Blue Ridge Thermoforming is a thin and heavy gauge vacuum former located in Greenville, South Carolina. As a manufacturer of custom designed vacuum formed packaging and equipment covers, their focus is on meeting or exceeding customer expectations through high quality products, on-time deliveries, excellent customer service, and continuous improvement. The company’s production space consists of nearly 25,000 square feet and an additional 15,000 square feet of off-site warehouse space within two miles of the plant. This enables them to provide JIT shipping, safety stock storage, and mold storage.
For the last decade, the company’s business has been mostly characterized as a legacy operation that has leveraged existing customer relationships against established capabilities. The overall profitability was minimal, and several accounts were selling at a loss. A few years ago, BRT gained two new equity partners and operators of the business with a goal to grow the business and assume full ownership in the coming years.
Since joining the company, they have worked to improve the health and revenue by reducing sales with unprofitable clients, better pricing and quoting for new bids, and signing exclusive contracts with key customers. They are also focused on building an improved team. Although there have been improvements in the last 2-3 years due to efforts by the new partners and strength of past customer relationships, the business is still somewhat stagnant with other significant challenges as well. BRT needed a new plan.
The insight and advice that was provided to Blue Ridge through the competitiveness review was invaluable. Receiving feedback on our business operations, management, and goals from two well experienced professionals for no cost was incredible. This insight has helped shape our 5 year company roadmap and the resources provided have helped ensure we achieve those goals!
The company contacted SCMEP, part of the MEP National Network™, to conduct a competitiveness review, an on-site assessment of the operation with key staff. While there are always many improvements a company can make, SCMEP limits key observations to those having the largest impact. Based upon observations and analysis of BRT’s current and desired future state, SCMEP made the following recommendations: quality management systems training, strategic planning training, ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation, lean manufacturing implementation planning/training, and sales/marketing methodology evaluations and improvement training. These recommendations were explained in detail and will assist in the company’s growth efforts.