In the year 2000, three people joined forces to create Die Guys to make dies for a variety of industries including cardboard, corrugated and chipboard manufacturers. They work primarily with Ohio-based companies and have always been located in Medina County. With an employee base of 18, Die Guys has remained able to react quickly to customer needs and atypical requests or the need to meet a tight deadline.
Made in Medina County sat down with Kathy Greenwald, President of Die Guys, to learn more about their operation.
|Number Of Employees In Medina County: 18 Employees|
We hear about dies all the time in a variety of ways. Can you describe your products?
We make dies for corrugated converters, automotive aftermarket parts, insulation, chipboard, and foam for example. When a company produces a product they need to package it for shipping as well as a display in a retail store. The company that makes the packaging for the product needs to mass-produce those packages and therefore need dies to do so. Typically our dies are made with steel rule embedded in lumber so they are less expensive than the all steel ones you see in tool and die shops and our customers prefer steel rule dies because they provide high quality at a friendlier cost.
We see items made with your products all the time then?
Yes! When I walk through a store I can usually point to several products produced by a Die Guys die to make the packaging.
How do you define your services?
We are a mile wide and an inch deep in terms of our customer base. We intentionally service several types of end users and try not to focus too heavily in one area as the diversity in our customer base has given us the strength to weather economic downturns and provide additional service to our customers.
One of our strengths is being able to apply what we learn in one industry to another. So, for example a box that is printed with a black label has to be managed a certain way so the lining of the corrugated board doesn’t show through. We have helped customers redo their process to make the end package stable, effective and with the look they desire because we’ve run into the problem before with another product and anticipated their needs and recommended changes to rule or ejection applications.
That sounds a little more “above and beyond” than most companies go, don’t you think?
It is! We work from the platform that we build quality into the die – not inspect it in later. And when we talk about quality, it is more than just the product. In our world, quality starts with the way people work. Being a small shop, we can meet individual’s needs and be more flexible. We can accommodate flex hours, vacations and family needs more readily which our employees really appreciate.
It also means everyone who touches the product has a direct line to the customer. It is important to us that if anyone in the process sees something that could be a problem down the road, they can voice that concern and get it fixed before we ship.
Another way we focus on quality is to ensure our workstations are as customized to the person working there as the customer receiving the product. Our work tables are adjustable by height and also tilt so the employee can set it at the height and angle that makes sense for their work style, they are never more than 3 steps from the tools they need, and if they find a better way to do something, they know they can share and it will be taken seriously.
So is that why clients stay?
Absolutely! Our customers know we are here to help and we will do everything we can to accommodate them. We can be more nimble being a hand-on shop because our customers are reasonably local, we can meet with them face-to-face and see how they are using the products. That really makes all the difference.
What is the best part of working here?
For me, it’s the people I work with and the problem-solving we get to do each and everyday. We aren’t just making dies; we’re solving our customers’ problems.
Why have you stayed in Medina County?
We love our location. We have easy access to Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Ashtabula. Our employees primarily come from Medina County and we couldn’t ask for better people.
Do you have growth plans for the future?
We definitely do! We want to expand our market in the corrugated space and we are always looking to be a stronger, faster, better company.
Any closing comments?
Our products don’t just have Die Guys name on them. They belong to everyone who was involved in the process and that really makes our work stand out.
For more information on Die Guys, visit the company’s website www.dieguys.com