Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

SPI2010: Who We Are and What We Do

This summer SPI’s Executive Board voted to redesign SPI to better meet the changing needs of a maturing plastics industry in 2010 and beyond.  Specifically, the Board agreed that SPI must focus on four key areas that will enable us to:

Toward that end, SPI staff and members got together last week at our National Board Meeting to actively participate in putting “meat on the bone” — hashing out the details of the changes that have been made and building out our new structure. In essence, the conversations that took place within the various Council and Committee meetings boiled down to defining “who we are.”

spi_blueprintIf you are a regular reader of this blog, or have perused our website, you probably have a good idea of what SPI is all about — and, certainly for those outside the ranks of our membership, that is not significantly changing.  This blog fits well under that last bullet above and one of our core activities: communications outreach and marketing.

In a nutshell, SPI is keenly focused on plastics business issues. However, as a staff member, I get dozens of calls each day that are simply outside of our purview.  For example:

  • “I’m a plumber working on a job and need to replace metal pipes with a plastic that is just as strong.  Do you make that?”
  • “ You may qualify for a free magazine subscription. Please tell me what kind of molding you produce, how many machines you have and  what markets you create products for?”
  • “I created a product that will help clear impacted bowels.  Can you manufacture and market it for me if I send you a press release?”
  • “My cousin and I just tested a sticky mixture of stuff in my garage and it really holds my shelving in place!  Can you tell please how I can get it approved for mass production and retail sale?”

So, just to be clear, SPI is not a custom plastics processor.  We are not an R&D think-tank creating the next generation of plastics.  We are not a government agency.

We are the national trade association representing the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States.  Our members are the companies that comprise the entire plastics industry supply chain, including processors/convertors, machinery and equipment manufacturers, mold-makers and raw material suppliers. Our organizational structure has been redesigned to make it easier for plastics company representatives to engage in our work to protect and promote plastics, grow the marketplace and maintain an active voice within government.

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