During the economic downturn, many manufacturers sought to reduce production costs, eliminate waste and increase lead times. While these initiatives are important, it’s also critical for Michigan’s small and medium sized manufacturers to identify new market opportunities and grow sales. In today’s market, innovation is the key to manufacturing success.
Michigan manufacturer Omega Plastics is an example of how innovation and production efficiencies can create impressive bottom-line results. Innovation has always been a driving force for Omega Plastics, a world leader in tooling and injection molding solutions for prototype and low-volume production applications.
In recent years, the automotive industry had become very volatile and constant pressure to cut prices left little appeal for the manufacturer. In 2002, about 90% of the company’s customer base belonged in the automotive industry, and the owners of the company searched for ways to increase innovation and find new niches in diversified industries.
In 2007, Omega Plastics began working with MMTC. A new strategic plan was developed through MMTC’s Leadership-in-Action Innovative Strategic Planning. The plan included a focus on more profitable market opportunities, including medical devices and consumer packaging.
Streamlining of tool production and the adoption of lean manufacturing principles were also implemented at Omega Plastics with MMTC’s assistance. Product variations were addressed with the adoption of lean manufacturing principles and six sigma problem solving techniques. Kaizen events pinpointed waste on the office and on the shop floor.
MMTC helped Omega Plastics get on track and stay there. Omega Plastics is now a world leader in tooling and injection molding solutions for a variety of industries. The industries that they serve include medical (65%), consumer packaging (10-12%), automotive (12-15%) and security and safety products (8%). They have experienced nearly 200% growth since 2007.