Finding a supplier to source your manufactured components is a stressful job.  There are many factors to consider when choosing a manufacturing vendor to produce your product.  With rapidly evolving technologies and practices changing constantly, it’s hard to stay on top and ahead of the game.

Vendor qualification is a timely process that can’t be ignored.  To hone in on the best manufacturing process for your project can be difficult at times.  Qualification process requires knowing capabilities, equipment, quality programs and certifications just to name a few.  Depending on the level of project, the requirements could be much longer.

SCI can help you with your polymer sourcing needs.  We specialize in being a single source of supply for our customers.  We have years of experience in the plastic and rubber industries.  Our capabilities include blow molding, die-cutting, extrusions, plastic injection molding, rubber molding, vacuum thermoforming, rotational molding, and assembling, as well as other processes.  We have partnered with multiple vendors for each manufacturing process and present you with the most competitive quote using each method.

By sending us an RFQ, you are in essence getting multiple quotes, which can and may include two or three different methods of manufacturing.  For example, we can quote a part by rotational molding, blow molding and possibly thermoforming, to give you multiple tooling and per piece price comparisons.

Let SCI take the stress out of your sourcing “pains” and let us do the grunt work for you.  We are dedicated to providing the best service and prices for all our customers.

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Prepare for Success

People want to be successful.  In order to be successful, you must have the right mindset.  You must be determined and willing to work hard to achieve what you want.  Know what you are great at doing and do it.  Get help when identifying an area you need more expertise and assistance in.  Being successful does not mean you have to do everything yourself.  Rely on different avenues if the opportunity to do so exists.

When it comes to your polymer needs, SCI can help you and your company be successful.  Our mission is to be our customers best value supplier.  Meaning, we aim to be successful in what we do here at Stern Companies.  We know polymer components.  We’ve been helping our customers with their polymer needs and assemblies for 20+ years.  We are a single source of supply, generating savings in customer procurement, quality management and engineering activities.  We provide our customers with an honest and unbiased solution to their component needs.

SCI has been successful over the years by providing our customers value.  Some of the ways we do that are:

  1. Supplier consolidation
  2. Multiple manufacturing options
  3. Assembly services
  4. Warehousing
  5. Quality assurance
  6. JIT Inventory

By offering these services we have been able to assist our customers achieve success.  When our customers are successful, we are successful.

Are you preparing for success?  Don’t just expect success to happen without effort.  Prepare for it!  Contact us today to learn more on how we can help you attain your success.

Posted in Agricultural Equipment, Blow Molding, Manufacturing Industry, Plastic Injection Molding, Rotational Molding, Thermoforming | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Quality Objectives

Quality objectives are the foundation of improvement and growth within an organization.  Quality goals must be in line with the Quality Policy within the company.  SCI’s Quality Policy is “To meet customer expectations through quality initiatives, continuous improvement, and supply chain management”.

SCI is starting 2017 off on the right path.  SCI has made the jump from ISO 9001: 2008 to the new 2015 standard.  Our employees know the importance of our quality intentions.  Our goal is to provide assurance to our customers that the product they receive from SCI will be consistent in the way in which it addresses enhancement of customer satisfaction.

The main requirements per the ISO 9001: 2015 specifies:

  1. The need to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and
  2. Aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

We continuously observe and check our quality standards within our company on a day to day basis.  We closely monitor which articles, information and specifications are involved in the production process.  We all work as a team here to make sure we are staying on track and heading in the right direction.  Our ISO commitment gives SCI a sound basis for sustainable development.

Click here for additional information of what has changed from ISO 9001: 2008 to the new 2015 standard.  We would appreciate the opportunity to work with you and be your quality supplier.  Contact us today!

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SCI Family

At the close of 2016, all of us here at SCI would like to send out a huge THANK YOU of appreciation to all our acquaintances we have worked with throughout the year.  We truly appreciate the amazing group of people we get the privilege to work with every single day.  Reflecting on this past year, we are blessed to welcome in new connections that we are excited to grow with and also the familiar relationships that we’ve been with for many admirable years.  We are a family here at SCI, we embrace every contact as a friendship and couldn’t be more fortunate to have an astonishing base of friends.

We are looking forward to wonderful opportunities in the upcoming year.  Our Mission is always the same, to be our customers best value supplier.  In order to accomplish that, we rely on everyone we work with to help us achieve our purpose.  Teamwork is what makes people succeed.

We are looking forward to succeeding with all of you in 2017!  With our appreciation this holiday season…Merry Christmas from the entire team at SCI.

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Being Thankful

be-thankful2A great way to stay positive and uplifting to others is remembering to be thankful for what we have and appreciative of others around us.   Being thankful is a choice.  Research has shown to be thankful and appreciative of what we have on a daily basis makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health and it reduces stress.  You factor all of these positive benefits of being thankful in a work setting, the more success you will achieve for yourself, your team and your customers.

Expressing your appreciation to co-workers, customers, and suppliers, not only makes them feel good but also keeps us focused on what is already good in our lives, and opens up the doorway for more goodness to flow.  Research from Francesco Gino and Adam Grant has shown the positive impact of ‘Thank You’ in the workplace, showing a high level of increase in productivity with the additional thankfulness being offered.  In addition, the studies showed a higher percentage of people wanting to help one another with expressed gratitude being shown.

Reading “Thankful Quotes” every day is a great way to keep your thoughts moving in a positive direction.  Taking steps each day to notice what’s around us and finding new things to be thankful for can be a great start to brighten your day.  Wake up each morning and smile.  Look for the good in the day.  Choose to be positive and thankful.

Thank YOU for reading our blog!

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A3 Problem Solving


a3-check-2Back in 2013, Stern Companies had the opportunity to collaborate with Enterprise Minnesota on a new Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) offered to Minnesota manufacturing companies to increase operational efficiencies and promote growth within the company.  SCI took advantage of this program and has been benefiting from the skills learned ever since.

In our manufacturing process here at SCI, we’ve implemented the A3 Problem Solving method that was developed by the Toyota Way and adopted by lean organizations from around the world.  A3 is a problem solving approach, a communication tool for workers to report problems and improvement suggestions to management.  This is a way for management to structure and “discipline” the improvement process.  The basic steps that we’ve implemented here at SCI in taking an A3 problem solving approach are:

  • Step One: Find and Clarify the Problem (Problem Statement)
    • State the current situation and what the desired outcome (goal) is.
    • List the gap between the current and desired outcome.
    • List what the extent of the problem is and rationale for solving the problem.
  • Step Two: State your Target / Goal
    • Do what? / To what? / How much time allotted? / By when?
  • Step Three: Cause Analysis (Root Causes)
    • What are the greatest current contributors to the situation you want to change?
  • Step Four: Counter Measures
    • Short-Term (Temporary “Fix”)
    • Long-Term (Permanent “Fix”)
  • Step Five: Implementation Plan
    • What / Who / When / Where / Status
  • Step Six: Follow-Up and Verification
    • Check method / Check frequency / Who will check?
  • Step Seven: Future Steps and Recommendations

The A3 Process helps our employees engage in collaborative, in-depth problem-solving.  It drives our people to address the root causes of problems which surface in day-to-day work routines.  Solving problems is necessary for achieving our goals here at SCI and the continuous improvement philosophy we promote.

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apqp2“Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry”.  Many companies use this process to ensure customer satisfaction is being met with new products or with existing product revisions.  This process is a great tool for companies to use to make sure communication is happening within the company.  Everyone that is involved in the new project is notified by the use of the APQP process.  When managed correctly, the APQP tool can eliminate any costly mishaps that could happen due to lack of communication.

There are many benefits when applying the APQP process within an organization.  Keeping the customer happy is the main focus and when practicing this technique, it greatly reduces the risks of missing a process and keeping on-time quality product in its sight.  Understanding the customer’s needs and relaying that information to the entire organization at the very beginning of a project will spark discussions early on in the developing process and weed out any possible issues.

SCI utilizes the APQP process on all new projects and existing project revisions.  The APQP process starts with a Project Coordinator (PC) who plans and defines the expectations of the customer’s project.  The PC ensures all important information is communicated within the company to all those who are involved in the implementation scheme and any changes that happen with the project are being relayed to the appropriate personnel within the company.  The APQP process helps improve quality within our company to keep quality related dissatisfactions and costs at bay.

Check out this link: to further explain the APQP process and the benefits of implementing it within your company.

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Polymer Components

Your Single Source

We are your SINGLE source for polymer components.

Stern Companies can help you by eliminating the efforts needed to find the best, suitable source for your product.  We are here to work for you.  The Customer is at the heart of our process.

Stern Companies is comprised of 3 Integrated Divisions:

  • Rotational Molding
  • Assembly and Packaging
  • Strategic Purchasing

Stern Companies has the capabilities in all plastic and rubber manufacturing processes, working with a large network of “Stern Certified” suppliers.  Meaning, we pre-qualify every supplier to ensure they have the capabilities and efficient processes to produce quality parts.  Our plastic and rubber capabilities include:

  • Injection Molding
  • Blow Molding
  • Rotational Molding
  • Die Cutting
  • Thermoforming
  • Extrusions
  • Rubber Molding

Stern supplies meaningful cost reductions for our customers on their polymer component purchases.   We provide a simple, effective, and efficient purchasing/supply chain management process, being able to provide our customers with an honest and unbiased solution to their component needs.  SCI has a single point-person within our company that our customers are able to work with.  We get to know our customers.

Let Stern Companies, Inc. improve the performance and profitability of your company.  Our commitment to responsive service and innovative solutions will provide the efficiency you need and product quality you require to compete in today’s market.

Contact us today and let us be your single source for all your polymer needs.

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Manufacturing in the Heat of Summer

Mfg. in the HeatAs the temperatures reach the high digits of summer, manufacturing in non-air conditioned facilities brings a few challenges for its employees.  In the summer heat, adding a few precautions is key in keeping the employees safety top priority.  Hydration and more frequent breaks are vital in keeping production running smoothly.  Here are a few summer safety tips to consider when the temps get a bit on the high side.

  • Make sure your employees are staying well hydrated. Offer hydration stations at different locations throughout the manufacturing building so it’s easily accessible for employees to consume.
  • Talk to your employees about avoiding coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks, which cause dehydration.
  • Let employees take more breaks. Making sure they do not reach the exhaustion stage is key and will help keep production moving throughout the hours of the day.
  • Tell employees to dress appropriately in lightweight, light-colored, easy to breathe clothing.
  • Provide fans at work stations keeping the airflow moving.
  • Make sure all employees are watching out for each other and on the lookout for any signs of heat related symptoms.

Check out this OSHA video offering additional tips to prevent heat illness.

Stay safe this summer and take the necessary precautions when the temps rise.

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Committed to Customer Service

The customer service department is the heart of any organization; it’s the main connection between a company and its customers.  A pleasant and beneficial experience is going to be remembered with a positive outcome down the road that will keep customers coming back.  Customers are the lifeblood of any business and without them businesses do not exist.

Providing good customer service is a continuous learning process, adapting to each situation and working through issues if and when they should arise in a timely and productive manner is important for any business.  SCI is committed to maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction.  A happy, satisfied customer is likely to return and/or tell others about the good experiences that they had when dealing with your company.

LighthousePart of the personal touch in customer service is making sure our customers can reach us at any time.  We make sure we are available and provide answers in a timely fashion.  Always keeping the lines of communication open and honest.  We work as a team here at SCI, making sure our customers come first.  Our customers rely on us for our expertise and years of experience in the polymer industry.  Creating good experiences with positive, lasting memories is what is most important for the future of any business.  Great service is what keeps customers coming back for more.

To meet customer expectations through quality initiatives, continuous improvement, and supply chain management is our Quality Policy here at SCI.  Our mission is to be our customers best value supplier.

Contact us today!  We are ready to help you with your next polymer project.

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