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BC Labs

The conference committee is working to finalize all of the BC Labs. Please check back as new sessions will be added frequently.

We have included the suggested functional area group that may be impacted by each presentation.

A Breakdown of the North American Plastics Industry Study

Greg Alonso, Plante Moran and Ted Morgan, Plante Moran       

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT

Data and trends from the latest North American Plastics Industry Study (NAPIS) will be presented to help attendees understand the state of the plastics processing industry. Presenters will share insights on how processors have been affected by resin shortages and price increases, supply chain disruptions, and an ever-tightening labor market amid the ongoing global pandemic. They will also discuss processors’ management techniques to address these challenges and how the industry will be impacted moving into 2022.


Automation for Modern Times

Dave Seedorf, Team 1 Plastics; Peter Fongemie, Dymotek; Eric Berg, Revere Plastic Systems; and Sanjay Patel, Midwest Molding, Inc.

BC LABS: Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Operations/Engineering

Cheaper, smarter, and more adaptable automation systems are already transforming manufacturing in a host of different ways. While the technology becomes more straightforward to implement, the business decisions will not. To capture the full value of the opportunities presented by these new systems, companies need to take a holistic and systematic approach, aligning their automation strategy closely with the current and future needs of the business.

During this panel, manufacturing executives with decades of experience will share the most important lessons they learned in helping their organizations to automate.


Avoiding Cybersecurity Nightmares with Proactive Risk Management

Ryan Sulkin, Benesch; Steve Searl, Federated Insurance; Glen Fish, Revere Plastic Systems; Denver Borst, Ferriot Inc. and Alan Rothenbuecher, Benesch       

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT

The worldwide information security market is forecast to reach $170.4 billion in 2022, according to Gartner. This is due in large part to organizations evolving their defenses against cyber threats — and a rise in such threats, including in their own companies. This is a telling takeaway about the cybersecurity landscape and demonstrates that, more than ever, companies must address these threats and implement a risk mitigation strategy.

Join Alan Rothenbuecher, Benesch Law, and Steve Searl, Federated Insurance, as they discuss proactive risk management measures company owners should undertake to make sure they get paid when their or their vendors’ computer systems are compromised. Hear also from fellow members at Ferriot, Inc. and Revere Plastic Systems, who have had to live through the nightmare, and learn what their companies are doing now to avoid the issue from happening again.


Best Practices to Improve Shop Flexibility and Efficiency - Delivering Results During the Chaos

Gene Mussel, Harbour Results, Inc. and Scott Walton, Harbour Results, Inc.

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT

The manufacturing industry, specifically plastics processors, has experienced significant chaos over the past two years and it is likely here to stay for the near future. From plant closures, to supply chain shortages, to strong demand, the only consistent thing is continuous and frequent change. During this presentation two plastics industry experts will share best practices that can be quickly implemented to help improve flexibility and drive improved efficiency - two areas critical to successfully manage the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.      


Break the Mold Recruitment Campaign 

Charlotte Canning, Hoffer Plastics Corporation

BC LABS: Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; Sales & Marketing;

What do you get when you cross Human Resources with Marketing? Answer: a recruitment campaign targeted to debunk some of the myths of manufacturing and educate Gen Z on the exciting career opportunities that exist today! Come find out how Hoffer Plastics has used their Break the Mold Recruitment Campaign to drive awareness and educate during the current labor headwinds.


Critical Conversations with Customers         

Chris Lamm, Ashley Industrial Molding, Inc.

BC LABS: Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Sales & Marketing; Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT  

Effectively managing critical conversations and leveraging your power as a supplier with customers is essential in any business, and the basis of successfully navigating these conversations is relatively universal. This presentation will review general best practices found to navigate the action of business (the work that drives results). The intangible, or commercial aspect of business, is just as critical as the tangible manufacturing controls to successfully navigate business risk.  Acts of God, Acts of Government, and Acts of Industry have turned the supply chain upside down and have only shed light on the importance to protect your business from known and unknown risks as well as managing the unprecedented. These member companies will outline some of their best practices on how to have critical conversations and manage relationships when “business happens” (i.e., cost increases, resource allocation, exiting some or all products, terminating customer relationships and other commercial topics become a reality.)                 


Digital Marketing Tactics that Won’t Break the Bank

Jared Falkner, Vive, LLC

BC LABS: Sales & Marketing

No matter a manufacturer’s shape or size, there are a variety of budget-friendly and no-cost marketing tactics available that can impact a company’s bottom-line without breaking the bank. Join Jared Faulkner, client services manager at Vive Marketing, as he outlines the best practices in social media strategy and channel utilization, the why and how of blogging, the advantages of email marketing, and the value of search engine marketing and paid search advertising. Attendees will walk away with a roadmap in free and paid marketing opportunities that will pave their way to marketing success.       


The Influence of Empowerment and Commitment to Change on Innovation       

Dan Walker, Riversend Consulting  

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Leadership; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety

During this presentation, Dan Walker, vice president of continual improvement at PolyFlex Products, Inc., will share how a commitment to change and organizational innovation affects employee empowerment. With access to over 30 years of knowledge and insights gathered from his doctoral research, Walker will demonstrate how executives and owners can practically apply session content to jumpstart a stagnated organization.                                  


Harnessing the Power of the HR Business Partner       

Brian Kinnie, Revere Plastics Systems; Kristi Stuetzer, Revere Plastics Systems 

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; Operations/Engineering

For any company to be successful, it must first identify its core business objectives and goals – but it must also identify and utilize the potential partnerships that can help achieve them. During this presentation, Kristi Stuetzer and Brian Kinnie of Revere Plastic Systems, will outline how executives can harness the power of the modern HR business partner to develop an internal culture so that it continually pays dividends to the bottom line. Stuetzer and Kinnie will describe how the articulation of culture internally, and a focus on relationship development, can reduce turnover and improve operational performance. Attendees will walk away with the details of how these concepts can be implemented, as well as a new perspective on how an HR business partner can best be leveraged for operational success.


In-Mold Decorating & Labeling Technology & Benefits

Jens Duerr, CMG Plastics and Gary Hallam, Eimo Technologies, Inc                   

BC LABS: Operations/Engineering                                                                  

In-mold decorating (IMD) and In-Mold Labeling (IML) is used to mold high-precision plastic parts with exceptional color and appearance. It provides all the benefits of injection molding with the added advantages of modern digital printing. A pre-made form is placed in a mold and molten plastic is injected around it. The result is a fully decorated, high-precision part that needs no secondary operations. However, a peek behind the curtain (or appliqué) reveals that, compared to other plastic decorating methods, In-mold decorating and labeling are both complicated, highly specialized processes. During this presentation, two member companies will be showcasing the versatile, technical, sustainable benefits of In-mold decorating and labeling technology for both durable and non-durable products.


Embracing Your Calling

Alex Hoffer, Hoffer Plastics Corporation                     

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Leadership; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs)           

By November 2021, leaders of plastic manufacturers will have an endured 20 consecutive months of unimaginable stress. It is easy to be discouraged, it is easy to give into complaining, and it is even tempting to throw in the towel.

But leaders are people worth following because they reach beyond limits when moments like these occur. Therefore, this talk will detail what leaders need to do next. It is what it is, so the best thing they can do, the thing they must do, is LEAD! Leadership in this environment focuses on three things:

  1. Care: Leaders start by valuing human beings.  
  2. Vision: Leaders lookout, and up. Where there is no vision, people languish.
  3. Develop: Leaders develop people. An introduction to the 1+1+1 model.

Our best is demanded at this time. This talk will refill a leader’s bucket and challenge them to lead their organization to a better tomorrow.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Keys to Driving Your Sales Enablement Strategy    

Keith Bradt, KALLAN Sales Development                                                                    

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Sales & Marketing  

Understanding how to make a plan to use a CRM for a business is a critical factor for determining what tools are available. This will ensure attendees are developing a system that meets their needs, is scalable, and is robust enough to be sustainable. Equally important, is having a defined sales process that establishes how a team will interact with the system, and how to plan to use the data. Lastly, attendees will take into consideration alignment with how they interact with customers. In this session, Brandt will discuss what should be considered before choosing a CRM solution, keys to successful processes and system development, and KPI's that drive performance and accountability.                 


Leadership in Manufacturing   

Dan Clark and Kyle Lane, Wise Plastics Technologies

BC LABS: Leadership; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; Operations/Engineering

Although working for a “boss” may sound like the same thing as working for a “leader”, the two roles are as different as night and day. Where bosses are charged with overseeing a set of employees and the work completed within their functional areas, leaders go above and beyond to be excellent motivators, resulting in higher levels of productivity and respect. Join Dan Clark, manufacturing manager and Kyle Lane, director of manufacturing at Wise Plastics, as they provide proven strategies and guidance that lead to successful, confident leaders. Clark and Lane will describe how to motivate others to be part of the solution vs. a part of the problem, hold others accountable, and measure success metrics. After attending this session, attendees will walk away with a roadmap on how resistance to “negative” tactics and a focus on positive employee influence leads to improved employee retention, higher morale, and greater business impact.


Lean Efficiency in Mold Change Philosophy

Lisa Zelt, Teel Plastics Inc. and Chuck Forrestal, Metro Plastics Technologies, Inc.

BC LABS: Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT        

Producing a variety of different parts often comes with the challenge of switching molds out routinely. Mold changeovers can be extremely time-consuming, causing less-than-optimal utilization of machines. To increase efficiency and overall productivity, fast mold exchange systems and processes are a must. During this presentation, member companies will share their mold change philosophies that have had a measurable ROI. The best practices shared will help attendees avoid the negative impact that multiple mold changeovers have on productivity and the resulting increase in component costs.


Lessons Learned: Managing My Business Through the Pandemic       

Matt Fish, Vital Plastics, Inc.; Mark Murphy, PRD, Inc.; Jenn Barlund, Falcon Plastics; Dianna Brodine, Plastics Business

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); CFOs/Finance/IT  

By nature, most people avoid planning for crisis situations. After all, there is so much to do in the here and now without trying to second guess the future. Manufacturing leaders are no exception when it comes to the often thankless task of crisis planning. Unfortunately, with the global pandemic, these plans that were avoided were needed and often created in the spur of the moment.

During this panel discussion, member companies will share their “survival” stories and the lessons they learned — lessons that can be applied to everyone’s business.


Level the Playing Field, How to Get Customers on our Side       

Tom Wood, E-S Plastic Products LLC and Todd Zielinski, Athena SWC LLC          

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Sales & Marketing  

Customers and prospects employ timeworn obstacles to sales and marketing engagement by providing limited information, proposing one-sided supply agreements, and applying hard-line negotiation tactics. In this breakout session, attendees will:

  • Develop a best practice approach and process for identifying and connecting with customers that fit their business model.  
  • Learn how to qualify the right prospects by asking the right questions. 
  • Outline instruction on establishing mutual respect
  • Gain insights on strategies and techniques to navigate and negotiate these hurdles.


Leveraging Carbon DLS through Supply Chain Disruption

Jason Lopes, Carbon 3D and Diversified Plastics Inc.          

BC LABS: Operations/Engineering

Become educated with agile manufacturing, bridge production, and conceptual prototyping with engineering-grade materials powered by Carbon DLS. Join presenters from Diversified Plastics and Carbon 3D for an overview of Carbon DLS technology/materials, “Pre-Tool” workflow/agile manufacturing, and example-use cases from Diversified Plastics that will show attendees how to leverage this toolset to assist in production needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Managing Accounts Receivable: How much leverage do you have?

Sondra Ash, Infinity Molding & Assembly

BC LABS: Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); CFOs/Finance/IT    

How current are your company’s receivables? Do you have an effective accounts receivable process when dealing with your biggest customers? When customers are much larger than you, it is hard to understand how strong your position is with them - and it is usually stronger than you think. In this presentation, Sondra Ash of Infinity Molding & Assembly will share her company’s philosophy and process when collecting receivables. Attendees will learn how to reduce risk, improve cash flow, and make the collection process more efficient – no matter the size of the customer.


Marketing to Your Top Customers – Your Employees       

Jennifer Latiolas, All-Plastics LLC and Shelly Otenbaker, WayPoint Marketing Communications                                                                                   

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; Sales & Marketing

Looking for new ways to attract clients and increase business?  Maybe considering investing in a full-blown marketing campaign or costly advertising?

The best marketing practices use data analysis, feedback, and social media listening to identify customers’ needs and preferences. Then, create content and identify solutions that help solve those nagging problems that keep decision-makers up at night. Consider this – you already have access to your most powerful brand promoters – your employees. By devoting time and energy to your people you can build a team of brand ambassadors that will model your company values and take your company to new heights. During this session, attendees will hear from two marketing pros on how this cultural change of treating employees as you would your best customers, ensures improved customer experience, better products, and better services.                                                                                                                                          


Price Increases in Volatile Marketplaces

Kelly Goodsel, Viking Plastics; Ralph Hardt, Jagemann Stamping Company and Scott Walton, Harbour Results, Inc.

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Sales & Marketing; CFOs/Finance/IT    

The good news: plastics manufacturing is now projected to increase by five percent this year, according to a new report from the Plastics Industry Association. The bad news: With the rise of global supply chain disruptions due to customer demand, legacy prices, and inflation the plastic market has already experienced multiple cost increases and is predicting more to come.

This presentation will outline how two companies approach managing the price rise with the utmost care, including cutting edge research, and examples of both the right and wrong way to communicate the hike to the customer.


Raising Wages, A New Trend    

Charlie Braun, Custom Rubber Corp and Jennifer Lockman, Intertech Plastics Inc.

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; CFOs/Finance/IT  

Amid growing anxiety about the disappearance of factory jobs, thousands of them are going unfilled across the U.S. according to the Wall Street Journal. The number of open manufacturing jobs has risen since 2009 and this year stands at the highest level in 15 years, according to Labor Department data. Not only are manufacturers searching for workers, but they are also searching for committed employees. Raising wages is the most obvious lever companies can pull to overcome the challenge. During this presentation, two human resources professionals that are currently dealing with the rising pressures to raise wages in manufacturing facilities will share their insights to get the right people in the door and on to the machines.                                                                                                                                                                    


Reimagining High-Performance Teams         

Scott Pflughoeft, Ashley Industrial Molding Inc. and Matt Lesser, Uniquely Normal, LLC

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Leadership; Human Resources/Safety

Look up any news outlet and chances are, the “war for labor” is at or near the top of important topics presented. In a world redefined by words such as flexible schedules, remote workplace, and upward mobility, how are employers to attract, retain, and develop talent? More importantly, how can you develop high-performance teams in this new reality? We know this: healthy organizational cultures built upon high-performance teams attract, retain, and develop talent. Leaders can intentionally mold the culture by adopting principles that facilitate the development of a healthy, balanced, high-performance organizational culture.

Imagine High-Performance Teams where leaders demonstrate:

  • High Care—by knowing the people they lead and being known by them. 
  • High Trust—by trusting and by being trustworthy.
  • High Competency—by producing consistent and excellent results.

High-Performance Teams are centered around High Care + High Trust + High Competency. Easy to understand? Yes! Easy to implement? That takes a lifetime of learning, growth, and practice to execute with excellence!    


Shop Floor Optics - IIoT Machine Learning and Performance Technology    

Mark Stevens, Wipfli + Mueller Prost  

BC LABS: Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT   

Manufacturers are constantly challenged to increase productivity and find additional capacity. However, hiring workers – and finding them – or simply buying more equipment is not the ideal means to do more. Success instead requires reliable insights into operations and knowledge support to turn those insights into actionable change and more capacity. The technology behind the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) now makes it affordable to monitor a shop floor for-profit leakage, hidden capacity, and potential productivity gains.

During this presentation, attendees will role-play different organizational functions and use an automated machine learning platform to answer complicated real-time performance questions. Participants will witness how to evaluate production outcomes, track historical performance, correlate performance with variances, use data for better estimating, notice trends, and predict future outcomes. They will also see how technology tools can accelerate the improvement in OEE.

When the demonstration is complete, participants will learn how technology options that eliminate unreliable clipboards and outdated Excel spreadsheets can be replaced with affordable real-time machine performance tracking tools. Participants will learn how to:

  • Capture the creativity of your workforce.
  • Increase productivity of critical work centers.
  • Reduce production interruptions and downtime.
  • Increase throughput and profits.
  • Increase sales revenues without adding equipment and fixed overhead.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Strategic Alternatives: Insights on Ownership Transitions         

Mike Benson, Stout; Kelly Goodsel, Viking Plastics and Jay Bender, Falcon Plastics

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners

The satisfaction of succeeding as a business owner can be unparalleled – achieving millions in sales by starting with an idea and a plan, weathering ups and downs, and giving dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees a chance to earn a living. Inevitably, there will come a time when change is necessary, and one of the most important decisions a business owner will face is when and how to address a major ownership transition in the business. Mike Benson, Managing Director in the Investment Banking group at Stout will provide insight on the range of strategic alternatives, timelines, and important pros and cons to consider when a business transition is imminent. Joining in the conversation and to share their stories are a distinguished panel of plastics business owners including Kelly Goodsel, President and CEO of Viking Plastics, and Jay Bender, President and Owner of Falcon Plastics.


The Benefits of Business Advisory Councils and Executive Coaching for Business Leaders – Mentoring for Growth

Brendan Cahill, PTG Silicones and Craig Carrell, Team 1 Plastics

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs)

Looking for a way to energize your business, boost sales, and plan for the future? Who do owners turn to for advice? An advisory board. According to a BDC Study, 86% of entrepreneurs who have an advisory board report it’s had a significant impact on their business. An advisory board can provide accountability, strategic advice, new perspectives, and complementary skills required to take businesses to the next level. Most importantly it allows time to work on the business, not in the business. During this presentation, two business owners will share how they have successfully implemented this solution to access external wisdom.                                      


The New Contingency Plan - Automate Your Production Line  

Ron Pack, Ferriot Inc.; Jeff Hodnick, Ferriot Inc. and Glenn Whitecotton, Hansen Plastics Corporation

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT

Automation is a long-term commitment that will positively impact business for years. System integration primarily impacts your automated manufacturing systems, resulting in a smoother workflow and more efficient production processes. Communication between production machinery in different areas will help your overall system better navigate diverse conditions within your plant as they emerge. This presentation will feature two member companies who have made the commitment to system integration and will share the impact it had at their facility. This will include the evaluation process used to determine the feasibility and ROI for integrating various levels of automation, and the design process for developing engineering solutions justified for the scale of the project. Examples of real-world manufacturing solutions, quality, and continuous improvement efforts will be presented.


Training: Small Bites, Big Impact    

Angie Theodorovich, Engineered Profiles LLC and Sarah Perry, Falcon Plastics

BC LABS: Executive Stakeholders/ Owners; Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Human Resources/Safety; Operations/Engineering

Creating and conducting a training program is hard work, but it is worth the investment. When employees gain knowledge, companies gain valuable expertise. However, creating a methodology that easily explains the program, and the benefits it offers, can be challenging.
Engineered Profiles LLC and Falcon Plastics have created training programs for the benefit of their companies and their associates. During this presentation, attendees will learn about how these companies are impacting their new hires from the moment they enter the building, and how they are impacting employees who have been with the company for over 25 years. Come and learn how this "small bites" approach effectively engages learners at a fraction of the cost of other methods.


Using 8D Tool to Strengthen PFMEA Process          

Jose P. Garcia, Dorel Juvenile Group and Scott Wilkinson, Dorel Juvenile Group

BC LABS: Operations/Engineering

The Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis (PFMEA) is used by manufacturers to detect potential failures that are rooted in the physical process of producing a part. Each step of the process is carefully analyzed to identify every possible thing that could go wrong. The PFMEA process is inextricably linked to the quality performance of a manufacturing organization. This session will demonstrate a way to use an enhanced 8D process to strengthen the PFMEA process and improve the quality performance of the organization.                                                                                                                   


Utilizing Process Data and Automation to Support Smart Factory Initiatives

Bob Reese, RJG and Josh Cyrus, EG Industries          

BC LABS: Senior Leaders (Presidents, VPs); Operations/Engineering; CFOs/Finance/IT

Industry 4.0 has brought forth limitless data possibilities, but what should be done with it all, and where should one start? In this presentation, Reese and Cyrus will discuss utilizing automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) to eliminate human error from the quality decision-making process. By moving the decision point upstream in the production process, companies can run more presses with less operators and better data. This presentation will cover the data companies need to successfully support and run a smart factory, how to utilize that data, and how to improve overall process efficiency through the use of automation.