No more traditional sales people.
A training "dojo."
A production floor turnover rate in the low single digits.
It's not a description of some utopian manufacturing company in a far-off land. Instead, it's a peek inside the walls of the business Ronn Cort and his team at Sekisui Polymer Innovations LLC have built in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
It's certainly atypical for the plastics industry. And it seems to be working.
Cort, the president and chief operating officer, said sales are "north of $150 million" and have grown 27 percent in the last five years. The company, which is popularly known as Sekisui SPI, is a subsidiary of Japan's Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd., which has sales of $11 billion.
The key, according to Cort, is to focus on people.
"We recognize the skills set today are not being taught. There is no place to go poach people from. We have a training dojo. In a separate building, we do workforce development. We have a vice president of culture," said Cort, who has also taught his team to refer to their two offices in Bloomsburg, Pa., and Holland, Mich., as campuses rather than plants, facilities or offices.
"I say this all the time: Our teams spend 50 percent of their time learning and 50 percent of their time teaching."