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Supporting the Environment on Earth Day 2018 and Beyond!

Earth Day 2018 is just around the corner on April 22nd. This annual event led by the Earth Day Network (EDN), dedicates itself to recognizing and celebrating the natural environment. With a focus on the protection of our precious planet, this event spans worldwide as the biggest civic-focused day of action. This year marks the start of EDN’s multiyear campaign called End Plastic Pollution.

Why and How Is Single-Use Plastic Problematic?

Single-use or disposable plastic refers to objects typically used only once, such as water bottles, bags, packages, and straws. These types of items risk the Earth’s ecosystems as over 8 million tons of plastic are tossed into oceans every year.

While plastic is a useful resource, it is unnecessarily wasted in everyday applications such as those cited above. Not only can plastic in our food alter human hormones, but it can also choke natural habitats, poison wildlife that find it, and more. These are big reasons why this year’s EDN platform is to regulate plastic pollution, as well as informing and educating people, governments, and companies worldwide about how to control and improve plastic pollution.

Recycling Responsibilities as Manufacturers

Making the most of recycling efforts involves manufacturers worldwide committing to using more green materials, as well as designing and producing more recyclable products and packages. We wholeheartedly believe in reusable resources and sustainability. This outlook is one our company as a whole share – both employers and employees alike. For example, we recycle all materials used, such as cardboard packaging, the rubber in our moldings, and excess manufactured goods.

Reusing Plastics and Contributions to EVs

UP&R uses reusable plastics to manufacture dependable extruded parts. Reusing plastics extends their lifespan, without compromising quality. We also use sustainable packaging. Our parts come in returnable and reusable plastic packaging to reduce product waste, energy, and resource consumption.

Lastly, we craft non-conducive rubber for many all-electric vehicles. EVs are a major eco-environmentally sustainable effort that aligns with Earth Day initiatives as they have no direct emissions. They have a well-to-wheel emissions advantage over conventional autos running on gas or diesel, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Caring for the Earth and Our Customers

Universal Polymer & Rubber takes pride in not adding extra waste to the environment. We care for the Earth not only on April 22 but the 364 other days of the year too. Customer service is also integral to our company and has been key to our operations since we began in 1970. Our product lineup includes durable compression moldings, injection moldings, and transfer moldings, all made with sustainability in mind and your unique needs taken to heart. Contact us today for your next project.

Also, learn more about manufacturing advancements by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Confidence in Manufacturing Predicted for 2018

After the recession of 2008, it has taken time for our country to rebound. The rebound started slowly but has gained momentum and industries across the U.S. are beginning to see quite a change. For many, optimism is high. Helping the change is the new administration and the President’s commitment to supposedly bring jobs back to America. He has started deregulation of manufacturing industries and has promised to lower business taxes in an effort to make the U.S. more competitive with jobs that were off-shored long ago.

Consumer confidence has spurred the economy, allowing businesses to once again invest in new software, new equipment, training and industrial structures. All of these investments help to better our economy. Industries are also more expectant due to the increase in employment rates and increase in disposable income.

According to a report by Bloomberg Markets, the U.S. is experiencing growth at a rate higher than what was forecasted. Currently, the rate is three percent, which is a solid gain. This rate is high considering the time period reported on includes two devastating hurricanes in two parts of our country. All of this information leads to an encouraging outlook for the coming years for manufacturing.

A wide range of industries are seeing this growth, including rubber, the housing industry coming off all- time lows of 2009, mining, aerospace, and more. This past September, the Institute for Supply Management hit an all-time high mark for gauging manufacturing activity. The last time numbers were this close was in 2004.

As a custom manufacturer of rubber extrusions, plastic extrusions and rubber moldings including compression moldings, transfer moldings, and injection moldings, all of this information leaves the Universal Polymer team enthused about the potentials for 2018. We serve many industries, including the transportation and cargo control market, automotive OE supply chain as a Tier II and Tier III, construction and pipe manufacturers market, and the general industrial market.

To keep abreast of what’s new in our industry, we invite you to read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and connect with us on LinkedIn. To speak to one of our professionals about how we can help you, we invite you to contact us today.

Plan. Do. Action. Check. – The Process Nature of Sales

One goal every business is constantly in pursuit of, regardless of industry, is increased sales. And while the goal is the same, the strategy on how to accomplish that goal differs from business to business. At UP&R we view sales as a process, just like manufacturing. It’s not simply a matter of turning to our sales team and saying “Sell more.” We track inputs of the sales process, as well as various outputs to determine if we’re on the right track.

 

We track calls made, quotes generated, dollar value of quotes, success rate of quotes and total amount of new business. We then compare all of these to company goals. If our goal is to attain growth of $3 million in new business, and we’re only quoting for $2 million dollars, then we know where we need to improve and we can determine the best way to do that. Are we making enough calls? Are we calling the right people? There are numeric checks at every step, allowing us to plan rather than simply throwing darts at a map and saying “Hmmm….let’s try our luck in Virginia this week.”

 

Our strategy is based off of the Japanese manufacturing idiom that this blog post is named for—“Plan. Do. Action. Check.” The strength of this methodology lies in the fact that it’s circular, not linear. We execute our plan, benchmark it versus expected results and then take action accordingly, be that corrective action or simply continuing what we’re doing. We can adjust our strategy to meet our financial goal, or we can hone our strategy in order to shoot past that initial goal. Plan. Do. Action. Check. is a means for continuous improvement, and it’s a strategy worth considering for any business looking to succeed.

Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts

If you’ve been keeping up with us on Facebook and Twitter, you know that we recently acquired Dybrook Products, Inc. Dybrook is a leader in custom molded and extruded rubber products, so making them a part of Universal Polymer and Rubber was a no brainer. With their addition we’ve expanded our customer base and our production capabilities, all of which provides us with a better foundation for the future.

But it was more than additional customers and production space that spurred our interest in Dybrook. Part of our goal here at Universal is to always be learning, and always be growing. With the acquisition of Dybrook, we’re looking to take the best practices from their business, combine those with the best practices of ours and end up with a company that’s stronger and smarter than the sum of its parts.

This mindset is part and parcel of what we do here at Universal. To be successful in our business everyone wears multiple hats. It’s the reason the VP of sales watches imports and exports. No one on our team sees a problem and goes, “Well, that’s someone else’s job.” We all apply our strengths wherever they’re needed. The folks at Dybrook are on the same page. Together, we have a great mix of philosophies and a team that’s always working to better provide our customers with the solutions they need.