Novi, Mich. — There is a common theme among toolmakers and plastics processors that are doing well and growing: good leadership and a solid strategy.
Perhaps no one in the plastics industry would understand that better than Laurie Harbour.
Harbour is president and CEO of Harbour Results Inc., a consulting firm in Southfield, Mich., that works with small- to medium-sized manufacturers. Around 40 percent of the manufacturers she works with are in plastics, with another 30-40 percent in tooling, including injection and compression mold making.
For the past 30 years, Harbour, who started helping companies by working with her father and mentor, Jim, has visited manufacturing plants day in and day out to assist those businesses in driving efficiency and profitability and implementing strategic plans. Harbour and her team also gather hundreds of pieces of data every quarter from processors and toolmakers, resulting in reports that "push the industry to be better in terms of what they do," she said.
"The common theme in all of those [companies] that do well vs. those that are struggling is a good solid leadership team, a good solid strategy that cascades through the whole organization," Harbour said Jan. 15 during a Q&A session at the Plastics & Rubber in Automotive conference.