Apex Newsletter August 2013

Apex Newsletter August 2013

Surviving &Thriving in Plastics          

How Apex Competes in a Fragmented Packaging Industry

The blow-molded bottles and packaging containers industry is highly competitive and fragmented. At Apex Plastics, we survive and thrive in this demanding marketplace through our most important strategy: specialization.

Apex’s success hinges on producing high-quality packaging and outstanding customer service for clients and prospects who need small and medium-sized production runs. Apex also differentiates itself from competitors through our expertise in specialty colors, specialty weights, and producing customized shapes and containers that meet our customers’ unique packaging requirements.

Our industry is driven by geography. The cost to ship products can make or break a business deal, so Apex finds it advantageous to gain business and build solid relationships with customers within 500 miles of our headquarters and plant in Brookfield, Missouri.

“We want to saturate a 500-mile radius to capture more business,” says Operations Manager Nick Hansen. “Our recently expanded production capacity means we can capture more mid-sized production business that we weren’t able to get until now.”

Apex offers customers other advantages many competitors can’t match:

Excellent customer service with short turnaround times.

Even when Apex can’t beat others on price, we still win new business and maintain customers because outstanding Apex employees provide better customer service and faster production than competitors.

ISO certified and FDA registered.

All Apex products are certified and fully comply with processes and procedures outlined in ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. Apex also is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which ensures our products meet or exceed federal safety standards. These assurances of quality and safety are not met by all packaging operations.

Commitment to growth.

Apex stays on the leading edge of the packaging industry by expanding and innovating to stay ahead of customer demand. We have added one blow molding press and plan to add a second (see additional article in this newsletter for details). Plus, we are upgrading our headquarters; adding manufacturing space, and adding warehouse space and a new office.

The Apex team’s willingness to go the extra mile for customers, Hansen says, is one of the most critical elements helping the company survive and thrive in the packaging industry. “You become willing to try anything your customers want to go for,” he said. “If they bring a new project to you, you don’t say no often, even if you can’t say yes to everything. It’s important for Apex to remain competitive with every job.”

New Equipment Enhances Service, Adds Potential Markets

In any industry, to grow and sustain exceptional customer service, a company must invest in infrastructure. Recent equipment upgrades at Apex Plastics are helping us achieve better product quality, consistency and production capacity as we work to capture more intermediate-sized jobs for blow-molded plastic bottles and containers. Ultimately, this investment in infrastructure means more options and better service for Apex customers.

Bekum H-155 Press and MTM Systems Bottle-Takeaway System

Apex invested $1 million in our company’s growth by installing a Bekum H-155 press and an MTM Systems bottle-takeaway system. The state-of-the-art press, which replaces two separate machines, has boosted production speed and volume—up  to 4x100 head spacing—while making our production workers’ jobs easier and better. The bottle-takeaway equipment increases speed and efficiency by handling and trimming bottles (and checking for possible container leaks) before they ever reach the hands of our workers.

“This investment separates us from other small molders, in part because it helps us win mid-sized business from bigger molders,” says Operations Manager Nick Hansen. “Some customers at bigger providers get overlooked and shuffled through the system without the best service, just because they have small runs or special requests. We can give those customers what they need, and treat them with the importance they deserve.”

Increased Capacity and Greater Flexibility with Transferable Molds

The new equipment, combined with our small-capacity machines, assures Apex’s reliable plastics manufacturing services will be available in the future for any size client. The new machines increase production capacity without compromising the quality Apex Plastics' customers expect.

Visiting customers have been pleased to hear about the Bekum H-155, because the press is well-known and respected throughout the packaging industry. Because the Bekum is widely used, installation of the equipment even allows Apex to make bottles from molds transferred in from other manufacturers, which further expands Apex’s market reach and helps provide greater flexibility for customers.

The components and robotics of the MTM Systems bottle-takeaway system also are much improved over older technology, Hansen said. “The machine has exceeded our expectations so well that we plan to install another in October,” he said. “We know these infrastructure improvements are important to show we are willing to invest in Apex’s future and the future of our customers.”