Canadian Plastics

B.C. company changes direction, reaps rewards

By Bob MacKenzie   



"Export or stagnate." Six years ago, those were the choices facing Scott Plastics Ltd., an injection molding company established on Vancouver Island in 1952. Back in 1994, 80% of the company's sales o...

“Export or stagnate.” Six years ago, those were the choices facing Scott Plastics Ltd., an injection molding company established on Vancouver Island in 1952. Back in 1994, 80% of the company’s sales of its line sport fishing gear and marine and outdoor products was in B.C. and the Pacific Northwest states. The company wanted to grow faster than this market would allow and re-directed its business strategy to the export market. Today, 60 percent of its sales are export and total sales have more than doubled. To accommodate the growth the company has just moved into a brand-new facility that is more than twice the size of the previous three locations.

The company’s Scotty downrigger, used to transport a fishing line to considerable depths below a boat, and Scotty rod holders are ubiquitous along the Pacific coast and in many locations in North America. And items like Scotty oarlocks, oar collars, boat and anchor lights, and floating lights and indicators are common among west coast boaters. These products are all manufactured from a variety of resins, with glass-filled nylon 6 being the most commonly used raw material. The company now has 13 injection molding machines, 10 of which are made by Engel.

Scott’s strategy for increasing export sales included appointing a sales manager for eastern Canada. The company also provided additional support for the US market by setting up a sales subsidiary, Scotty Inc., based in the U.S. Europe was also targeted as a market for the company’s products. Today, the company has a distributor in almost every European country, and sales are also expanding in South America, Australia and New Zealand.

The company has also branched out from marine products. It introduced a line of fire-fighting equipment, such as plastic hose nozzles and inductors for delivering water, foams or gels.

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According to Robin Richardson, vice-president of operations, the export market accounts for 90 percent of all sales of these products, and sales growth is strong. It is also doing custom molding for the growing high-tech manufacturing industry on Vancouver Island.

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