Konrady Plastics

1780 Coppes Court
Portage, IN 46368 USA
Tel: 219-763-7001
Fax: 219-763-7912

Konrady Plastics Proudly Featured in Indiana Manufacturing Associations Member Spotlight!

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This quarter, the IMA is spotlighting Konrady Plastics., Inc., which is located in Portage, Indiana. The Konradys attribute the success of their business to a few things: 1) a strong foundation of love and trust within the Konrady family; 2) strong company core values; and 3) a commitment to continuous improvement.

Paul Konrady and Leah Konrady (brother/sister) run the business with their Dad, Bernie Konrady (founder) as their advisor. Konrady Plastics is a plastics distribution and machine shop. Think of a metal machine shop but for plastic.

In 1981, Bernie and his wife, Sue Konrady, were in their early 30s and were looking for a business opportunity and found just the one. They founded Konrady Plastics. Today the business has 38 employees and 20-plus CNC machines: lathes, mills, routers, and saws.

Both Leah and Paul worked elsewhere prior to joining the business. Bernie said “I encouraged all three kids (one child does not work in the business) to explore their own paths. I never wanted them to feel as if they were required to work at the business. They needed to pursue their own passions.”

Today, Leah is the CEO overseeing the day-to-day management and Paul focuses on business development. Bernie said “I couldn’t have asked for better partners in Leah and Paul. They make a great team as their skills and knowledge balance one another.” Paul’s understanding of the business’s technical capabilities and product offerings pairs well with Leah’s background in business management.

Loving and Trusting Family: The Konradys are a close family, but it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing going from brother/sister, father/daughter/son to business partners. The Konradys have worked with a facilitator who helped them understand one another’s working styles. Bernie said “The reason we’re able to enjoy working together is because love and trust is thefoundation of our relationship. The family comes first, then the business.” Paul said, “We recently took a family vacation to Turkey and we barely spoke about work. We truly enjoy one another. We are fortunate.”

 

Often, founders have a difficult time letting go of the day-to-day operation. Leah stated, “Our succession plan worked because our Dad gives us the autonomy to make decisions.” She added, “I’ve noticed that my Dad has an easier time letting go compared to other entrepreneurs because he loves his hobbies: surfing Lake Michigan (yes, there is surf in Indiana) and snowboarding in Colorado.”

Strong Core Values: The Konrady Plastics leadership team developed six core values: Approachable, Adaptable, Accountable, Hardworking, Helpful and Safe. Paul said, “We take our values seriously. We hold ourselves to values with our customers and vendors. When there is a values misalignment, we address it; and in the long run, it’s for the better.”

Konrady Plastics created the “Plastee Award” which is a company award for upholding any of these values.

Paul explained, “This award is completely peer driven. Management is not involved in selecting the monthly winner. The results of this award have been meaningful and impactful.”

Continuous Improvement: Konrady Plastics is essentially a job shop, making different parts everyday. Paul relates, “What sets us apart from our competitors are our three unique attributes: 1) we have over 40 years of experience machining plastic; 2) we respond and deliver to our customers in a timely manner; and 3) we are quality driven.” In 2023, Konrady Plastics shipped over one million parts and had a less than 0.5% return rate. Paul stated, “the company instituted a ‘Parts to Print Promise’ whereby if the part Konrady Plastics makes doesn’t meet a customer’s print specifications, we fix it.”

 

The Konradys strive to improve every day. According to Leah, “We want to hear from our customers, employees and vendors about what we can do better. Our ability to implement solutions based on that feedback makes us stronger. This requires vulnerability and openness.”

Konrady Plastics was inducted into the Indiana Manufacturers Hall of Fame in 2022, and in 2021 they received the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center’s “Family Business of the Year Award.” In 2023, Paul Konrady was recognized as the “Top 20 under 40 in Northwest Indiana,” and Leah Konrady received the “PaceSetter Award” from their trade association IAPD – The Performance Plastics Association. The company is poised for growth, and the Konrady Plastics team is excited for what the future holds.