A close-up image of polished metal aircraft parts.

Spectrum Plastics Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Spectrum Plastics Group (SPG) recognized that many former clients who had left them for foreign competitors were experiencing intellectual property issues with their foreign partners, and these customers realized that the costs of resolving these intellectual property issues outweighed the lower costs of more inexpensively-made foreign products.
  • Given the difficulties of working with foreign partners, SPG's former customers sought to reshore their business with SPG, and as result SPG has greatly increased its sales across numerous industries.

Spectrum Plastics Group (SPG) is a mid-sized manufacturer headquartered in Minneapolis, MN with multiple facilities across the United States. The organization provides customers with a wide array of product development services ranging from rapid prototyping and injection molding to complete contract manufacturing.

Setting the Groundwork for Growth

Like many U.S. manufacturers, SPG wanted to become more competitive. Specifically, its Ansonia, CT location was looking to increase efficiencies and profitability. CONNSTEP, Connecticut's NIST/MEP affiliate, connected with the company and conducted lean manufacturing projects with their team. As a result, SPG was able to reduce production costs and improve operations to better service clients. CONNSTEP also worked with SPG to create a company culture that consistently identifies opportunities to increase sales from both new and past clients. 

Reshoring Efforts Leads Manufacturer to Increased Sales

While looking for ways to grow sales, SPG recognized a trend with former clients who had left them for foreign competitors. Many of these past customers were experiencing difficulties working with their foreign partners and wanted to bring their molding and assembly work back to the United States.

For example, a former electronics customer asked SPG to quote mold transfers and consider building new multi cavity molds to replace those built by foreign businesses because of continuing intellectual property issues. The former client was also experiencing intellectual property issues with foreign competitors and cited how an overseas partner did not comply with non-disclosure rules. The cost of the flights to dispute the resulting claims alone outweighed the savings realized on the more inexpensively-made products. The discussion led to the reshoring of several existing molds, allowing SPG to obtain new sales. This connection proved to be beneficial to SPG in the long run, as the client subsequently placed many new orders. After five years with Asian suppliers, the customer brought SPG back as its preferred supplier.

SPG is now embracing reshoring and has earned back the business of many former clients across numerous industries, greatly increasing its sales. The topic of reshoring is now a monthly discussion with former, existing and new customers.