Founded in 1995 and located in Easley, South Carolina, United Tool & Mold Inc. is a provider of Engineering Change and Repair services for the Plastics Industry. In addition to servicing the plastics industry, they also build new molds. In 2004, the company added a second facility to increase capacity and to handle molds up to 125,000 lbs. In 2019, they combined the two facilities into a new 60,000 square foot facility in Liberty, South Carolina. United Tool & Mold currently has a total of 69 employees.
One of the biggest challenges the company was facing was several employees that were in lead roles of a department because they had the necessary skills to be productive; however, they did not necessarily have any training in managing or leading people. They were looking to provide them with training that could be used to improve those skills as well. Business volumes were also down 30% related to COVID-19 impact. Most employees were working 32-hour weeks, but the PPP program was approved and helped the company pay employees for 40 hours. The company had been assisting with COVID-19 PPE related tooling creation.
Utilizing CARES Act funding, SCMEP worked with United Tool & Mold on a 10-week course called Leadership Development. Each week, they covered a different topic dealing with creating a high-performance team from subjects such as communication, change, delegation, and managing conflict. The training not only helped build a good foundation for the team, but it also helped each manager understand how they impact everyone around them based on their behavior and how they handle each situation.
The solution was not intended to change what they do but change how they do what they already do. Their goal was for each manager to see alternative methods of handling everyday situations by looking at themselves. These classes introduced many methods that their managers are using everyday to assist with coaching, continuous improvement, and problem solving, in addition to how they understand and interact with team members. Once their managers changed their approach, the team also began changing their approach.
Improved culture – many positive changes
New idea – new ideas have been generated and the willingness to share these ideas have improved
Improved productivity – better planning and organization
“I would highly recommend SCMEP. During our initial visit, we were able to explain what we were looking for and the challenges we were facing. SCMEP provided us a proposal that would cover the areas of need that we had. Everything was very simple to get started. The entire process was smooth and flexible to fit our needs. We were able to accommodate two meetings one day a week to minimize our managers being in a meeting at the same time. All the material was presented in a way that was very easy to understand and stay engaged. It was very positive for us and I would recommend it to any organization looking to better themselves.” – Chad LaMance, COO