Texas molder All-Plastics LLC escaped damage from Hurricane Harvey, but knows that other members of the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors did not.
So All-Plastics is offering to help out other processors trying to carry on after Harvey devastated South Texas.
All-Plastics' headquarters in Addison, Texas, and its operation in Kerrville, Texas, are inland and about 250 miles from Houston, said Jennifer Latiolais, manager of marketing and business development.
That distance meant the operations and most employees avoided the mayhem prevalent along the Gulf Coast.
"We were very fortunate, but the effects have rippled through the state," Latiolais said in a phone interview.
Processors experienced resin shortages and the lack of gasoline. Latiolais was traveling after the hurricane's landfall on Sept. 6 and had to scramble to find a gasoline station with fuel, finally succeeding at her seventh stop in the search.
"In most places in Texas, it is hard to find gas," she recalled.
All-Plastics was able to help a customer, a medical device manufacturer with an in-house molding shop, which was affected indirectly. Her company volunteered to do materials testing for the customer.
"We expedited shipment sampling to help them sustain production," she said.
In the aftermath of Harvey, All-Plastics had sufficient molding capacity to offer to other firms. One company, an OEM in food and beverage production, needed help with its injection molding needs, and All-Plastics signed on, gaining a new customer in the process.
All-Plastics put the word out that it was able to help other molders if they contacted the company directly. All-Plastics President Thomas Houdeshell notified other nearby MAPP members that his firm was ready to help.
"Tom Houdeshell called local molders and let them know his company would help get molds out and offered to run them," said Stu Kaplan, president of custom molder Makuta Technics in Shelbyville, Ind.
The offer also spread through the grapevine by word of mouth.
"Everybody knows each other in Texas," Latiolais said.
It's unclear why more companies didn't take up All-Plastics' offer of help. It's possible that in all the confusion, companies were focused on getting their plants back up and running and helping their employees during the emergency, Latiolais indicated.
Latiolais said some of her family was directly affected because they live in the Beaumont, Texas, area.
"We're no stranger to hurricanes; we've seen others. But this is the worst I have ever seen," she said.
All-Plastics' offer to help flows from its corporate culture of community giving, beginning with Houdeshell and spreading throughout the organization, Latiolais explained. Staff partake in local economic development, nonprofit agencies, school outreach, church functions and other activities that support and stimulate area residents.
"This company was built on doing what's right," Latiolais said.