As the new CEO and minority owner of Richardson Molding Inc., Steve Dyer sees a tremendous opportunity to take a successful company even higher.
The Columbus, Ind.-based firm has a long and strong history in making injection molded parts for the lead-acid battery market.
But Dyer knows there is the potential to expand well beyond that business.
“This is an organization that is absolutely poised and ripe for growth. It has the technical capability. It has square footage. It has capable assets,” Dyer said. “Our real focus going forward is to create value and continue to protect the core industry of which it always served and take that value creation into new industries and new customers.”
Dyer teamed up with private equity firm Owner Resource Group LLC to buy Richardson Molding from Roger Winslow, who has retired from the company.
Dyer has a long history in plastics, spending the last two decades in the business, including stints as CEO at both Trostel Ltd. and Dickten Masch Plastics. He had been out of the business and looking for an investment opportunity when he learned about the potential for a deal for Richardson Molding.
“We're just super excited about the opportunity to refocus on innovation, creating value for the customers, and importantly for me, because of my background, of my 20 plus years in the polymeric and elastomeric space, taking a lot of the core capabilities that Richardson has serviced the battery industry with and expanding those into markets that I have served the last 20 years,” Dyer said.
Richardson Molding has nearly 90 injection molding machines spit between sites in Columbus and Philadelphia, Miss. The company also has one rotational molding machine in Columbus.
Dyer sees the opportunity to expand beyond serving the lead-acid battery market into other energy storage technologies such as lithium ion, nickel cadmium and iron-based batteries.
He also sees tremendous opportunities to move into industries including automotive, outdoor power sports, appliance and lawn and garden.
“We have available capacity and available square footage for growth today,” he said. “We're focused on full utilization of the asset base we already have.”
Dyer said some of the company's injection molding capacity is underutilized at this point, which allows the company to take on new business without having to buy new equipment. Richardson also has a 40,000-square-foot concrete pad for a potential new building already poured at the Mississippi site.
Dyer said he became aware of the opportunity to purchase Richardson Molding through his contacts at Molding Business Services, which represented Richardson in the sale. He teamed up with Owner Resource Group, of Austin, Texas, which is now majority owner. The deal took two years to put together.
Having the financial muscle of Owner Resource Group involved means Richardson Molding also will be able to make investments to attract new business in new markets, Dyer said.
“There's three tenets to our fundamental plan. No. 1 is to protect the core business. Richardson has been a great organization for many years and the level of customer service and quality that our valued customers expect is priority No. 1. Phase two is to expand that core. ... And then phase three of our overall growth strategy will involve diversification,” Dyer said.
Richardson Molding has technologies involving as part weight reduction and proprietary tooling design that “will resonated from a value creation standpoint in markets that I've served in my past,” he said.