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Plastics Supplier and Machine Shop Offers Abundant Inventory and Puts Service First
When current company president Marvin Boedeker started Shiner, Texas-based Boedeker Plastics, Inc. in 1984, his focus was not just on having the largest inventory of plastics in the area, but also on having outstanding customer service.
His philosophy of being a service-focused company endures today, as well as his efforts at stockpiling a tremendous inventory of high-performance plastics. "We have well over $10 million worth of inventory in Shiner and it's truly the largest single location, plastic distribution warehouse in the world," said sales representative Tim Bailey.
While Boedeker (www.boedeker.com) supplies many machine shops with its plastic sheet, rod, or tube, it also offers machine shop capabilities itself, serving various industries, including medical, semiconductor, and oil and gas with custom components. Boedeker offers engineering support and a hefty amount of materials knowledge, Bailey said.
"We're up to date on the newest and latest plastics that come out and we know what questions to ask, whether it's structural, chemical, or a moving part, or high heat or those types of things," he said.
For the medical industry, Boedeker machines medical trays and trials for hip and knee replacements. For oil and gas, the company manufactures bushings that go on pump jacks that are able to handle extreme temperatures and chemical formations.
While machine shop and OEM customers come to Boedeker initially focused on price, service is high on the list as well, and Bailey knows if he can just get the potential customer to visit their 70,000 square-foot plant in Shiner, he has won their business. "If we can get them to Shiner to see it (warehouse and plant), our battle is won because they can see how efficient we are, how clean we are, and how organized we are," he said.
The company has always remained focused on service, quality, speed to market, and material assistance. "Marvin Boedeker's goal was to out-service everybody and he knew he could do that even from Shiner," Bailey said, adding that the company ships--via UPS--about 150 to 200 packages per day all over the world.
Lowering the total cost of the product for customers is always at the forefront, Bailey added, explaining that design changes for parts can be made to remove an extra step or two and save 10 percent or more. Also, when making parts, having so much inventory reduces lead time because workers can pull the material out of the building, right next to the machine shop. "If the part calls for a particular size or thickness, having that much inventory enables us to almost never have to say that we don't have it," he said.
For machine shops, one of the ways Boedeker can lower costs is to precision "cut to size" pieces with close tolerances to +/- 0.005 in. when required. This in-house cutting saves customers time and money by eliminating a milling step. "So they don't have to buy four square feet and try to cut as many parts out of it as they can. They can tell us the exact size of their parts and we can cut it, and that saves a step or two," he said. "They just take those cut-to-size parts out of the box and put it in their mill, or lathe it down, to get it to the size of the finished part. So they don't have to buy any more material than what they need for a particular job."
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