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It wasn’t a requisite to be named Randy in the early days of Wilcorp Industries Inc., it just so happened that way.
Randy Wilson and son-in-law Randy Van Landuyt co-founded the business in 1986. “Our first employee was named Randy as well,” Van Landuyt says.
Little did they know, the three guys named Randy would kick off more than two decades of packaging adhesives and sealants for 3M, its sole client.
Van Landuyt was working for an electrical control systems company in Dallas when Wilson found the opportunity to help 3M repackage materials into smaller containers. The guys bid on the job, and with the help of 3M’s expertise, the small, family-owned business began operations in Billings.
By 1991, Wilcorp Industries and its 31 employees had outgrown its Billings facility. The company added a Marshfield plant and now employs 81.
“We package adhesives and sealants in a variety of sizes from 20 cc syringes to five-gallon pails,” Van Landuyt says.
As a subcontractor, Wilcorp Industries packages more than 500 separate catalog items for 3M. The products are then shipped out to 3M’s customers in more convenient sizes or applicators for consumer use or industrial repairs. The various 3M products can be used for everything from patching concrete to spot repairs on an assembly line.
According to Jack Hayden, quality manager at 3M Springfield, 3211 E. Chestnut Expressway, the relationship between 3M and Wilcorp has been long and productive.
“It is somewhere close to 20 years,” Hayden says. “They are a critical part of our production, really.”
Wilcorp Plant Supervisor Darren Ashley says the production process is driven by demand from 3M.
“To begin, 3M provides us with a schedule for the products that they want filled,” Ashley says. “They allocate material for that product and the material to put the glue into, like boxes and all that. The completed product goes back to their warehouse.”
Van Landuyt says that 3M also puts a lot of emphasis on new product development.
To meet the deadline for certification, Wilcorp officials called on the expertise of Missouri Enterprise consultants, who provide a range of hands-on business, technical and manufacturing optimization services.
Tom Gordon, project manager for Missouri Enterprise, was brought in to shepherd Wilcorp through the certification process.
Gordon has been involved with ISO standards since 1982 and typically does three or four ISO-certification jobs a year. Gordon says there wasn’t anything unique about Wilcorp’s situation or size, but the response from company management was impressive.
“The hard work of people like Susan Scarborough, who was the management representative, Randy Van Landuyt and the staff made it happen,” Gordon notes. “I was purely a catalyst. They did all the work. The achievement is theirs, not mine.”
Missouri Enterprise estimates that adopting the standard saved Wilcorp $12 million in sales to 3M that otherwise would have been lost.
“We’re very happy for Wilcorp because we know that was a lot of work,” Hayden says.
Now both 3M and Wilcorp can be sure 3M’s customers are getting the product they were promised.
Going forward, Van Landuyt says Wilcorp has considered taking on new clients in addition to 3M, but says that the 3M relationship remains their primary challenge.
The current three-year contract is up for renewal later this year.
“Our biggest challenge is to change as our customer changes and be in tune with their needs,” Van Landuyt says.
Copyright 2008 SBJ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
SIDEBAR: Wilcorp Industries Inc.Owner: Van Landuyt and Wilson families
Address: 304 SW Main St., Billings, MO 65610
Phone: (417) 744-4132
Fax: (417) 744-4398
Services/Products: Package adhesives and sealants in a variety of sizes