Metro Mold & Design charts new course for continued growth, part two

In part one of this article, Greg Heinemann, who was recently appointed CEO of Metro Mold & Design (MMD; Rogers, MN), explained how a family-owned business learned to adapt to the challenges of growth and articulate a sustainable value proposition. Here in part two, he explains the importance of breaking down silos in a growing company and why it's important to learn to say no.

Over the four decades of Metro Mold's growth, the company developed significant breadth to its capabilities and services as it responded to customer requirements and implemented new technologies. However, Heinemann noted that it was "like seven or eight small companies" existing in silos rather than one $40 million company. "I thought I'd see a lot of cross pollination among these groups, but I only saw that in one or two areas," he says.

Greg Heinemann, CEO.

With Heinemann's vision and the technical expertise that was started by [company founder] John Holland and continued by [son] Tim, Metro Mold developed a culture of problem solving through the eyes of the customer. "We found that we could take on challenges—those that the market failed to solve we could solve at Metro Mold," Heinemann states. "We could see the problem through the customer's own lens rather than strictly an injection molding or machining lens, for example. This shed light on the problem that allowed us to solve the problem, while eliminating portions of the business that caused distractions to what we do well."

Metro Mold currently has three defined business areas: Medical, "manufacturing the impossible" and the industrial business. For the medical focus, Metro Mold's core value proposition is manufacturing components for Class II and Class III implantable medical devices with the ability to get customers into production quickly by eliminating wasted steps and automating other processes. "Whether it's a transfer program, a new product or a new generation of an existing product, we get them into production quickly," Heinemann says. With an 86,000-square-foot medical manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, MN, MMD has cleanroom capabilities and a broad range of processing and machining equipment required to manufacture micro-devices and perform micro molding for high-tolerance parts.

With Metro Mold's engineering resources, another focus of the company's business is working on difficult parts. Customers come to Metro Mold to find manufacturing or design solutions that others have failed at. "For these customers, failure is not an option when looking at a new product or new technology," says Heinemann. "Our success in manufacturing the impossible is due to a diverse team of unique problem solvers who enable us to look at opportunities from different angles to find the right solution. It may take an injection molding expert looking at a machining issue to come up with the right solution. Sometimes this allows us to create hybrid solutions that leverage manufacturing methodologies differently, like combining machining and injection molding."

Metro Mold's industrial business operates according to the Pareto principle, focusing on the 20% of programs that drive 80% of profitability. To help reduce costs, Metro Mold has worked with customers to simplify manufacturing processes

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