Plastics processor Myers Industries Inc. has ambitious growth plans under President and CEO Michael McGaugh.
The publicly held firm based in Akron, Ohio, aims to grow both organically and through acquisitions to reach annual sales of $1 billion by the end of 2023. Myers posted sales of just over $500 million in 2020.
"We're in the early innings of our growth journey, but we're committed to growth," McGaugh said March 17 during the online Plastics News Executive Forum.
Myers has made several acquisitions in recent years and is looking for more. Most recently, the firm in November acquired Elkhart Plastics Inc. of South Bend, Ind., one of North America's 10 largest rotational molders.
Myers' $62.5 million deal for Elkhart is "a perfect example" of Myers' strategy, in that it expands the firm's presence in its existing technologies, McGaugh said. Myers' Ameri-Kart unit already was a leading rotomolder in the region.
Myers also does business in injection molding and blow molding under various brands, including Scepter, Akro-Mils and Buckhorn.
McGaugh joined Myers in March 2020. He most recently had been with building materials firm BMC Stock Holdings. Prior to BMC, McGaugh had a stint of almost 25 years with plastics and chemicals giant Dow Inc.
At Midland, Mich.-based Dow, McGaugh held various leadership roles, including vice president and general manager for Dow Building Solutions and global director of strategic marketing. Myers had been a Dow customer in McGaugh's time there. Former Dow executives James Gurnee, David Basque and Jeffrey Baker have joined Myers since McGaugh became CEO. All three had worked for Dow for 30-plus years.
Myers now has a growth plan of three three-year horizons starting in 2020, The first horizon centers on organic growth and mergers and acquisitions, with the second on North American M&A and the third on global M&A. At the end of that nine-year period, officials want Myers to have sales of $3 billion or more.
"We feel very strongly that we can hit these milestones," McGaugh said.
Myers now generates 75 percent of its sales from plastics processing — primarily storage containers and similar products — with the remainder coming from the tire market in repair and retreads. Through acquisitions, McGaugh said the firm's 55 sales reps now have access to three plastics technologies — injection molding, blow molding and rotational molding — instead of smaller numbers focused on a single technology.
Recently, Myers had a longtime rotomolding customer that was unable to get blow molded products because of COVID-19 conditions and was about to limit production as a result. McGaugh said Myers' Scepter blow molding unit was able to find a solution for the customer "in a matter of days."
He also cited a recent example of another rotomolding customer that wasn't able to get injection molded and blow molded products that it needed. Myers again was able to find a solution.
"There's power in cross-selling," McGaugh said. "Those opportunities pay off."
Like many firms, Myers is working its way through the COVID-19 pandemic. "When I had my first board meeting, I had only met our human resources leader and our general counsel," McGaugh said.
"But this too shall pass," he added. "We wanted to double down on our focus on growth when other companies were distracted."