Sun Plastech Inc., No. 3 on Plastics News' Best Places to Work ranking, offers so many interesting benefits and perks, it's hard to know where to start to describe them.
Maybe the trips to Japan.
Parsippany, N.J.-based Sun Plastech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Corp. Every Sun Plastech employee, regardless of position, visits the parent company's headquarters in Tokyo and spends a week sightseeing in Japan, fully paid for by the company.
“It's almost a rite of passage here,” said Vice President Joseph Serell. “When you come back, you're one of the group. … It marks a specific commitment to that employee, that our intention is to have them here for awhile.”
That strategy apparently works.
“I was hired in October of 2004 and in some ways I still feel like the new face here,” he said by phone Jan. 27. “There are lots of veteran people and very low turnover.”
Sun Plastech makes and distributes Asaclean purging compounds. It employs 11 in Parsippany and has a remote staff of about seven. All remote employees are brought to Parsippany each quarter for team building, Serell said.
The company pays 100 percent of health care insurance premiums — medical, dental, vision and prescriptions — for employees and their dependents. It also pays 100 percent of an employee's premiums for long- and short-term disability. Sun Plastech offers a 401(k) plan and matches 50 percent of employee contributions up to 7.5 percent of salary, or the legal limit.
During the last week of December the office closes — essentially providing an extra paid week off for all employees.
Then there are the fishing trips. There are casino nights, and billiard and table tennis tournaments. For the holiday party in December, the staff dined at Rockefeller Center in New York. During an NBC tour, they got to watch the filming of “Saturday Night Live.”
Sun Plastech came to be when “Asahi Kasei had a distributor in New York it wasn't too happy with,” Serell said.
“It bought them and turned them into us.”
In 1996, the first hire was an accountant, Glenn Kornfeld, who has worked his way up to president. Serell noted it is a testament to Asahi Kasei and a sign of confidence in Kornfeld for a Japanese-owned company to appoint an American president.
Asahi Kasei employs 25,000 worldwide. Yet the small staff of Sun Plastech was one of only three winners of the parent firm's 2013 Share the Values Award, given for projects exemplifying creativity, challenge and sincerity. Sun Plastech's project showed its sales team is organized.
“It is unique and creative. … It was a little bit of a risky gamble that paid off very well,” Serell said. “It's proprietary and sales specific, but the entire company was involved.”
Serell declined to reveal Sun Plastech's sales, but said they have grown every year with the exception of 2008-09 during the Great Recession.
“They're still strong, including this year,” he said.