Farmington Hills, Mich. — Two stories help explain the culture at PolyFlex Products Inc., according to CEO Mark Kirchmer.
"One example was with Harley-Davidson. Early on, we inherited some work for them that was not running correctly. We said: 'We can try to fix this tool as much as we can, but it's not going to be what you need. ... We're going to design this for you correctly, get it done, and put it in your hands.'
"We were more or less rolling the dice. It was a new account for us," Kirchmer said. There was no guarantee that Harley would pay for the new tooling. But it did, and PolyFlex's decision helped cement what has become a long relationship.
The other example didn't end as well.
"We had a customer that was showing signs that it was not one where we could build a long-term trusting relationship. And it was difficult. It was early in our company's history, and we needed every sale we could get. But we took a stand there, and it turned it out being the best," Kirchmer said.
Company values are still very important at PolyFlex, Kirchmer said. "We talk about them in every company meeting."
Farmington Hills-based PolyFlex makes custom packaging for material handling and automated manufacturing process applications. PolyFlex makes big things used to ship products like complex powertrains, as well as trays for smaller items.
Many of the goods that PolyFlex helps ship are expensive and have to arrive in pristine condition, even when they're shipped overseas. Customers include major automakers.