The PPC Group acquired Moulding Services in 2007. Then the company was small but successful. Today that success is exponential: PPC Moulding Services has grown from 18 to 250 employees, seeing year on year growth and potential ahead as it consolidates itself as a leading player in the medical device market.
Filling potential by finding a niche
A critical element of PPC Moulding Services’ success in recent years has been its focus on an development in the medical device manufacturing. The prior industry knowledge of Managing Director Grahame Aston and the quick assembly of a strong management core has allowed PPC Moulding Services to push forward and rapidly improve its service in the sector.
“We’ve focused on things that aren’t easy to do—things that not everybody out there does—and we’ve been able to exceed the expectations of those challenges, identifying new technologies and new opportunities” says Aston. “We travel the world to ensure we are up to date with the latest technologies available in injection molding and we’ve been able to keep up with the trends and go beyond them.”
These trends include everything from automation in manufacturing to new temperature-controlled techniques that allow PPC to work with more exotic materials, working closely with partners like Arburg in Germany for the latest machinery to realize its visions. “By looking at these new technologies,” says Aston, “we’ve been able to extend ourselves into new markets and using more exotic materials that actually see benefits for our own customers.”
One major trait that sets PPC Moulding Services apart from the competition is its range of talent. “We’ve been to assemble a tremendous range of skill sets in house,” says Aston, pointing out a strong depth of knowledge between the company’s executive team and workers who are skilled in everything from machine tool making to robotics.
The company also believes in exercising the wisdom to know when outside sources are required to ensure that customers receive the best work possible. “We’ve never walked away from a challenge that a customer has presented us with—but we never claim to know something that we don’t,” Aston points out. “We have the ability to research and to partner with the right people that can easily help bring the skill sets that we may not have on board.”
PPC also has the certifications to back its commitment to quality, gaining ISO9001 and ISO13485 accreditation. “That’s given our customers in the medical industry the confidence that we’ve got the right quality policies and procedures—that we understand the importance of traceability and that every product that goes out the door meets these specifications,” says Aston. “It gives our customers a lot of confidence that we’ve got a focus on quality. At the end of the day, if the parts you’re making are going out with issues, you’re not helping yourself and you’re not helping your customers.”
According to Aston, many PPC customers have acknowledged this commitment to quality with consistent recognition as a top supplier. “It’s satisfying to get these awards and to be able to share them with our internal team knowing that what we’re doing in-house is actually reaching and benefitting our customers,” he says.
Focusing on people
“You’re only as good as the last job that you do,” says Aston. “If you excel at that, then you get an opportunity on the next project when that arises.”
With this principle in mind, PPC Moulding Services makes people a high priority. This starts with a strong philosophy of people management, from the hiring process to training, and an emphasis on developing the right mix of people across all functions.
“We’re continuing to invest into the training of our staff in the business, and that’s not just training courses within Australia—we’ve sent many of our moulding technicians to Arburg in Germany for continued training, to ensure we get the best results and understand everything that our machines have to offer,” says Aston. “It’s a challenging thing to keep up with, but we are very focused on making sure that everybody maintains that continued level of training. We’re also expanding our executive team, and we’re looking for people with the right skill sets who are going to enhance not only our business but the support and backup we offer our customers.”
But providing good service is about more than having good people in-house. As PPC understands, it’s also about understanding each job as it comes—and that originates with listening well to the clients you serve to ensure that everyone is working together toward the best end product possible.
“We do have a focus on making sure that we listen to our customer, and that everyone within the business is the right person and can provide the required solutions for our customers,” says Aston. “Without supporting our customers there’s no business to have. But if they’re totally happy with the service we offer, there’s no reason why our growth shouldn’t continue.”
Looking into the future
PPC is certainly on the right trajectory for continued growth. “We see our future as a strong future,” says Aston. “We’re looking at globalizing our footprint—we’re looking at different markets around the world where we can satisfy not only our current customers, but also potentially new customers.”
In addition to this global growth, PPC is also pursuing further growth on the home front. “We see that our business in Australia will continue to grow—we’ve had good growth this year, we’ve expanded our workforce this year and we see that as continuing as well,” notes Aston. “We’re certainly budgeting for future growth. With the projects and opportunities we’re still seeing on a weekly basis, we’re confident that this growth is certainly achievable.”