That will mean another plant, an acquisition, or both, to stay geographically flexible, they said. Standardizing on machinery and systems helps, since it takes the firm just 6 months of lead time to launch a new plant.
Management also is integrating the IQMS forecasting module, which will help the company stay in top of growth.