Over the course of 33 years, Creative Blow Mold Tooling, located in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has found a way to “break the mold” so to speak. With “Creative” in its name, the company has committed itself to designing blow molds that will set its customers apart. A blow mold is the tool companies’ use to manufacture hollow plastic packaging or parts. It’s the tool that takes plastic packaging from idea to product.
Designing packaging is not a task to take lightly.
Packaging is directly linked with marketing. The right size, shape and style can have a direct impact on sales when products make it to the shelf. When a customer presents Creative Blow Mold Tooling with a set of specifications it needs in its next package, it’s up to the company to equip the customer with the tooling it needs to make its design vision become reality. Instead of just taking instructions and blindly going forward, this manufacturing company has a strategy for helping its customers get the best experience and final result out of its blow molds.
“We’ve invested in the engineering capacity required to add value to the customer relationship,” said Jim Hensiek, director of business development. “We provide engineering support to our customer even if that customer, or the customer’s customer, doesn’t have a purchase order.” That strategy largely revolves around the strength of Creative’s engineering team. That’s customer service at its finest. Creative Blow Mold Tooling dedicates its engineers’ time to working with potential customers even when there is no commitment. That means sharing expert advice, collaborating on package design, and talking back and forth on what the end product should look like and why.
In many cases, by the time a customer places an order, the engineer has already gone above and beyond the planning process. Sealing a deal with a customer is never a for sure thing, sometimes engineers spend hours of their time for a sale that never solidifies. “We collaborate early,” Hensiek said. “For each new project, Creative works with our customers up front to gather significant knowledge that will help each project move quickly through the design approval process.” Early collaboration helps the company turn around a product quicker, allowing their customer to get a faster return on their investment. Taking a risk on clients without an order placed is just part of the process in building long-lasting, trusting relationships with their customers.
Creative Blow Mold Tooling aims to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
The company currently uses the Artec 3D scanner and Geomagic Design X software so its design engineers can more accurately reverse-engineer an existing mold project without the original drawings.
In addition, Creative installs a mold cycle counter into its new builds, allowing customers to be pro-active with maintenance rather than reactive, boosting productive man hours and improving profitability, according to Hensiek.
“We want to continue to be a leader when it comes to using technology and innovation in how we design and manufacture,” said President and owner of the company, Michael Bohning. “We have an eye toward compressing lead times as much as we can.” Keeping up with technology means being able to offer value adds to customers that Creative’s competitors do not have available to them. It means shortening the time it takes to turn around an order. Ultimately, it means customers get their products to market faster which can boost their respective bottom lines quicker. “Brand owners want to gain market share, they want their bottles to look the best,” Hensiek went on to say. Creative’s job is to be the behind-the-scenes reason their customers are succeeding in the marketplace.
Aside from designing and manufacturing the molds,Creative also repairs them.
“The lifecycle on the mold is typically longer than the lifetime of the product that they are built to manufacture, but there are cases
where they need attention to run at optimal production levels,” Bohning explained. Unexpected things can happen on the manufacturing floor, sometimes parts become damaged. To account for these incidents and accidents, Creative offers an emergency 24-hour repair turnaround time. When a blow mold is not functioning properly, production
slows or stops, and the customer
begins to lose valuable time. That customer ships the piece back to Creative and their repair team turns their attention to the damaged mold immediately. “When it reaches our dock, we react quickly to assess the damage, create a plan of attack and get to work repairing the mold,” Bohning said. The loss of productive hours for the client becomes a top priority to Creative.
Creative’s location is crucial to their ability to turn around repair time and cut down on shipping time. Now located in Lee’s Summit, Mo.- outside of Kansas City, Creative is in an optimal location to quickly reach any customer location in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its central location also helps give Creative more flexibility to partner with suppliers anywhere in the country. Chicago, Ill.-based Brass and Copper is one of Creative’s primary material suppliers, while MSC is the company’s primary tool supplier. “All Creative supply-chain vendors [and] partners have a daily commitment to on-time delivery, improving the ability of Creative to earn our customers’ trust,” Hensiek said.
All in all, Creative Blow Mold Tooling is dedicated to helping their customers succeed.
“Our goal is to try to help our customers get to market as soon as they can,” Hensiek added. “If we help them win, which is the collaborative arrangement we’re in, then we get to do more of that.”