Staying One Step Ahead of Customer Needs
The key to optimal customer support for any mold manufacturer is doing more—from upfront design engineering during the initial stages of product development to emergency mold repair services. And this is exactly the business model Kansas City-area blow moldmaker Creative Blow Mold Tooling offers to stay ahead of its customers’ needs.
MoldMaking Technology, Christina M. Fuges , Editorial Director from MoldMaking Technology magazine
Creative began building this model in 1984 when the company was established to design, manufacture, repair and reverse-engineer blow-mold tooling for the plastic container industry. Today, the company’s plant in Lee’s Summit, Missouri accommodates mold manufacturing for wheel, shuttle, injection stretch blow mold and reciprocating screw platforms. This provides the necessary flexibility for the company to meet its customers’ diverse and changing needs, and also helps to maximize Creative’s productivity and manufacturing processes.
“In our operations, we couple upfront design efficiencies with lean manufacturing techniques to maximize throughput that generates an effective value stream and reduces lead times. This allows us to meet our customer’s scheduled deadlines,” explains Jim Hensiek, director of business development.
The “Doing More” Model
Hensiek believes success comes from being different and willing to do more for the customer than just building tools, and that is why Creative invests a significant amount of time and resources in working with clients on front-end design, some of which it doesn’t get paid for.
“It’s all about the relationship,” Hensiek says. “We collaborate with customers on a variety of issues, many times before a project has been approved. Once the tooling is built and delivered, if a customer needs us on site to assist with runoff or other issues, we commit our people there the next day. Staying in touch with our customers, being good listeners and helping them meet their internal company goals have earned us their confidence. This ‘trust factor’ is essential to becoming a preferred vendor in their supply chain.”
With Creative already focused on customer plant productivity, quick turnaround and communication, the logical next step in the company’s business model was to initiate a
24-hour emergency blow mold repair service. According to Hensiek, this means that technicians give immediate attention to molds when they arrive at the dock via a series of tests to determine the severity of the damage. This information is then communicated to customers and turnaround time is defined, putting everyone on the same page with regard to expectations. Once the repair work is complete, the customer is contacted and the mold is returned to the plant.