Ready to Capitalize on the New World of Mold Manufacturing
When Paragon D & E’s (Grand Rapid, MI) President David Muir wants to convey his feelings on the level of success the team has reached over the years, he uses the three D’s—deliberate, diligence and determination.
During what are obviously tough times in the United States, the state of Michigan has been especially challenged given the struggling automotive industry. “We started down the road of diversity eight years ago to even out the workload and find new markets and services to offer to existing—as well as new—customers,” notes Paragon D & E’s (Grand Rapid, MI) Vice President of Sales Greg Eidenberger. “We did our due diligence in investigating new opportunities for our industry, and came up with several that made good business sense to Paragon’s already world-class facility and employees.”
According to Muir, the “new” world of mold manufacturing expands far beyond the traditional injection mold building of the past. “With a deliberate approach to find new opportunities, we had to make sure we were positioned correctly to be able to perform when these opportunities came to fruition,” Muir explains. “This included more state-of-the-art equipment, employee training, new software, and new company certifications to be qualified to work in these new emerging markets, before they were viable markets.
“In a period of only a handful of years, and millions of dollars of investments in equipment and technology, Paragon has risen to the top in several different industries as a premier supplier to these new markets,” Muir continues. “Some of these are the defense, aerospace, contract machining, and many new alternative energy markets that are just now becoming a reality.”
Muir adds that by being proactive and positioning the company for this shift in manufacturing, Paragon’s original core capabilities were driven to new heights of excellence. “This new equipment and training helped all of the facets of our business— including the work that we were already doing well,” he elaborates. “Investing in new machines is easy if you have the money, but investing in the people to create innovations for the direction we want to go as a team has been the heart of the success that our team has had.”
Muir reports that the company is passing along faster turnaround times and better value for dollars spent to its customers thanks to this careful positioning. “We are able to do more with less here as a result of our diversification and determination to be the best,” he states. “This proves to us that when you show diligence in creating a marketable asset, and are determined to be the best that you can be with this new asset, and are very deliberate in the implementation of the new processes and technology once you create a viable business model, you stand a better chance at success than if you just set a goal and try to hit it.”
To that end, Paragon’s long-standing reputation in the industry has allowed the company to gain more than 40 talented people from other companies to work within this new business model. This includes a new Sales Engineer to help manage new customer development in the Mold Manufacturing division. “The addition of these new employees brings many new ideas and manufacturing methods to the table and a fresh set of eyes on all of our processes,” Eidenberger points out. “These ideas and suggestions are all reviewed and evaluated on an individual basis and blended into our manufacturing strategies if warranted. Our expert Program Management staff has many years of experience in multiple markets and is excited to venture into new markets. We are planning on continued growth in sales volume, new market share in existing areas, as well as creating new markets and becoming even more diversified as we realize this growth.”
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