Par 4 Plastics was founded in Marion, Kentucky in 1990. This leader in the injection molding industry provides quality parts and fast, reliable services at competitive prices. We spoke with Chuck Beavers, Tim Capps and Ryan McDaniel to find out more.
Par 4 Plastics is a family-run business that has been active for twenty-five years. It began when the owner cashed in his 401(k) to start the business. At first, injection molding was the only operation it performed, but has since expanded its capabilities. About two-thirds of the business caters to the automotive sector, but it also makes plastic components for sporting goods, construction and electronics.
Par 4 Plastics makes headlamps, rims, polycarbonate parts, acrylics and parts that are highly visible on the interior or exterior of the car. This is difficult work as the expectations of quality are very high.
An award recently won is from Aisin Manufacturing. Par 4 had no on-time delivery errors in delivering to Aisin in 2015. “It is a brand new customer of ours. They are shipping parts to a lot of Japanese companies like Nissan, Toyota and Honda. Our delivery was perfect, and that does not happen often. They are a large Tier 1 automotive company.”
Its defective rate is 25 PPM (parts per million), which is a level that other companies only dream of. This means that for every million parts shipped, only twenty-five were faulty, and it delivers at 99.9% efficiency. There are also nearly no injuries as it really takes care of its people.
“We put parts on about fifty percent of all cars from Lexus to BMW, Nissan and Ford, to name but a few. We are very custom, with forty-four mold injection presses with sizes ranging from 85 to 1150 tons. We process over 200 types of materials and use over 600 tools run by JIT (just in time). Every other day, we are shipping and making over 2,000 different parts.”
All of these parts are shipped just in time to the automotive industry as well as other industries. Eighteen to twenty-two trucks worth of parts leave Par 4 Plastics every day. The company performs twenty-five to thirty mode changes (die or tool changes) a day, real-time color changes and insert changes.
Currently, there are two facilities in operation across the street from each other. Although and expansion completed this past year, the company is in the process of looking for another site as it has nearly outgrown its current locations. “We are at the point where we are running out of space and looking to other communities, as we speak, that will help us to make it to the next level and continue to grow.” Projected expansion is in the range of 15% to 30% per year.
It is examining a 120-mile radius in the four states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois for a potential location. Ideally, it will find a progressive community with a trained, employable population and reputable technical schools.
“Certainly, we would like to pick up new customers anywhere we move to, and hopefully there will be some plastics expertise in the area. We are meeting every week, visiting new facilities and talking to the communities.” The new facility will certainly be bigger, but having twenty-five years of experience behind it means that the company will also make significant changes to the layout and design for a more effective workflow.
The present location is where the family lives, but the population is small, and the pool of potential employees has been exhausted. The number of employees currently stands at 230. Within five years, the company expects to add a further 150-175 people and to double sales.
Par 4 Plastics is known for getting things done swiftly, and Tim says that it is a simple process of going out to the floor and making real-time decisions. The company talks to its people and is active in communicating the goals, objectives and strategies at all levels of the organization. The decisions are made through this process which results in a full-time continuous improvement department in which everybody is involved.
“It has a lot to do with our workplace culture and the fact that our people work well together. There is a symbiotic relationship between the owners and employees.”
“We do over eighteen different events a year – from potlucks to celebrating holidays. We are always doing something and try to keep our team members involved and empowered. As an example, we will have the Easter Bunny here and five hundred eggs, some of which have money in them. Kids will go on a hunt, so it’s a lot of fun.”
The company’s financial statements and profits are shared with employees on a quarterly basis. Chuck believes that it empowers people and, in keeping team members engaged, develops ownership in what the company does on a daily basis.
“In terms of the revolving door, our management team is very sound and secure. When somebody comes to work here, they stay here. We don’t have any turnover now, except, of course, at the entry level, and that’s just today’s workforce. Anyone I talk to these days agrees that it is their number one issue.”
Ryan adds that the greatest asset is the people, and there is nothing better than the people at Par 4 Plastics — the people who are on the production floor, working eight hours a day, producing the parts. “It’s extremely important they are engaged in this company, that they know it is their company. That’s what separates us from the pack.”
Par 4 Plastics does not have a full-time sales department, aside from its Vice President of Sales Ryan McDaniel. The entire team is the sales department. As companies like Toyota, Nissan or Ford visit Par 4 Plastics, they meet the entire staff as opposed to just the executives, giving a more complete image of the company and its abilities.
As a tier 2 supplier, Par 4 Plastics’ customers are the large tier 1 suppliers to the automotive companies. It does not currently supply some such as Volkswagen, Kia or Chrysler, but that has more to do with its current location. “I think that eventually some of them will call, but throughout our tier 2 customers, we have enough business.”
“Our growth is about our people and our relationships with our customers. We grow based on doing a good job for the customer – based upon good quality and delivering at cost. All of our people are salespeople.”