Team 1 Plastics Shares an Update on Its 2020 Goals
For ten years, Team 1 Plastics has had a goal to achieve “$20 million in annual sales by 2020” and to become “a financially secure company that provides opportunities for all our Team Members for generations in the future.” It’s now 2020, and it’s time to reflect on the company’s progress.
According to Craig Carrel, President and Co-owner of Team 1 Plastics, “We have accomplished a lot of things. Many steps have been made in positioning the company for long-term success. However, we have not yet hit the goal of $20 million in annual sales.”
Carrel explained that when the company set the $20 million goal in 2010, the company was at the $5 million milestone in annual sales. He and his co-owner, Gary Grigowski, believed the goal was achievable. “It wasn’t a big, audacious goal where we had to grow 20% a year.”
Although not yet achieving the $20 million milestone, the company has grown in sales over the past ten years, and has consistently been profitable – a vital key to becoming “a financially secure company” into the future.
Carrel said that the hiring of Dave Biondo, Team 1’s first Sales Development Manager, was the catalyst to the growth in sales that the company has achieved. Through Biondo’s work, Team 1 began working with several new customers, and by 2018, the company had achieved more than $13 million in annual sales.
And the company still thinks the goal of $20 million in annual sales is achievable by 2025 and has made strategic moves to position itself for additional growth.
In mid-2017, Team 1 Plastics made a corporate decision to expand its focus from being strictly automotive to a wider focus that includes all of the transportation and mobility industry. Biondo said that the company has “identified the transportation industry as a future growth and diversification strategy. Our main strategy is working through Tier 1 customers that have both automotive and non-automotive business, such as transportation industry work.”
In late 2019, Team 1 Plastics hired a second Sales Development Manager, Todd Bowen, whose work is already making an impact. Carrel said, “I’m really pleased with his initial performance. I think he’s going to help us achieve our sales goal by 2025.”
In addition, the company’s focus on continuous improvement has helped it become more efficient and maintain profitability during the past few years of flat sales. Carrel said, “We’ve really spent the last few years developing our systems and processes.”
Carrel acknowledged that were times in Team 1’s history when the company experienced growth in sales but wasn’t making a profit. “There have been times in our history when we’ve had quality issues and delivery issues. When you have those issues, it’s tough to sell. Customers put you on ‘no quote’ lists.”
But that isn’t Team 1’s current situation. Carrel said, “From an operational standpoint, the company’s operating as well as it’s done since it’s early history. Our performance has been stellar and continues to improve every year. Our customer satisfaction ratings are some of the best we’ve ever seen.”
Carrel said that another noteworthy accomplishment is the maturation of the Team Members. “We’ve made big strides there. I don’t think that if we had started growing dramatically even two or three years ago, the Team would have been able to handle it. We have people who have really stepped up, and we had several areas that are now established. I think we’re much better prepared to handle growth.” Carrel mentioned extended vacations that both he and Grigowski have taken during the past year, noting “Would we have been able to do that two or three years ago? No way!”
Another key to the accomplishments that have been achieved is the partnership that Team 1 Plastics has had during the past ten years with Harbour Results Inc., led by Laurie Harbour. Carrel said, “Harbour Results has been a key partner. Laurie has pushed us. A lot of our growth has been because of us working together. Laurie understands our business because she’s been helping us for ten years. She’s been a key asset, and we want to continue to work together to achieve this plan.”
It was with Harbour Results that Team 1 Plastics met in December 2019 as it outlined some additional steps that the company needs to take in order to achieve $20 million sales by 2025 and to continue to become “a financially secure company that provides opportunities for all our Team Members for generations in the future.”
Steps that include evaluating processes or systems like scientific molding (putting sensors in the molds to monitor the process at the mold level), lights out molding (eliminating almost all direct labor during the injection molding process), and more productive throughout in the Plant and Warehouse.
Carrel said, “I’ve told everyone that we’re going to keep the pedal to the metal. We’re full steam ahead. We didn’t achieve $20 million sales by 2020, but we’ve done so many other things. Now, we want to regroup and try to get there – not in ten years, but in five years. It’s still a worthwhile goal, and the key is to get there profitably.”