MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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moldmakingtechnology.com 37 LEADTIME LEADER Q&A MoldMaking Technology Editorial Director Christina Fuges chats with Dave LaGrow, owner of this year's Leadtime Leader winning shop Maximum Mold Group about the impact of winning the 2018 title. In this column, MoldMaking Technology invited the owner of this year's Leadtime Leader winner to share some of his thoughts on the impact of winning the Award. How has the Leadtime Leader Award impacted your company since gaining the title this past June? Dave LaGrow, president, Maximum Mold Group: We have been able to further solidify our family/team environment. The employees were part of the process of applying for the award, and winning was a great accomplishment for them. They know that when they work together for a common goal, it truly works. We also received a lot of complimentary (free) market- ing through MoldMaking Technology's blog, social media, enewsletter, feature video, cover story, podcasts, Amerimold panel discussion and awards presentation. Most importantly, we have gained two new customers as a result of the exposure that we received. We also broad- ened our network of tool and die manufacturers, who we occasionally approach to exchange ideas, share workloads and discuss pending legislation or taxation that might impact our business. What was the most surprising thing you discovered about your company as you moved through the Leadtime Leader process (questionnaire, article and video)? LaGrow: We were surprised to learn that our employees and their families took pride in being a part of the questionnaire, articles and video production. They appreciated that we tell them that they are doing a great job. They also loved the swag from MoldMaking Technology and wear it proudly. Also, we were surprised to learn how essential marketing and network- ing are to becoming a successful company. How has your view of marketing changed since winning the award? What plans have you put in place to up your marketing game? LaGrow: Before winning the award, we maintained websites and went to a couple of trade shows. Since winning the award and being able to capitalize on the marketing that MoldMaking Technology provided, we realize that additional focus on mar- keting is necessary because it does pay-off when it is done right. We also attended several new trade shows this year. We plan to do more shows next year as well to strengthen our network further and promote Maximum Mold Group to achieve addi- tional growth. You mentioned that you acquired two new customers from the exposure that the award afforded you. Can you elaborate a little on how that unfolded? LaGrow: Maximum Mold Group is made up of three small companies, each serving a diverse customer base from three dis- tinct locations. Max 1 has 28 employees, Max 2 has 13 employ- ees, and Max 3 has 34 employees. Based solely on each shop's size, we would not win large projects in the past. However, after winning the award and being able to tell our story, we have been able to prove that having three separate locations does not mean that we cannot handle a large tool-build package. You also noted that your network of tool and die manu- facturers has expanded. Can you explain a little more about what that means? LaGrow: We rely on local tool and die shops to share ideas or discuss workload balancing, but after the exposure from the award, we have expanded our network. When we call compa- nies out of the area to join our network, they now are more open to working with us, which has helped us establish some wonderful working relations, especially with past winners. What are some current or pending pieces of legislation or regulations that might impact your business? LaGrow: The tariffs that have been enacted and additional discussions about changes to shipping to companies outside of the United States. While we support enacting a tariff on steel coming in from China, U.S. steel companies cannot keep up with manufacturing orders at this time. We believe this should have been a graduated scale to help with in-process orders for 2018-2019. Maximum Mold Group EDITOR'S NOTES In this column, MoldMaking Technology invited this year's Leadtime Leader winner to share some of their thoughts about some hot industry topics. For more information on how to enter our Leadtime Leader Awards program, or if you have a question for any of the Leadtime Leaders, please e-mail Christina Fuges at cfuges@gardnerweb.com, or visit short.moldmakingtechnology. com/leader

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