Team 1 Plastics and I I Stanley Celebrate 30 Years of Partnership
Editor’s Note: This is Part One of a two-part series on the 30 Years Partnership between Team 1 Plastics and I I Stanley. Part Two is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
It’s been a successful 30 years of partnership between I I Stanley, a member of the Stanley Electric group of companies dedicated to producing high quality advanced lighting products for the world, and Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the mobility industry.
And, on Friday, May 24, 2019, the two companies celebrated this milestone at I I Stanley’s facility with a brief ceremony which included remarks from representatives of both companies, a presentation of a plaque and a check, a group picture, and, of course, cake.
Dale Bufka, Procurement Department Manager for I I Stanley, said, “We’ve had a good relationship – a good partnership over the 30 years. Team 1 Plastics has a world-class molding operation – small tonnage – right next door in Albion, [Michigan]. They have produced a lot of gears, pivots, and structural bracketing for us. Through the past 30 years, both companies have experienced things like growing pains and recessions. We’ve been able to work together through those difficulties. It’s been a really beneficial partnership for both of us.”
Gary Grigowski, Vice President and Co-owner of Team 1 Plastics, recalled how the relationship began. He said that Team 1’s original three owners, Grigowski, Craig Carrel, and Jim Capo, were all plastics engineers who worked for a company that dealt mostly with crystal and resins. When they decided to start their own business, they targeted companies that needed products with these types of materials – I I Stanley was not one of those companies. Grigowski explained, “We had very limited experience with acrylics and polycarbonates so I I Stanley wasn’t even on our original target list.”
Grigowski said that it was a colleague who suggested that Team 1 Plastics contact I I Stanley. The colleague, who sold material to I I Stanley at the time, had been asked by I I Stanley for molder recommendations, and he recommended Team 1 Plastics.
The owners at Team 1 followed up on the suggestion and contacted I I Stanley to explore the possibility of beginning a relationship with them. I I Stanley responded by sending a small group of Purchasing Associates to visit Team 1’s facility. Grigowski said, “A group of Purchasing people showed up. Then a bigger group of Purchasing people showed up. And, then another even bigger group of Purchasing people showed up. And after about the fifth visit, we got awarded our very first job, a small un-filled nylon cage that protected the light bulb inside the trunk of the Toyota Camry.”
From there the relationship began to expand. “We supplied that initial part for a few months,” Grigowski said, “and then got a couple of other opportunities. And, then, we hit a point where skids of tools would just show up. The instruction would be, ‘Please run and then quote.’ We grew and grew. It was exhilarating.”
In the early to mid-1990s, the relationship expanded to include another division of Stanley Electric. Team 1 began making plastic parts for Stanley’s ELP (Electronic Lighting Products) division.
The partnership with I I Stanley was so significant for Team 1 Plastics that Craig Carrel, President and Co-owner, said, “Gary and I can honestly say, we wouldn’t be here as an organization without I I Stanley because at one point, you were over 70% of our business.” He continued, “We have lots of customers, but you’re the only one we could say, we wouldn’t be here without your business through the last 30 years.”
In presenting the plaque and check, Carrel said, “It’s with great appreciation and gratitude that we present this plaque commemorating the 30 years partnership between I I Stanley and Team 1 Plastics. We also present a check in your name for $3,000 to the Veterans Administration – a charity which I know I I Stanley supports. We really value the partnership with I I Stanley and look forward to working closely in the future and moving forward for both companies’ success.”