On Manufacturing Day, Friday, Oct. 7, D&M Plastics, a plastic injection-molding manufacturer in Burlington, Ill., celebrated 634 days without a lost time accident, setting a new record for the manufacturer, which specializes in tight-tolerance precision parts for the medical and electronics industries.
Since its founding in 1972, this privately owned manufacturer has consistently looked for new ways to power up both organizational and individual performance, while working to create a renaissance in American manufacturing.
"It's not your grandpa's manufacturing job anymore," says D&M CEO Chip Owen. Since buying D&M in 2013, the company has invested in its people and ideas, making this family-friendly employer a great place to work. "The 'maker movement' has gained momentum, and people are beginning to understand that modern manufacturing is often STEM-led, and technology-based, with automation, 3-D printing, robots, and screen technology playing key roles."
Indeed, Manufacturing Day organizers offer these statistics: the annual average salary of manufacturing workers is more than $77,000; manufacturers have the highest job tenure in the private sector; and more than 90 percent of manufacturing workers have medical benefits.
Owen who has a degree in engineering, which detoured into a 30-year career in commercial real estate sales, service and investing, says he wanted a chance to finally make things. "Having spent the last six years of my real estate career in New York City, I had seen too many of the best minds go to Wall Street, not to the heartland of manufacturing."
Manufacturing Day organizers say one of the most pressing issues facing manufacturers today is a gap in skilled labor, with 80 percent of manufacturers unable to find the skilled workers they need, in part due to a lack of understanding of present-day manufacturing environments, which are highly technical, and by a lack of sufficient preparatory education.
D&M Plastics, which employs roughly 65 permanent, full-time, part-time and temporary staff, incorporates many of the best practices of Fortune 500 companies, LEAN Manufacturing principles, employee ownership and profit-sharing, employee engagement and satisfaction surveys. At each shift change there is an information and idea exchange in a Team Huddle led by the employees with interested employees taking turns to present materials. To date, thousands of ideas have been shared more than 3,300 since October 2014 -- resulting in efficiencies in cost, and time, while often increasing safety for employees. Ideas not completed are later assigned a Champion, typically from the management team, and tracked on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Employees also participate in profit sharing and an Income Statement is shared with all employees on a monthly basis, which includes monthly and annual data. This detailed financial document shares production, shipping, and revenue numbers and keeps employees motivated and productive through a complete understanding of outcomes and effects to the company's bottom line, which impacts their own profitability.
Since its founding in 1972, D&M Plastics has provided its customers a comprehensive guarantee of quality, delivery, and price. The D&M manufacturing team stands behind its customer goals and outcomes, and has more than 275 combined years of injection molding experience. D&M is a privately held company, located in Burlington, Illinois just outside of Chicago. For more information, visit www.dmplastics.com, or call (847) 683-2054.