2022 was “not just another boring year,” says CEO Brian Sprinkman, who has captained Molded Dimensions for nearly two-and-a-half years now. From the creation of the Molded Dimensions Group brand to managing through massive supply chain and pricing challenges, and achieving record numbers in shipments, the growth mindset continues its steady course with no sign of slowing down.
Here’s a recent conversation with Sprinkman on what’s ahead in the coming year.
Molded Dimensions Group made two acquisitions in late 2021 and early 2022. Will further acquisitions play a role in the coming year?
Finding another company to become part of the Molded Dimensions Group is definitely front of mind for us in 2023. An ideal candidate would be a plastic injection molding business located in the Midwest. Think about the synergies that exist between rubber and plastics — the same supply chain people manage both of these materials. As customers look to procure plastic and rubber items, it’s easier for them to deal with one company. There’s also tremendous growth in the over molding of plastic parts with rubber. In fact, we do a lot of that today. The discovery of another business with these capabilities would be of great benefit to our customers. It’s further evidence of why they look to us to for world-class new product processes in plastic, rubber and urethane all under one roof.
It’s been almost a year since the GlobalTech Plastics acquisition. How has the addition of plastic parts manufacturing on the West Coast been beneficial to your existing customers?
First of all, having a West Coast presence is incredibly exciting. GlobalTech Plastics is a dynamic partner in the transportation, medical and aerospace end markets. With them, we can leverage our experience in foreign distribution and apply that out West. While they currently don’t have an offering for a part to be made somewhere else for their customer base, we can provide that flexibility with our experience. We can also gain mind power around buying more resin and raw materials.
Molded Dimensions Group’s acquisition of PCO Urethane not only expanded your urethane manufacturing, but it brought with it two established urethane parts brands. What are the plans there for 2023?
It’s two-fold, really. We’re targeting our marketing efforts on the Stoltz Super Rollers and Armadillo Pipe brands to push them forward. We kicked off an internal project to create Urethane Centers of Excellence. For example, some parts in our Marshfield location might run better at our Port Washington operations, so we consider all options.
No matter where we serve our customers, what it really boils down to is what makes the most sense for them and to keep them coming back. We do this by consistently delivering quality solutions on-time, caring about them and being sensitive to their ever-changing needs, and being their preferred partner and an extension of their technical team.
Last year was extremely volatile for the global economy. Any lessons learned that you will apply going forward?
The single biggest lesson was elevating our sophistication in supply chain management. To formalize our group, we started by hiring Kasey Foreman as our Supply Chain Manager. With the addition of a new ERP computer system in 2023, we expect to offset future supply chain challenges. Now that supply chain and buying is settling, we’re refocused on continuous improvement in operational efficiencies to offset price hikes, whether they be in insurance, utilities or labor. We have to run our business better than ever.
When labor became a major issue during the pandemic, we learned the importance of attracting and hiring the right people, engaging and growing them professionally, showing them opportunities and giving them a career path within our company. Post pandemic, our turnover rate decreased. It was under 3% in a production environment last year. We put a lot of effort into making sure people feel wanted, through our town hall meetings, culture club, monthly events, contests, awards — even a plant-wide bonus program. We are spinning off the same employee-centric focus to our subsidiaries this year. Now and moving forward, we treat our team from a growing and retention perspective. We will not lose sight of what we’ve accomplished here.
A lot has changed since you took over leadership in August of 2020 — in the middle of a pandemic, no less. What are you most proud of during that time?
I’m most proud of the challenge that was in front of me then — to find solutions for an aging leadership team and business system. In a little more than two years, we rebuilt our core leadership team. Most of us did not come from this industry and had to learn a lot. What we now have is a cohesive group of people who truly enjoy working together. Molded Dimensions has grown significantly in the last two years which came in both revenue growth and channeling a positive culture together. We accomplished this expansion during an unprecedented time. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us.