Jim Meinert: An International Success
With more than 40 years of service in the moldmaking industry under his belt, Jim Meinert has experienced a lot of highs and lows. Throughout these cycles, he maintains that the key to long-term success is putting forth both domestic and international marketing efforts—a practice he preached while at the helm of Snider Mold (Mequon, WI) from 1965 to 1998 as well as in his current position of President of consulting firm Meinert Marketing Services (Saukville, WI).
When first profiled in the magazine 10 years ago, he already was a force to be reckoned with, propelling Snider Mold into the international marketplace by achieving 50 percent of the company’s export sales in Mexico, China, Brazil and South Africa. Today, his marketing savvy and expertise assists his clients in every phase of plastics technology and manufacturing to strategize plans for exporting products; find customers, facilities and representatives overseas; manage overseas operations; and implement research and other projects. “We do this ourselves, and by partnering with associates who have specialized skills required by our clients,” Meinert asserts.
Awards and Accolades
Meinert has been recognized a number of times for his efforts in the industry. His awards and accolades include the following:
- Board of Directors of Snider Mold
- Led Snider Mold’s diversification into the global arena, starting in 1968 by building the stadium seating molds for the Olympics in Mexico City
- Harry C. Brockel (Retired Director on the Port of Milwaukee) award, given by Milwaukee World Trade Association (he has served the MWTA as director and president)
- International Businessman award, given by The Society of the Plastics Industry (he serves on the Global Business Council and the Moldmakers policy board)
- American Mold Builders Association Board of Directors and past President
- Leader and/or co-leader of many trade missions to see firsthand the opportunities and challenges in Mexico, China, and Asia (sponsored by SPI, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Milwaukee World Trade Association)
Meinert sees globalization as the number-one challenge. “Whether we are competing against imports, seeking exports, trading partners or establishing a global presence, we are in the global arena,” he states.
While Meinert plans on doing a little less consulting, he relies on his long-term relationships in South America, South Africa, Singapore, and China to keep him—and his business—going. “I am going to get a bit more selective in what I do,” he notes. “I am not seeking a lot of new customers, but more focused on taking care of existing clients.
“In the many years I have spent on national and international business, I have appreciated the friends that have been created—inside and outside of this industry—and it has been very rewarding for me and my family. Devoting time to several associations also had long-term benefits, especially the mentoring.”
Survival may depend more on specialization or longer value chains—like processing, assembly, time compression and more non-traditional work like special machining, quick-change systems, etc., Meinert adds. “I believe the next 10 years will be better, especially when we ‘TAOA’ (Take Advantage of our Advantages) such as the weaker U.S. dollar, the more open markets, the new administration that may be a bit more restrictive in ‘free’ trade, and working closely with multi-nationals wherever they may be located,” Meinert concludes. “Think global, act local! And, plastics will be even more important in the push for fuel savings and -weight reduction in autos.”