Every morning, John Peyton starts his day the same way: checking on the customers.
Peyton, vice president of sales at Oconomowoc, Wis.-based injection molder Plastocon Inc., said he checks on quotes, samples, responses, meetings, "you name it."
"Everybody is involved in customer service in this company. It comes in different forms, obviously. But the customer is key here for us," he said. "We continue to promote that and help people understand how their job and their role can affect and help us and, in the long run, help the customers."
Even with the economic downtown nearly a decade ago, Peyton said Plastocon was able to survive and keep up.
"We continue to have growth even throughout this economy — year after year growth. I think that's significant, along with the profits that go along with that," Peyton said. "We continue to, year after year, reinvest more money than the previous year back into the company."
So, what's their secret? Plastocon President Joe Chmielewski credits the company's focus.
"We are focused on the employees of Plastocon [and] on our customers," Chmielewski said. "With the customer focus, we have come to the realization some years ago that we are not a job shop anymore. … We currently view ourselves as an extension of our customers' manufacturing capabilities or assembly capabilities. We do everything we can to be prepared for when they need product, whatever that means. It may mean inventorying raw materials. It may mean inventorying finished product. But that's kind of how we view ourselves. That's been one of the catalysts to our growth."
"I have to concur with that, that we're an extension of our customers," Peyton said. "It's more than just a phrase here. I think I said it, when [Chmielewski] got involved in this company and the ownership in 2001, we made a significant change. It has evolved very much into that way of thinking, and it permeates throughout the whole organization that it is our way of thinking."