Canadian Plastics

NEW HORIZONS

With Rubbermaid's merger to Newell Company finalized in March, the Rubbermaid Calgary facility awaits details of the business plan to emerge from the new parent company, Newell-Rubbermaid. While speci...

June 1, 1999   Canadian Plastics



With Rubbermaid’s merger to Newell Company finalized in March, the Rubbermaid Calgary facility awaits details of the business plan to emerge from the new parent company, Newell-Rubbermaid. While specific details were sketchy at the time of this interview, the outlook on the merger at the Calgary facility is generally positive, says plant manager Randy Brodeur. Newell and Rubbermaid not only have largely complimentary product lines, but also complimentary business strengths, notes Brodeur. Whereas Rubbermaid is known for its

strong brand name and product line, Newell has a reputation for superior customer service.

Opened in 1997, the 88,000 sq. ft. Rubbermaid Calgary plant has six, Italian-made Remu-Stork injection presses, ranging in clamping force from 650 to 1100 tons, which are used to mold Rubbermaid’s larger product line of garbage cans, laundry hampers, storage totes and other products. Built to service the western Canadian market and offset transportation costs from the east, the Calgary plant’s business had been buoyed by good economic conditions in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, says Brodeur. The plant presently ships about $1 million of product a month, of which exports account for less than five percent. Brodeur expects the percentage of exported product to increase because of the merger.

The facility uses five base resins–one grade of polyethylene and four grades of polypropylene–to mold its product line. It purchases all its resin through Rubbermaid’s central distribution purchasing office. Even before its merger with Newell, Rubbermaid was the largest purchaser of resin in North America.

The plant uses liquid colorant, which Brodeur says is both more cost effective and more consistent in meeting color quality standards.

Brodeur believes location and the low Canadian dollar put the Calgary plant in a good strategic position to capitalize on new business opportunities that may arise after the merger. The plant’s service rate of 98 percent, which is a combined measure of on-time deliveries and completely filled purchase orders, is one of the highest in Rubbermaid.

Brodeur says future plans, while temporarily on hold, include a 25,000 sq. ft. expansion to be used primarily for distribution, and

the purchase of some smaller machines in order to expand

product line.CPL


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