A few years back, Piedmont’s Birmingham and Nashville branches entertained a unique customer request: fabricating a full line of quilting accessories. The first question that comes to mind is, “What does plastics distribution have to do with quilting?” The answer is….everything!
A Birmingham branch customer introduced phase one of the fabrication project that included FPVC pegboards and rulers. Birmingham worked with Piedmont's larger Nashville branch, who could meet the customer's request without delay using state-of-the-art CNC routing equipment.
The project’s success brought on additional projects with the customer requesting production for an entirely new product line. Eagerly accepting the challenge, the Nashville team was able to develop the parts in just a few short meetings. From these small beginnings, production started on several thousand 0.375” thick clear PETG hoops using the branch's CNC router for a new quilting free-style hoop.
The project’s volume continued to grow and the fabrication process needed to be re-evaluated due to time and labor costs. It then became more realistic for the parts to be injection-molded as the customer would benefit from a shorter and more automated manufacturing process, which was pursued and ultimately resulted in a 25 percent reduction in overall cost. Piedmont currently has six sets of tooling for the customer and they have developed a totally new product line of free motion grips in two sizes, with templates. With this project, Piedmont Plastics has a satisfied customer with a jointly developed product line that should service them for years to come. They also have a trusting customer that keeps coming back with new ideas. Solution-selling and a collaborative effort across multiple Piedmont branch locations have produced a successful relationship that will last for years to come.