Converting Information Into Success
Information management and a customer service focus have pushed Converting Technology, Inc., past more seasoned competitors.
by David Luttenberger
Industry veterans John Norgard, Bill Crutchfield, Ken Roberts and Rick Storey knew that creating and running a successful diemaking business in the information age depended on more than just having megabytes of data at their fingertips. Before they ever shipped a die out of Converting Technology, Inc. (CTI), they developed their own software program that would enable CTI to manage information regarding every aspect of the business. From computerized order entry, to real-time scheduling, to on-time delivery and profitability reports by department, Norgard and his team could actually manage every bit of data at their disposal regarding CTI's operations.
"Establishing a sound manufacturing system and creating our own database software gave us the flexibility we needed to efficiently produce product," says Norgard, who co-founded CTI in 1993. Today, five years later, CTI has grown to become the 15th largest diemaker in North America. However, becoming a "large" dieshop is not a CTI objective.
"Our goal is to be the best, not the biggest," contends Norgard. Reaching the goal of being the best, he says, started six months before the first laser-cut flatbed die, counterplate, or stripping or blanking tool went out the door of this Elk Grove Village, IL, dieshop.
Although strapped for startup capital, Norgard and his partners were convinced that to distinguish their business from other diemakers, it would be paramount to invest in the most technologically advanced diemaking equipment.
Armed with a business plan that targeted the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and specialty carton markets, the partners agreed that CTI's greatest asset would be its ability to offer creative solutions and innovative, consistent, custom die products with reliable service.
Aside from an Elcede rule processing system purchased in 1995, the team equipped CTI with one laser (two more would follow), and one LKS and one Elcede counter cutter. They also bought Artios' CAD softwareall top-of-the-line equipment.