SPE Trends & Topics, May 2016 Newsletter –
In recent years, Chase Plastics has made its way into the forefront of the plastics distribution industry, recently ranking #1 on the Plastics News “Best Places to Work” list. Out of a culture that has remained steadfast since Kevin and Carole Chase started the company nearly 25 years ago, expansive growth has ensued and the industry is starting to take notice of Chase’s ability to consistently take internal and external customer service to new and “outrageous” levels.
Chase Plastics is a stocking distributor of more than 6,400 varieties of specialty, engineering and commodity thermoplastics from the industry’s leading manufacturers and global suppliers. Chase delivers engineering expertise, technical service, application development support, blending, repacking, inventory management and logistics services via a network of distribution centers, warehouses and sales locations throughout North and Central America.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Kevin and Carole Chase in 1992, Chase Plastics is rooted in a culture of excellence and entrepreneurship, and in providing service so “outrageous,” customers can’t help but take notice. Chase is unique in its ability to respond with the flexibility and urgency that plastic processors require, due to its philosophy to consciously eliminate bureaucracy and red tape. For instance, Chase sellers are empowered to make pricing decisions without management approval. In an effort to be more responsive, all calls are returned within two hours as part of a robust callback policy. Chase has earned a positive reputation in the industry for responsiveness, technical know- how and customer focus, which has put the company on a long-term growth trajectory.
Chase Plastics has seen growth in most segments in the past few years, but is starting to see the automotive market make positive strides thus far in 2016. According to Jeff Shutz, Michigan-based regional sales manager, “We are experiencing tremendous growth in our automotive segment. Due to the strength of the automotive industry, our customers are well positioned to benefit from our comprehensive automotive product line. We represent manufacturers who make everything from highly engineered high-heat nylons to glass-reinforced polypropylene.” Shutz added, “Our technical service/ application development engineers have the unique ability to work alongside our technical sellers and the customer to help them source the right product for their application early in the process, slashing time and cost out of the production cycle, which is imperative in the automotive industry.”
To accommodate its aggressive growth, Chase Plastics is finalizing expansion projects at its Clarkston, Michigan headquarters, and at its central distribution center in South Bend, Indiana.
Construction of the organization’s new $6 million state-of-the-art South Bend central distribution center was recently completed. The new facility boasts additional bulk storage space and expanded loading dock capacity, and is strategically located in the city’s main freight hub, allowing the latest shipping cutoff times available.
In Clarkston, Team Chase is putting the finishing touches on a newly built $1.3 million customer-support headquarters that boasts a modern, open and collaborative workspace, and industry-leading customer service and supply chain management technology. Chase was recently named as a recipient of Plastics News’ “Best Places to Work” award. This program surveyed employees at top organizations in the plastics segment in the U.S. and Canada, asking them about employer benefits, practices, philosophies, demographics and policies, as well as employee engagement, experience and satisfaction at the organizations.
Chase’s commitment to providing “outrageous” customer service doesn’t stop with external customers; it is a core value also advocated for internal customers – Chase employees. Alongside more typical benefits, Chase Plastics prides itself on being a fun and happy place to work. The company provides a collegial work environment with basketball competitions, chili cook-offs, barbecues and potlucks, business huddles, cornhole tournaments, a volleyball league and even best-decorated cubicle contests for Halloween and Christmas. Chase started a robust Adopt- a-Soldier program 15 years ago, in which employees collect and send care packages to troops abroad who are protecting our country. Some have visited the Clarkston headquarters upon returning home to thank employees for their support, giving those employees an opportunity to personally thank the soldiers for their service as well.