Customers in the custom plastics industry chose quality as the top criteria for selecting their manufacturer of choice, according to a newly-released survey conducted by plastics manufacturer Ray Products Co. Inc.

More than 90 percent of respondents to the May 2013 survey listed quality as the number one attribute they were looking for in a manufacturing company. Quality was followed by price, communication, technical capabilities, engineering expertise, and company reputation, equipment, finishing capabilities, past experience, location and sales process in the survey of more than 2,000 Ray Products users.

The Importance of Guaranteeing Quality.
The Illinois-based company touts its Quality Assurance Guarantee – a customer service vow to hit quality standards and “Get it right every time” – and this was the feature respondents found the most valuable when asked to dive deeper into what they favored about Ray Products. Also contributing to the manufacturer’s favorable quality ratings were its CAD-to-part analysis and 3D measurement tools, as well as its ISO 9001:2008 certification.

And, when customers were asked to name the leading selling point for Ray’s products, the response was – no surprise – quality, followed by appearance, performance and price.

The Value of Cost Efficiency.
Thermoforming technology, versus injection molding, is the manufacturing process of choice at Ray, and this also works just fine for the company’s customers, who noted that they preferred thermoforming because it offers significant cost savings when products are ordered in smaller quantities – a key selling point as the trend toward lean manufacturing continues. An additional noted benefit of thermoforming was lower tooling costs.

The Takeaway.
In light of constantly changing and increasingly complex manufacturing trends, including globalization and rapidly advancing technology, the importance and value of quality are pinpointed. In the eyes of the customer, excellence in quality is closely aligned with cost containment, continuous improvement, cycle time efficiency, safety, and overall productivity. And when these attributes are evident in a manufacturing organization, the natural outcome is a satisfied customer.


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