B&B Molders, LLC is a custom plastic injection molder that manufactures custom plastic components for many industries such as Medical, Electrical, Aerospace/Defense, Consumer Goods, Office Furniture, and others.
B&B Molders has always encouraged internal promotions and career advancements. The company reached out to Purdue MEP for leadership training for current leaders, as well as future leaders, to provide practical tools to assist with day-to-day leadership and continuous improvement challenges.
Purdue MEP provided on-site instruction to 24 employees on topics ranging from principles of Lean manufacturing to coaching for superior performance. Despite an unexpected interruption due to Covid, the MEP instructors were incredibly effective in meeting the objectives B&B Molders had established for the training.
The company did not attempt to establish a measurable result from this training. With this being the first in a series of modules, the purpose of the training was to expose people to the concept of continuous improvement and broaden their understanding of leadership techniques. As B&B Molders moves through the training, measurements to reflect progress will be established.
Estella Burciaga, Team Leader:
It took many years for Estella to consider moving into a leadership role, hesitant to deal with the people issues she observed during her time in production. New to the position of Team Leader, she participated in the training shortly after her transition into the team leader role.
“I don’t know if I’d have been able to handle this job as well without the information from our classes.”
She went on to say the leadership topics were relevant and applicable on nearly a daily basis. The MEP instructor was able to present the information in a way that wasn’t intimidating, and he made a connection with Estella from the beginning.
Mark Borlik, Production Manager:
“In particular, the session that explained different learning styles was so eye-opening for our supervisors. They immediately made a connection between what Joe McMurry (Purdue MEP instructor) was saying and what they had observed with new people on the floor. Suddenly, they had empathy for new people who may take longer to learn than they’d expect because they learn differently.”
Jeff Gear, Maintenance Technician:
Jeff is in line for promotion to the Maintenance Manager role when his supervisor retires later this year. He’s completely comfortable with the technical part of the job, but has been very vocal about his concerns in dealing with people issues. The company has been very pleased with Jeff’s growth following both the Lean and leadership classes.
“I looked forward to the Lean classes because I knew they would help with problem solving and learning continuous improvement methods. Mike [the MEP instructor] offered a new look at how to approach problems in manufacturing. The hands-on illustrations that we did helped show us what could be possible.
“I knew the leadership classes were more geared toward relationships, and honestly, I was definitely not enthusiastically anticipating them. However, the classes were great, and I gained some knowledge of how to deal with coworkers. The skills learned were not just how to deal with difficult situations, but also how to encourage good behaviors to avoid or minimize the difficult situations. Joe made the class very enjoyable and gave it value.”
Mike Dittrich, Project Manager:
Mike is new to leadership, leading a small team of designers, and is stretching his leadership muscles.
“We actually walked through a Lean example based on B&B Molders. Step-by-step analysis of our process which allowed us to work through one of our real situations, not just a textbook illustration. We could actually apply what Mike was teaching in a real problem we face at work.
“I legitimately enjoyed Joe’s leadership classes. He engaged every person in the class, even the most reluctant, and made everything relatable to us. He was very personable and friendly, and I honestly looked forward to those classes. “