Building & Keeping a Wide Base of Customers

Perry Budovitch has a knack for identifying his company's products anywhere he goes.

with CMP Plastics International Inc.

MEET CMP PLASTICS

Perry Budovitch has a way of carrying his work around most anywhere he goes—particularly when he’s out shopping. If it’s made of plastic, he wants to know what it is, what company’s name is on it, and where it was made. Especially where it was made.

Because that’s how his company, CMP Plastics, built its presence. First domestically and now globally, CMP’s custom, plastic-injection-moulding services supply industries ranging from health to housewares to automotive to cosmetics. The diversity has served the company well.

“The fact is, we’re flexible enough to do any type of work,” Budovitch says. “Our niche is small- to medium-sized business, but we have the ability to process small production runs to large quantities in the millions.”

CMP plastics can also assemble, package, warehouse, and ship. Many of the company’s customers don’t even touch their goods, saving the expense of transporting goods needlessly. “It’s all about saving costs where you can,” Budovitch says.

1. Consider all options

There wasn’t always a niche for CMP Plastics. It had already been around for five years when Perry Budovitch—a Montréal native and McGill graduate who credits NAFTA for the inspiration to start his own business—bought a struggling CMP in 1994. “What had happened was, a very small percentage of the projects being developed at that time never really came through and developed into an end product—they were failures,” Budovitch explains. “So I decided that rather than focus on new projects, we needed to try and land some existing projects that were already proven in the marketplace.”

Budovitch’s previous experience in the plastic-resin industry allowed him to focus on controlling costs, which is easier to control than the selling price. “Any competitive edge is always considered in my goal to build a successful business,” he says.

2. Find clients on their turf

As it sought existing projects, CMP also gleaned a roster of recognizable clients. Today, these include Quaker Oats, Jello, Kraft General Foods, and Corning. Corning actually started as one of CMP’s minor clients, but it’s become a major one with the creation of its fiber-optic connectors, which are made in Toronto and sold worldwide. Even clients in China buy them, much to Budovitch’s amazement.

Budovitch acknowledges that the big-name customers seldom take the time to seek out partners like CMP on their own. Fortunately, he discovered a way to connect with clients—big and small—that has expanded CMP’s base immensely: international trade shows. But not shows that hone in on the plastics industry; rather, any industry that utilizes custom plastic moulding, which is practically any industry out there.

“We’ve achieved a lot of business that way,” Budovitch says of the trade shows. “I’ve found many manufacturers looking for someone like myself that [can] make their product for them in a local scenario rather than imported from the Far East.”

3. Trust that consistency and persistence pay off

Finding clients “on their turf” is decidedly time consuming—Budovitch estimates he attends no less than a dozen trade shows a year—but with few competitors in the plastic industry following his lead thus far, it consistently proves to be time well spent.

Over time, Budovitch has learned to streamline the whole process. “We do a major show, the whole show, with one person, in two days,” he says. “You get the leads, get the sales cards, make the follow-ups … It’s a percentage type of business. You make the connections, you make the contacts. It’s all about networking.”

4. Take pride in what you produce

Even with so much success, the rocky economy of the past several years has left CMP’s machines standing still on the weekends—something Budovitch looks to change as business improves. In the meantime, his strategy to accommodate projects both big and small seems to pay off best when he’s dealing with the smallest ones.

“I’ll get someone with an idea for a product, and I’ll turn that idea into a physical prototype for them,” Budovitch says. “Then later on, once the prototype is accepted into the marketplace, a production mould is built. We go into production, and the product is a success, and I eventually see it at Wal-Mart. That’s one of the most satisfying feelings I get.”