LOLITA, TX – March 13, 2018 – The current state of employment in manufacturing made this year’s Manufacturing Conference and Exposition (MCE) an important reminder of why human connection is the magic behind all successes in automation, informatics, and production. Amid handshakes and old school presentations, about 200 plant managers, engineers, safety experts, and others attended the yearly gathering on February 25-28. The conference and award ceremonies were held at the Inez Community Center; the Manager’s Dinner at the Tin Spur Ranch, also in Inez; and the tours at the flagship plant in Lolita. The conference also merges with the company’s All-Star celebration, which honors Inteplast’s most dedicated employees with a five-day, activity packed expedition also in Texas.
After 25 years in plastics, Inteplast leaders know that metrics, safety, and total productive maintenance go hand-in-hand with conversation, in-person explanations, and wit. If manufacturers aim to combat the nationwide labor shortage, the practice of integrating holistic interaction and regrouping is necessary. The most sophisticated Six Sigma workshop broadcast via video is ineffective if staff members feel isolated and lack the security of company comraderie.
Plant managers from five North American locations explain the benefits of the MCE, which one of them calls “a family reunion.”
Aron Jahr, Pittsburg, KS – Plant Manager, Pitt Plastics
Human interaction gives us the ability to review performances while acquiring techniques for implementing best practices. While it is with the best of intentions that we can collaborate via teleconference, one is still readily to interruptions during the meeting while at an office or plant. You’re able to focus more on the people who are talking to you when you’re sitting in the same room with them and know that you’ll be able to ask questions and give feedback over dinner or lunch.
Peter Zamarripa, Lolita, TX – General Plant Manager/Vice President of ITCL and Medegen
One important component for me is the building of professional relationships. You can’t do that through a video conference, and it’s easier to share ideas and ask questions when you know the person. For example, Aron [Jahr] and I communicate regularly to compare notes and share ideas. If we didn’t have a good personal relationship, this would not happen. The second benefit is that the MCE puts a lot of pressure on managers to improve. Who wants to get up in front of his or her peers and have a poor performance report? This down-to-earth sharing makes all of us better because every one of our managers is an expert in something.
Brooklyn Streeter, Seguin, TX – Plant Manager, Minigrip
These days together give us an opportunity to gather and get to know each other better. Yes, we learn more about safety, production management, and quality, but we have such a wide range of people who at Inteplast and getting to know them outside of a name on an email is even more valuable. We become more invested in the affiliate companies and truly want to see each other succeed. It makes me proud.
Tony Incollingo, Chateauguay, Quebec – Plant Manager, Salerno Packaging
The improvement projects we see on our Lolita plant tours offer ideas that we can share back in our facilities. We also unite with our fellow managers and talk about improvements we’ve implemented. I walk away each year feeling more inspired. We get to know each other better over lunches and dinner and it feels like one big family reunion.
Senior Director of Human Resources and Communications, Brenda Wilson, has seen the MCE evolve throughout the past decade and notes its importance. “What started as a half-day meeting in a conference room more than 10 years ago has grown into a three-day event that is central to our organization’s overall improvement. Hundreds come together to support, learn, and challenge each other in order to strengthen our company. The fun and the food help also.”
About Inteplast Group
Established in 1991, Inteplast Group is a leading integrated plastics manufacturer founded on the ideal of American manufacturing. Our products support diverse markets including healthcare, foodservice, packaging, building products, grocery, retail, sanitation, industrial, and graphic arts industries. Headquartered in Livingston, N.J., Inteplast Group is now over 7,000 employees strong and operates over 50 facilities including our flagship manufacturing complex in Lolita, Texas. Our dedicated and experienced people are committed to delivering quality products and partnering with our customers to enable their success. Visit https://www.inteplast.com for more information.