ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich.—General Polymers Thermoplastic Materials is taking steps to grow in a challenging market.
The Rochester Hills-based resin distributor recently added specialty nylon resins—including 11, 12 and 6/12 grades—from Nycoa Corp. to its lineup. GP also is supplying thermoplastic polyurethane materials made by Great Eastern Resins.
In an email to Plastics News, GP owner and President Greg Boston said the new offerings "open new areas of growth that complement our other product lines but still allows us to remain focused."
GP also starts a new sales training program in September and recently added a technical manager, a sales rep in Ohio and a sales rep in the Southeast U.S. The firm soon will add two new engineering resins suppliers and plans to add two or three more sales reps later this year.
"We're always willing to look at existing personnel within the industry that can have an immediate impact on the growth of our business," Boston said. "As other distributors or resin companies downsize … we want to be open and welcoming to being able to provide an option for future growth for individuals in the industry."
The sales training program could help GP add sales reps in the Chicago area, western Michigan and the Southeast, including Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
"We continue to diversify our business across multiple industry segments," Boston said. "We see growth opportunities, especially in auto, nonauto transportation, industrial and appliance.
"As our exposure and growth in the industry grows, we're honored to be considered by other suppliers," he added. "We still want to remain focused but open to adjusting our strategy with other partners where they may want a more focused effort than they are currently receiving from their existing [resin] distributors.
"Distributors must remember they're accountable to their supply partners for new growth—not simply poaching existing business from one supplier's distributor to another."
GP will exhibit at IMD Expo, Sept. 20-21 in Novi, Mich., and at NPE2024 in Orlando in May 2024.
"The key to working through challenging times is to push forward, never rest and invest in your commercial strategy," Boston said. "We've been blessed with continued growth and financial stability.
"We don't look at our supply partners as leverage points, but as true partners that we are obligated to produce results for even during challenging times," he added.
Boston became sole owner of GP earlier this year when he bought all remaining equity interest in the firm from Michael Kirtley. Boston and Kirtley had co-founded the firm in 2016 in Clarkston, Mich.
GP supplies small to midsized processors, with a focus on prime, certifiable grades of engineering resins and compounds. Its supply partners include Asahi Kasei, Elix Polymers, Nycoa and Enviroplas.
GP takes its name from the firm started by Dan McGuire and Tom Mueller in 1973 in Troy, Mich. The original GP grew into one of the region's largest resin distributors before being acquired by Ashland Inc. in 1983.
Boston worked for more than a decade at the original GP, from 1987 to the late 1990s. He also worked for materials firm EMS-Grivory and compounder Asahi Kasei Plastics North America before starting the new GP.