After college, Morgan worked for a couple of private equity firms for the next 15 years. In one corporate finance role, he determined 60 percent of the reports generated from his department weren't being utilized and the time could be spent elsewhere.
"My team was reasonably proud that they weren't bogged down with reports all the time and could do some proper analytical work," Morgan said. "Layers of management often aren't necessary if you put the right people in place and empower them to be more of a self-governing body. We worked hard to flatten organizations. I was always willing to roll my sleeves up to help define the necessary work and the unnecessary."
Morgan was tapped to run his first business — a metal stamping plant with about $10 million in annual sales — at age 29.
When he became president and CEO of PSI in 2009, Morgan focused on diversifying the product line for small- and medium-size processors and moved it from sales of high-volume materials direct to a prime distribution model of commodity and specialty resins.
"We did that in a unique way. We created our own brand," Morgan said of the PrimaFlex brand. "We work with our customers to get a proper forecast in place. We have resin produced for us and now have over 350 grades of certified prime resin for a variety of applications."
Morgan and his team, which now numbers 14, established relationships at the supplier level to access the resins needed to broaden their offering. In addition to PrimaFlex, the company is an authorized distributor for Formosa Plastics and Nova Chemicals.
The materials are stocked in about 15 warehouses, including one dedicated solely to PSI products that is 50,000 square feet. The only employee who reports to a company facility goes there.
"He drives five minutes to staff the corporate office and is able to help manage inventory. Everyone else works remotely from home and has tremendous flexibility and efficiency," Morgan said. "They know their job requirements and they get them done."
PSI also uses outsourced marketing, IT and technical sales representatives to round out its team.
"I'm a firm believer in outsourcing everything I can," Morgan said. "We're a sales organization. We need to focus more externally than internally."
Q: Describe your company, what it does, and its culture:
Morgan: PSI is a distributor of thermoplastic resins and compounds. We consolidate demand for our customer base and offer a large network of supply though our PrimaFlex brand of resins with over 350 grades available. We operate a flat organization with highly qualified technical representatives and account managers, making PSI very responsive, nimble and dependable, as evidenced by our over 40 years in this space.
Q: What was your first job in plastics?
Morgan: I worked specifically in the private equity space for over 15 years and led a group of component manufacturers including metal stamping and injection molding companies in the mid-to-late late 1990s.
Q: Tell us about a mentor you've had in your career:
Morgan: I had the pleasure of working for a former GE executive for a number of years who helped me realize that if you streamline the necessary work of an organization and eliminate all of the unnecessary work and tasks, employees will be less frustrated and will achieve great things together. We also always took a hard look at new opportunities to ensure we were the right fit for the customer for the situation. If we weren't the best supplier, we didn't pretend to be and we typically helped the customer find a better resource.
Q: What's the best career advice you've received?
Morgan: Build your organization by putting qualified, energetic people in place and give them the resources and empowerment they need to get the job done.
Q: What advice would you give to someone starting at your company tomorrow?
Morgan: My first bit of advice is to make sure the fit is mutual. I spend as much time giving a potential candidate information about our company and how we operate as exploring their background and skills. We want to empower people, not look over their shoulder. My next bit of advice is to put your family first. If the job is a fit between PSI and your skills and background, it will take care of itself. Most of all, have fun. Life is too short for work to not be something you thoroughly enjoy.
Q: What associations do you belong to or actively participate in?
Morgan: Society of Plastics Engineers.
Q: What industry events do you attend?
Morgan: NPE and various other pertinent shows and conferences.
Q: What are your expectations for 2021?
Morgan: I believe the post-COVID recovery will continue, but will cause some demand shifts that will cause the distribution space to need to be nimble, maybe more so than historically. Also, I don't expect remote work to take a back seat to a return to offices. This will reshape how we sell going forward.
Q: What do you want your legacy to be as CEO?
Morgan: To have built an organization with a superior reputation as a solid supplier, industry steward and employer to a family-oriented team of the industry's best-trusted resources.