Team 1 Plastics and TRAM 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 TRAM. Part Two is scheduled for publication on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
It’s been a successful 30 years of partnership between TRAM, a member of the Tokai Rika Group of companies dedicated to producing “Human Interface” systems and controls, and Team 1 Plastics, a plastic injection molding company for the mobility industry.
And, on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, the two companies celebrated this milestone at TRMI’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.
Joe Rine, Vice President of Human Resources for TRAM, Inc. began the remarks. “Between Team 1 and TRMI, let’s just talk numbers. 30, 5, 2, 1, and 30. That’s not a pass code. That’s not a part number. It’s not a locker combination. It is 30 years of working together. You’re only one of five manufacturers that were our suppliers in 1989. Only three suppliers have a 30-year relationship with TRMI and TRAM … TRMI was your number two customer behind I I Stanley. You were number one in our first injection molding supplier here at TRMI, and it’s been a successful 30 years together … This relationship has succeeded over the long-term due to the mutual respect, mutual trust, and focus on continuously improving from both sides.”
Gary Grigowski, Vice President and Co-owner of Team 1 Plastics, recalled how the relationship began. He said that when Team 1’s original three owners, Grigowski, Craig Carrel, and Jim Capo, decided to start their own business, they were targeting the Japanese transplant market. “We made a list of the people that we thought we would want to work with, and the only one that we’ve done any significant amount of business with is Tokai Rika.”
Grigowski said that TRAM was the first customer for which Team 1 Plastics built molds for production jobs. All Team 1’s previous work for customers was transfer work – the molds had been previously built by other companies – and were brought to Team 1’s plant to insert into the injection molding presses to run production parts. He recounted how the process of developing molds has changed over the years – from dealing with sending faxes – “the hip technology” – to Japan with questions and then having to wait overnight for replies to now doing simultaneous engineering, passing CAD files back and forth, and having on-line meetings. “It just shows how a partnership can change with the times over a long period of time and remain strong.”
Craig Carrel, President and Co-owner of Team 1 Plastics, then remarked about the volume of business that Team 1 has supplied for TRAM over the 30 years. “You don’t do that significant amount of business without the trust and the partnership that has been valuable and key to the relationship … As we look at these last 30 years, Gary and I can honestly say, that we wouldn’t be here without your partnership.” He continued, “In those early years, if we didn’t have the support of Tokai Rika and TRAM and TRMI and TRIN, we would not be here today … We want to thank Tokai Rika, TRAM, TRMI, and TRIN for all the business – but not just the business, also the partnership and the relationships that have developed over the 30 years, and we look forward to continue to work together for the success of both organizations.”