Creative Blow Mold Tooling – Lee’s Summit

Creative Blow Mold Tooling, maker of custom-made molds for everyday items — medical and healthcare, personal hygiene, household and cleaning, food and beverage, industrial and agricultural, chemical and motor oil containers — has been in business for nearly 30 years.

Creative Blow Mold ToolingChances are pretty good you’ve used a container formed in a mold built by the 30-employee-strong company. But, as every small business owner knows, just because you supply an essential ingredient of everyday life doesn’t mean you’ll survive and thrive.

Michael Bohning, a long-time business consultant who bought the firm in 2006, says Creative Blow Mold went through some pretty tough years during the recession. “But we had made a lot of good business decisions the few years before that, which helped sustain us through the lean years. Frankly, business has been pretty good for the last year and a half.”

Still, Bohning says he had been looking for marketing help for a few months. He talked to the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, which put him in touch with University of Central Missouri (UCM) SBTDC counselor Darrell Brammer and the BGS team. Bohning started working with the team in April 2012.

Bohning was interested in prospective new customers within the firm’s existing line of business as well as expanding to related lines of products. He was delighted that he received that and much more from the team: a 16-page assessment of the firm’s website and a competitive analysis report.

“Like most small businesses, I don’t have the time or expertise to go out and find that data — lists of potential customers. What lists should I even be buying? That was a big part of what the team provided.

various plastic containers (cleaners, oil, mustard)

Creative Blow Molding manufactures the shapes of many products used regularly.

“We also didn’t have the capability to take a hard look at our online presence — the site itself, search engine optimization, Google analytics. This was a whole new area for us.

“Lastly, they did a competitive analysis. We could have done that piece ourselves to a certain extent,” but he adds that the internal resources were just not there. Having a team like BGS was like having his very own research division, he says.

Bateson says that a multifaceted approach to this kind of market research enables an examination of a business as an individual entity. “If you just have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail,” he says. “The MO SBTDC has many tools — not just a hammer. Companies like Creative Blow Molding are at a critical juncture and face challenges that are not only tough to resolve but difficult to even identify accurately. Participating in this kind of competitive analysis allows entrepreneurs to stop working in their businesses so they can take a step back and start working on their businesses.”

Bohning says he’s doing just that. “We build a certain type of tooling, for a certain type of end-user customer,” he says. “Most tooling we build targets packaging.” After consulting with the BGS team, he says the firm has begun to look into making industrial parts. “As things get ‘lightweighted’ in automotive, recreational and other types of industries, they are moving to plastic,” he says. “And some of these products have to be blow molded.”

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