“During that time, our sales dipped as much as anyone else's did. As tough as it was, and as much as we had to tighten our belts, we didn't lay anyone off. And it's a good thing, because sales came roaring back in late 2009,” Serell said.
The Parsippany, N.J.-based maker of purging compounds is still growing. On June 1, it closed on its acquisition of Bridgeport, Conn.-based Novachem.
Sun Plastech previously made only mechanical purges but has now absorbed Novachem's SuperNova and Novapurge chemical purging compounds and InstaPurge mechanical purges. Sun Plastech closed Novachem's eight-employee site and now makes those products at its Asaclean production site in Fowlerville, Mich.
“This was a first for us. We'd never been involved in an acquisition before. We kept expecting something to come up, but it went very smoothly,” Serell said. “We [also] expected our acquisition would supercharge sales of those products, and so far, that absolutely seems to be the case,” Serell said.
The company has hired three new salespeople and a marketing assistant to handle the new business, and has something else up its sleeve.
The crew could just take a breath and relax now, but its research and development department is hard at work.
“They're always working on new grades,” Serell said. “Currently they're working on a new line of products we're very excited about. It's in the early stages, but development is going well. We hope to have a formal announcement [of the new products] within 12 months.”
All that hard work is appreciated.
“People are treated very well here, at every level,” Serell said. “Management, supervisors and workers all speak to each other with respect. There's no raising of voices, ever; we don't tolerate it. We require respect and professionalism at all times — in fact, it's codified in our manuals and policies.”
Among the company's “amazing benefits,” Serell said, are a 401(k) with 50 percent matching funds, health insurance paid almost entirely by the company, bonuses, domestic partner benefits, flexible working hours and an extra paid week off when the company closes between Christmas and New Year's.
And each employee still makes an expenses-paid pilgrimage to Tokyo. Every worker visits Asahi Kasei's headquarters and spends a week sightseeing. Two employees went last year and three more are scheduled to make the trip this May. It's Sun Plastech's way of expressing its commitment to its people, Serell said.
Sun Plastech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Corp.
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