The employees at Precise Mold & Plate are more than co-workers. They spend a lot of time together, even outside the office.
“It's a quite impressive team of people,” said CEO and owner Don Dumoulin. “Some go to church together; many are related in some way, shape or form. They play softball together, golf together — it's a close-knit bunch.”
Perhaps that's why Precise Mold is one of Plastics News' Best Places to Work for 2016. The Columbus, Ind.-based mold maker ranks No. 2 in its debut on the list.
“Our focus on teamwork and shared success has been incredibly beneficial to furthering a healthy work environment — and our increasing employee tenure has been a natural byproduct,” the company said in its submission form.
Precise Mold serves the automotive, medical device and consumer goods markets. Dumoulin bought the company from Lindsey Hahn, Ernie Dettmer and Shorty Murphy in 2013 when, Dumoulin said, he “got bored” in retirement. Dumoulin had spent many years in the plastics and med-tech businesses, working for Procter & Gamble, Roche and others.
For its entire 31-year history, Precise Mold has made money — “even in 2007, '08 and '09, it managed to eke out a small profit every year,” he said.
That accomplishment gives the employees something to be proud of, along with a sense of stability, he said. Adding to that security, in the three years he's owned the firm, Dumoulin has made a lot of investments, including new equipment for the 50,000-square-foot facility Precise Mold operates in Columbus. The site has an array of computer numerically controlled, high-speed machining centers, and CNC and conventional electric discharge machining centers. Dumoulin has added four new machines and invested in enterprise resource planning software.
Dumoulin said he's had lots of experience with mergers and acquisitions, and “you're never sure what culture you're buying into.
“I was fortunate when I walked in and got to know the people and culture” at Precise Mold.
Many of Precise Mold's 55 employees are involved in charities and non-profits. Perhaps that stems from the example set at the top. Dumoulin and his wife, Lynda, established the Family Foundation, which provides scholarships for employees' children. The foundation also funds charitable work done by employees and matches employees' contributions to charities.
“It's our way of giving back,” he said in a recent phone interview. “It's not a huge financial commitment and it allows us to do something personally for the community and employees.”
Dumoulin is proud of the company's health-care benefits, which he said rank in the top one-third of U.S. manufacturing companies.
“We invest pretty heavily in our people,” he said. “We try to reward our people with good compensation and good benefits overall.”
Precise Mold offers profit sharing and a retirement savings program with matching contributions; medical, dental and vision coverage; long- and short-term disability; flex time and telecommuting; and an average of 16 hours of training each year. The company reimburses for business education workshops, seminars and certification training. In addition, employees can trade in their accrued PTO days for pay once the maximum is reached.
The mold maker holds quarterly “town hall” meetings to share financial performance information with all employees. “We strive to achieve financial transparency with all employees,” Precise Mold said on its submission form.