Pursuing all-around excellence: Nominations open for Plastics News' Processor of the Year award

In sports journalism, the best way to start a debate is to post a list of the greatest all-time players or teams. Lebron, Michael… or Bill Russell? Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds? 1972 Dolphins or 1985 Bears? Everyone’s got an opinion.To be in the conversation for the GOAT — yes, sports writers have an acronym for “greatest of all time” — you’ve got to win championships and MVP trophies. And that’s where the Plastics News Processor of the Year award comes in.In the North American plastics industry, the top award that a plastics processor can win is the Processor of the Year. Only 26 companies can make that claim, and they’re clearly the cream of the crop. We honor just one each year.OK, we did have a tie in 2002, but we’ve pledged to never let that happen again.So, who’s the best plastics processor of all time? Want to make an old-school argument for Nypro? Or do you favor the more recent winners? If your pick isn’t in the conversation, it’s time to nominate them for the 2021 Processor of the Year award.The competition is open to all private and public companies or corporate operating divisions engaged in North American plastics processing for at least the past five years. A processor is a manufacturer of Plastic parts. Firms such as compounders, recyclers and resin manufacturers are not eligible.Plastek Industries Inc., an injection molder based in Erie, Pa., was the 2020 winner. The deadline for entry is Oct. 1. By that date, we want to receive each company’s final submission. After we pick the finalists, we visit each one in person.The winner will be announced at the 2022 Plastics News Executive Forum, which will be held March 21-23 in Naples, Fla. We encourage self-nominations. We also receive nominations from third parties associated with successful processors, including their suppliers or customers. We recommend contacting the company before you send in the nomination.The nomination itself is simple. You can find it online at .The next step involves some work by the candidate: We ask you to prepare a report, making your best case on each of the seven criteria. We often get asked if there’s a checklist or form we send out. The answer is no. It’s more like a college term paper: Write enough to thoroughly cover the topic. And don’t put this off until the last minute. • Financial performance.• Quality.• Customer relations.• Employee relations.• Environmental performance.• Industry/public service.• Technological innovation. In addition to Processor of the Year, we select three Plastics News Excellence Award winners from the pool of nominees for Processor of the Year. Those are in three categories: Customer Relations, Employee Relations and Industry/Public Service. Winning a major industry award gives you publicity and independent recognition. Past winners and finalists say it pumps up employees and sends a strong message to existing and potential customers. Some have said they won new business as a result.Even if your company doesn’t win, the award process is a worthwhile experience. Every year, we hear feedback from managers saying participating helps identify their company’s strengths and weaknesses.The event where we honor the winning companies is fun — think party, not stuffy awards ceremony. And on top of all that, next year we plan to highlight the Plastics News Excellence Award winners even more than we have in the past. Stay tuned for details. This is a common question. We ask for at least the last five years of sales, plus net income for the most recent full fiscal year.We need to compare firms from a wide range of sizes and end markets, and net income allows us to calculate the profit margin. We understand that may be sensitive information, and we guard the confidentiality as closely as you would. Think “quantification” whenever possible. For example, on the criteria of quality, companies often send us charts showing their defective parts per million over a period of time. That can show improvement, which is a good thing!Be sure to point out your firm’s involvement in environmental, community, workforce and industry programs. Ask around; companies are often surprised by how much they do in these areas.Here’s one more tip: Customer relations is an important area. Give us the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of three to five key contacts at your best customers. Our judges will contact them; such sources lend important independent voices to verify your company’s accomplishments. Contact me at or by telephone at 313-446-6767. Don Loepp is editor of Plastics News and author of the Plastics Blog. Follow him on Twitter @donloepp.Who are the previous winners?2020 Plastek Group Inc.2019 Intertech Plastics Inc.2018 MTD Micro Molding2017 Petoskey Plastics Inc.2016 Dymotek Corp.2015 Evco Plastics2014 Stihl Inc.2013 Tech Molded Plastics Inc.2012 Hoffer Plastics Corp.2011 Steinwall Inc.2010 Plastikos Inc.2009 GW Plastics Inc.2008 Plastic Components Inc.2007 Innovative Injection Technologies Inc.2006 Mack Molding Co.2005 U.S. Farathane Corp.2004 Miniature Precision Components Inc.2003 Unimark Plastics2002 (tie) Tech Group Inc. & Precise Technology Inc.2001 Cascade Engineering Inc.2000 Tessy Plastics Corp.1999 Royal Group Technologies Ltd.1998 Courtesy Corp.1997 Nypro Inc.1996 Bryan Custom PlasticsDo you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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