Davies Molding

Client Summary

Davies Molding is a plastics manufacturer located outside Chicago, IL. They have been in business since 1933 and are the largest manufacturer of plastic knobs and handles in the world. They specialize in insert and compression injection molding, with an extensive range of standard knobs, handles, and cases. Davies Molding also provides custom molding work for several of their customers across a wide range of industries.

Their Challenge

Davies Molding came to Element212 through a referral from our former client TXI, who has undergone our Brand Insights™ process twice in the last five years. Davies was experiencing attrition to their standard product line while seeing an increase in accounts using their custom molding work. While Davies Molding does offer custom work, their proprietary product line is their primary offering. The steady decline in sales over three years began to cause some concern. The new president of Davies Molding wanted to get a better understanding of why their standard line of products was seeing attrition and what could be done to combat it.

Our Strategy

After speaking with their new president to understand the company’s challenges and desired results, we decided the Brand Insights™ would be right for them. We conducted both qualitative and quantitative research, internally and externally, to gain a 360-degree view of their brand to develop strategies for addressing their attrition challenge.

We began the process by conducting ten one-on-one interviews with key members of the Davies team. From this data, we uncovered the company’s SWOT information, gaps in processes, and common issues their team recognized customers experiencing. We then conducted eight one-on-one interviews with various customers that utilized Davies’ standard product line. Through these interviews, we identified areas where the Davies team needed to improve communication and transparency with their clients. We also uncovered some strengths of Davies that led their customers to choose them over competitors in the market.
Following the internal qualitative research, we launched a survey to the remainder of the Davies Molding team to help validate or refute our findings and to allow for input from the entire organization. After conducting the external interviews, we sent a survey to the remainder of Davies’ customer base, allowing for delineation between those using their standard products and their custom molding, to add statistical significance to the information we found.

After analyzing both the qualitative and quantitative data, we compiled a report that included the following:

  • Perceived strengths and weaknesses of the Davies Molding brand
  • Brand differentiators
  • Opportunities to improve customer retention and combat attrition
  • Gaps between the customer expectation and customer experience of working with Davies Molding
  • Opportunities within the Davies Molding team to better align with the brand positioning
  • Opportunities to set clear expectations for customers through more transparency

The Result

As a result of our Brand Insights™, we provided the Davies Molding team with the information they needed to implement changes to reduce attrition. Over the last decade the industry Davies Molding serves has seen tremendous change as low-quality, cheap offshore options have become more readily available, add to this the impact of the 2020 global pandemic, and customers have more options and more obstacles than ever before.

One of the largest areas of opportunity we uncovered was to set better expectations for their customers around lead times and transparency of order status. The Davies team implemented changes to their internal process that allowed for more transparent, up-to-date information to be shared regularly with customers. Weekly interdepartmental meetings were implemented to ensure all necessary team members are aware of any delays or issues other departments might be experiencing.

Additionally, we uncovered training opportunities to better equip new employees identify and appropriately respond to recurring issues customers were experiencing. This saves the Davies Molding internal team time by reducing cross-department communication while providing timely communications for the customer. Our research also empowers the new president to stress the importance of a continued commitment to customer service to the board of directors.

By improving employee training, internal communication, and customer expectations, Davies Molding is now positioned to meet customer needs and reduce attrition through improved customer experiences.