1. Teambuilder. Must strive to possess a strong network of sub-contractors/
suppliers that is capable of meeting the exacting demands of reduced leadtimes and consistent product quality and specializes in key aspects of mold building. This will leave the mold shop to concentrate on engineering, cavity/core and assembly.
2. Niche-oriented. Having a niche is important, but the agility to quickly migrate to another will be paramount to make it to 2018.
3. Investment-focused. A strategy of continual investment in people and technology internally, as well as an open mind to new trends and a willingness to sample new capabilities externally.
4. Perseverance. Must be in it for the long-haul and be willing to fight through adversity.
5. Integrity. Be what you are trying to promote, which includes on time delivery of quality tooling. Motto: “being a cut above.”
6. Keen eye. Keeping up on future trends in metalworking and how they can be adapted to the mold build process.
7. Total employee involvement. Develop a well-educated, cross-trained workforce that understands what it takes to maintain customers by providing the highest quality attainable at a cost that is affordable. Establish a plan to develop and retain skilled workers. Use trade organizations. Get out into the schools. Set up shop tours.
8. Vision. Must have a short- and long-term strategic plan. Ask yourself, “How can we do, what we do better?” Have internal brainstorming sessions and discuss needs. Begin at design and follow through to mold shipment. Think outside the box. Utilize the knowledge and expertise of equipment suppliers and manufacturers.
9. Flexibility. Must be able to adapt to changing markets even amidst adversity; embrace change; possess an aggressive attitude toward the ever-changing technology in order to incorporate the most cost-effective ways of manufacturing into their organizations.
10. Customer-focused. Act as more partner than a supplier. Have an extremely high focus on developing and keeping customers through excellence in customer service, competitive pricing structures and delivery of the highest quality injection molds and components. Be totally in sync with customer requirements. Know exactly how the molded part will be used. This drives how the mold needs to be designed, the time frame for the entire project (not just the mold build), and cost objectives for both the mold and the molded part. You need to be able to work with both the molder and the OEM to reduce costs and innovate the entire design, build and run process.
This list is compiled from the most popular answers to a reader poll.