Category Archives: UP&R

The Sales Development Process Isn’t As Quick As You Think

To be a successful business it is important to develop new customers while still providing excellent service to your existing customers.  At Universal Polymer & Rubber we are a manufacturer of rubber molded parts, rubber extruded parts and plastic extruded parts, along with tarp straps for the trucking industry.  We are regularly meeting with new potential clients to review their needs and requirements and discuss how we might be able to assist them.  This sales development process is not quick like some businesses might think, but requires due diligence done on both sides to make sure the fit is right.  Below is an outline of the sales development process.

Business meeting

The Sales Development Process:

Creating the Relationship – The first and one of the most important steps of the process is creating the initial relationship with a potential new client.  Getting your foot in the door isn’t always easy and can take time to build trust and understanding regarding the services your company can provide them.  This can require much follow up and persistence and usually isn’t as simple as calling up and offering to be the company’s new supplier.

Providing Samples – Once the initial relationship is made, the next step is providing samples or porotypes to show the company you can meet their requirements.  This can require multiple meetings to learn the exact specs of what they need, and once that is obtained more time will be used to make the samples to present to them.

Testing of Products and Materials –   When the sample or prototype is presented to the client, they will then need to perform testing to make sure it actually meets all their requirements and will fulfil all their qualifications.  Many times there can be back and forth at this step as changes are required.  By creating a good relationship in the initial step, this can be an easier operation as both sides are looking to develop a successful working partnership.

Ramp Inventory Down from Old Supplier – All the specs have been met, the customer is happy with the product. Is the customer immediately able to buy in bulk from you?  Not so fast!  Most likely they have a large amount of inventory still on hand, or possibly even on order from their old supplier.  More waiting time will be spent as they finish up this entire inventory and then are ready to receive the items you will be providing.

While the sales development process can take a long time, it can be worth it for both sides at the end as a successful partnership has been created.  For more information on the products and services Universal Polymer & Rubber can provide for you, please contact us here.

The Global Manufacturing Business

Universal Polymer & Rubber Ltd also known as UP&R by its customers and vendors is a part of the Cypress Companies of Akron, OH. Since its inception in 1970, UP&R has reached out to customers across the globe. It has helped its customers to grow by providing a wide range of polymer solutions. UP&R focuses on manufacturing rubber and plastic extruded parts as well as rubber molded parts. These are manufactured in the manufacturing plants in Middlefield, OH and Tallmadge, OH as well as through partnerships and relationships with other manufactures in Asia, thus showing its global presence.

UP&R sells its products across three continents and into four major markets – transportation and cargo control, construction and pipe manufactures, automotive supply chain and general industrial market. 7-8% of businesses done by UP&R are exported with its major customers in China and Singapore.

If companies are to survive, then they must think globally. This is because the customers are located across the globe and they expect support globally. Another important aspect in doing business globally is the ability to provide consistency across the products. No matter which part of the globe UP&R’s products are manufactured, they have to be of the same quality. In order to achieve this, UP&R has greater control over the quality of the products that are manufactured. The management of UP&R has come up with a long distance supply chain for some products and this has turned out to be a model for manufacturers of UP&R’s size (with a sales range of $20-50 million).

Contact us to learn more about our products and services.


Moving on Up…to our New Facility!

We have some exciting news to share with you—our newest addition to our facility is just about completed! For months, we have been working on building and growing, as ground broke on the new facility in April, and we are excited to finally have the space to move in!

As we mentioned, we first broke ground this past spring after acquiring another company. With the growth to our business, we decided it was necessary that we have additional space. The facility will act as storage and warehousing space and is an add-on to our current building. This construction project also includes new offices and conference rooms, which are twice the size of our current conference rooms.

What will this additional space do for us? First, it greatly enhances our ability to serve our customers, as we are currently utilizing three offsite warehouses to stock our products. Now, we will have everything in one place, allowing for shorter lead times. The warehousing space will allow for material flow throughout the facility as well as provide more stocking space. Due to this, we’ll be able to run more parts and cut down on production time.

We are all very excited to move on up into our new facility! To see how far we have come and the progress of the construction project, take a look at our Facebook photos!

Returnable Packaging in the Auto Industry: Is it Practical?

If you work in the automotive industry, you may have heard about the possibility of returnable packaging—sending packing containers back to the supplier in order to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. It was a growing trend in the 1990’s, when more and more people in the industry were pushing for it. So where does returnable packaging stand now, and why isn’t there more of it?

While it seemed like a great idea at the time—who doesn’t want to do better things for the environment?—many soon realized that the cost of returning packaging simply didn’t make smart business sense. While it’s a fantastic idea if the supplier is located a short distance away, it’s not uncommon in today’s logistical environment for a supplier to be located hundreds of miles away. In the case of returnable packaging, someone has to bear the extreme cost associated with its return, and the cost was simply too much.

Personally, we have seen that returnable packaging is not attractive to most of our automotive clients. While we supply 20-25 tier 1 suppliers, only one of those suppliers practices this policy. For the rest, the financial burden is too much. And when it comes to the auto industry, costs are a huge driver, and the supply chain must do what’s most cost effective in order to remain competitive and keep a healthy bottom line.

Furthermore, many companies who once partook in the practice found that returning packaging proved to not always be as positively green as people had hoped. As an example, when Toyota first began implementing waste reduction programs, one of their measures included a returnable packaging system. However, shortly after its implementation, they found that while trying to be more sustainable, the opposite was happening. According to a Toyota executive, they soon realized “we were reducing a waste that was formerly recycled, and our recycling rate got worse. So our strategic indicator was telling us to not implement more returnable packaging programs.”

While we’re all mindful of sustainable, efficient business, it’s a competitive landscape, and, as in any industry, ideas that are not practical are not going to be able to become universally adopted.