In 1992, with its reputation firmly established, he purchased the colour division of Ferro Industrial Products, adding even more depth to the multifaceted enterprise. Today, PlastiColors remains at the forefront of the masterbatch industry, with a name for technical innovation and unsurpassed quality.
During the early 2000s, the ‘next generation’ went into action, namely Michael Maine (operations director), Michelle Maine Fleming (financial director), David Rule (general manager) and Greg Higgs (national sales manager).
In 2008, management embarked on a multimillion rand project to rejuvenate plant and equipment, adding five new extrusion lines and six new pigment blending lines, increasing capacity by over 50%.
‘We needed to expand in order to meet customers’ burgeoning orders and requirements without sacrificing quality,’ comments Michelle. ‘This foresight was 20:20 vision and we’re expecting even stronger growth in 2013.’
Concurrently with this expansion, PlastiColors invested further in its in-house-developed ERP (enterprise resource planning) software. ‘Our integrated system gives us a competitive advantage, allowing us to process orders faster, and without human error,’ relates Michael.
Throughout its impressive history, PlastiColors has maintained a growth rate more than double South Africa’s GDP. ‘This can be attributed to our expanding customer base as well as long-term customer retention,’ adds Michael Maine. ‘We’re valued by our customers as an ethical company, which is why many remain with us after 37 years, enabling us to sustain stable growth in tough economic times.’
The application of PlastiColors’ products has also evolved, with greatest demand coming from the packaging industry, followed by manufacturers of consumer goods, leisure products, automotive parts, and more.
Michael identifies three key strengths – technical knowhow, quality and service.
‘Our dedicated technical staff assist customers with product development and visit them regularly to advise on production optimisation,’ he says. ‘In 1995, we became the first masterbatch manufacturer in South Africa to achieve SABS ISO 9001 accreditation, and have maintained this standard ever since. This underlines our long-term undertaking to assure customers of the exact grade and colour specified, supplied dependably year after year. Additionally, our after-sales service is renowned throughout the industry.’
Colouring the future
Ongoing R&D forms the core of PlastiColors’ growth strategy. ‘The way the world does business is changing rapidly and we need to change even faster. Our industry is facing new challenges such as energy efficiency and economic sustainability,’ remarks Michelle. ‘We’re harnessing new technologies to help our customers face these changes and remain competitive in their markets.’
Each member of the management team continues to uphold Quintin Maine’s original business vision: ‘We’ll always be the supplier our customers can rely on to ensure that they’re using the best possible product, in the best possible way, at a competitive price,’ sums up Michael.
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