By: Timothy Kays
Do you remember the turning of the millennium? Do you remember the fear and trepidation of that time? Do you remember the talk of technology and infrastructure crashing to a halt because the computers of the day would supposedly fold up their little digital tents and die when 1999 rolled over into the year 2000? Do you remember how everyone from business leaders to ordinary people were thinking about just getting past January 1, let alone anything beyond that? Do you remember all that hoopla?
While others shrank away from the perceived edge of a technological and financial abyss in 1999, Mike and Becky Moore boldly went forward with their lives and their plans. Two decades later, their pre-millennial creation celebrated its 20th anniversary on August 17. Moore Industries didn’t just survive these last 20 years…it has thrived.
“Moore Industries started in 1999 with Mike and Becky Moore,” said Rachel Gendron, one of the four daughters of Mike and Becky. “It started with three presses, and with two additional employees. Before they had Moore Industries, they actually had another plastics company, Triangle Plastics, that they started in 1984, built it up, sold it, and then started all over again with Moore Industries. So they have a longer history than just 1999. But that’s the start of it. From there, they added employees, added customers, added presses, added robots and other things to help with efficiencies. And here we are now…up to 90 employees, 19 presses, and lots more square footage.”
From the standpoint of ergonomics, the addition of robotics has been huge. “Well, they basically make the job a lot easier for the operators,” Rachel explained, “…because the robots take the parts out of the presses, out of the molds, and put them right on the table or the conveyor belt, or whatever it is, depending on what’s running at what press. They still use the gloves and stuff, but it’s not nearly as hot or necessary as it was years ago. It also helps with keeping a consistent cycle time, because you’re not waiting for the operator to reach in and take their time to do what they want to do. The press and the robot keep it all going at a consistent cycle.”
The custom molded products of Moore Industries are as diverse as they are numerous. “We are about 50 to 60% automotive, automotive and heavy truck. We do a lot of work for CK…they’re heavy truck. We have several other avenues that we work with. We make some window frames, some binders, some other random things like giant checkers, skateboard ramps, stadium seats, manhole covers.” Giant checkers?
“Yep,” Rachel replied. “They’re the big ones, like the ones you get at Cracker Barrel. We make those. We are quite diversified compared to a lot of plastics companies, but we do a lot of automotive.” That diversity has led to job security in an industry where prosperity is as fleeting as the next economic downturn. Speaking of her parents, Rachel said, “They’ve been very wise over the years in how they’ve done things. My mom is good with money, and dad is good with people…and vice versa.”
“They’re both good money, both good with people…and being diversified. Not being just in automotive, because if they would have just been in automotive back in 2007? 2008? Right about that time, they started making Sony TV frames. That’s what made sure they stayed out of that recession then, and that’s when we got our first robot…during the recession. Now we’re all robots, but having all the different avenues has been what saved the company many times over.”
It is because of their diversity and overall commitment to excellence that where similar businesses have vanished into the dustbin of history, Moore Industries continues to expand and prosper. That prosperity means jobs and job security. Moore Industries has several positions open, and is always taking applications to fill those positions.
What does Rachel see as the future for Moore Industries? “That’s a great question. We’re trying to figure that out. Mom only works a couple days a week. She’s pretty much retired and only comes in for the fun stuff mainly, and some of the financials. Dad is working toward retirement, but he’ll never be completely out, never ever. He loves this. This is what he’s done his entire life, and he wouldn’t know what to do if he wasn’t here. I know he doesn’t want to be here all the time like he is now, and would appreciate the a little bit less of a stressful life. So we’re trying to figure out in the years to come, what we’re going to do as far as us girls still being here, because all four of us girls work here.”
“We’re planning for more successful years, additional customers and parts, and just being part of the community. We couldn’t be here without the community, without our vendors and our customers, and all of our employees over the years. We love being a part of the community, and giving back to the community. That’s definitely my parents’ heart…to help wherever they can. Over the years, they’ve been able to help employees out with different things. Their hearts are huge.”
On the afternoon of August 17, the brainchild of Mike and Becky Moore celebrated 20 years with a party, not just for the employees, but for the community as well. Henricks Drive was jumping with activity from 4:00 until 7:00 as the ’20 Moore’ party got into full swing. As the guests arrived, they were greeted by the irresistible aroma of hamburgers and hot dogs being barbecuing, along with the unmistakable sounds of the Joe Vasquez Band. A small village of inflatables and games awaited kids of all ages, while the adults toured the plant and hoped that their number would be called for the prize drawings.
The bold innovation of 1999 is still alive and well two decades later. Don’t look for that Moore Industries recipe for success to be watered down in any way shape or form in the future.
Timothy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org