Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Why Solution Dye?: Performance Advantages

Imagine your favorite pair of socks. What makes those socks so special? It could be the color, the fit or how soft the fabric is. Whatever the reason, you want those socks to stay in good condition as long as possible.

With the solution dyeing process, the quality and color of fabrics have a longer life for a range of textiles from carpet to clothing.

The solution dyeing process integrates colorants into fiber as it is being spun. As a result, the color is dyed throughout the fiber, locking it in. The process also has numerous environmental advantages such as saving water, energy, and chemicals.

Solution dyeing produces fibers that are extremely colorfast. Since the color is evenly spread throughout the fiber, it lasts longer, in contrast with post dyed fibers which are only colored on the surface. Let’s go back to your favorite socks. If those socks are blue, they will stay blue longer. Even after you walk through the house, outside and throughout your daily activities, you will not see the color wear away. Beyond apparel, this applies to carpet, synthetic turf and other outdoor fabrics which hold their color against UV light, perspiration, and cleaning chemicals. So for example, that awning will hold up against the harsh summer sun, and you can scrub your solution dyed carpet using harsh chemicals without losing the color.

What is the benefit to colorfast products if you don’t have consistency? With solution dyeing you achieve lot-to-lot consistency. Whether you produce 20 or 20,000 products, you can see the uniformity in every product produced.

There is no doubt that the advantages of solution dyeing speak for themselves. Like your favorite socks, your appreciation for solution dyeing will endure for a long, long time.

Aubrey Barto
Marketing Intern, Americhem Inc.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How Our Values Were Instilled by Our Founders

Sylvester S. Caldwell
Where does a company’s culture come from? Well in Americhem’s case, our culture came directly as a result of the values, ethics and ideals of our company’s founders. We are fortunate to have such great role models to look up to, and their core values and beliefs continue to drive the company to this day.

The first founder was Sylvester Caldwell. After working in his father’s wholesale grocery business in Alabama, Mr. Caldwell moved north to become an Akron, Ohio salesman for Thompson Weinman & Company, a manufacturer of fillers for the rubber industry. It was when Thompson Weinman closed its Akron office that Mr. Caldwell became an entrepreneur and started his own company in 1941 – The Caldwell Company – which was a manufacturer’s representative. His founding spirit guided the company’s growth when, during natural rubber shortages and rationing during World War II, his company began representing others, including makers of vinyl stabilizers, lubricants and pigments. Mr. Caldwell was the epitome of a true entrepreneur – he organized and managed his company with considerable initiative and risk, and lived to see it grow to new heights.
Harvey E. Cooper
The other two founders of our company were Dick Juve and Harvey Cooper. Having joined the company five years apart, in 1958, each acquired one-third shares of The Caldwell Company with Mr. Caldwell holding the final third. Mr. Juve became president and Mr. Cooper became vice president and in 1959, they changed the company name to Americhem and began manufacturing their own products. Coming from an era when corruption ran rampant in the business world, both of these leaders stood for ethics and the promise of keeping one’s word. Both were men of principle, honesty and compassion that were admired by many in the industry and community. Mr. Juve stated that if any customer ever offered Americhem bribes, the company would rather give up the business than fall prey to dishonesty and fraud. Mr. Cooper became famous for saying, “Profits are important and the fuel for the growth of Americhem, but honesty, trust and and integrity are more important.”
Richard H. (Dick) Juve

As the company grew, Mr. Juve and Mr. Cooper looked out for the best interests of their employees. They began weekly and later monthly meetings held (in good weather) under an apple tree behind the dock at the plant. They listened to their employee’s concerns, reviewed the company financials, and prioritized issues facing the company. They earned their employees’ trust and these meetings are still held to this day at each of our plants.

English scientist Sir Isaac Newton once wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This is how I feel about the men who founded our company. The actions that they took, the courage that they exhibited, and the integrity that they instilled in the company go much farther than words can express, and stand as a living testament to their leadership in Americhem’s company culture.

Scott Blanchard
Senior Corporate Marketing Specialist, Americhem Inc.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Four Unique Stakeholders of Americhem Inc.

At Americhem, we still hold true to some of the original principles that were instilled in us by our company’s founders. Over the years, these main beliefs have helped guide us in difficult times and in prosperity alike. Its part of what we believe as a company; that we have certain obligations to four groups of stakeholders that help keep us in business. Without the support of any one of these groups, we can’t survive or grow. So, straight from our official Americhem Principles, let’s take a look at all four groups.

· Customers – We believe that our relationship with our customers should be a partnership, because when our customers are growing, Americhem grows too. We treat customers with respect and strive to solve their toughest challenges, whether or not those challenges are related to our products and services. We do our very best to provide our customers a superior product and a good overall value.

· Employees – We want Americhem to be a place for the brightest and most talented employees, and a place where they can enjoy long-term employment. In fact, 39 of our employees have been with Americhem for 30 years or more, with our top tenured employee serving 45 years. That’s over seven percent of our workforce that has 30 years of service or more. We respect the dignity of all of our employees and promote two-way communication, emphasize safety and expect and reward excellence.

· Suppliers – We also view our relationship with our suppliers as a partnership. Much like what our customers expect from us, we expect quality, service and value from our suppliers. We value our supplier relationships, because they often provide Americhem with innovation, technical support and competitive advantage.

· Community – As a corporation, we practice good citizenship by maintaining friendly relations with our communities, environmental stewardship, and helpful giving and community service. We also encourage our employees to contribute and participate in community service. It’s all about giving back to those who have helped make us successful.

Paying attention to these four vital groups has proven to be a successful formula for us over the years. As Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India said, “Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and objectives and principles.” That’s why we remind ourselves frequently of their importance at Americhem.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

President's Post- Planning

Fall is an exciting time for Americhem, the new fiscal year is upon us. We get to watch our months of preparation and planning come together to benefit the company as a whole. It really is invigorating to see the plans we have been working on come to life for 2015 and beyond, to have learned from 2014 and to push forward growing as a company.

It’s important to step back and assess your business, to check that you have the necessary tools to reach the company’s financial and operational goals. But above all, this is the time to work with your employees, making sure your employees are motivated in their work environment. This critical factor is key to a competitive advantage in the market place.
I am proud of what Americhem was able to accomplish during 2014, and I have high hopes for 2015. This year we received multiple technical certifications, presented a successful Color Trends program, doubled the size and capacity of our plant in China and rebranded our online presence.

However, Americhem is not immune to the trends of the economies around us. The key to business growth into a new year is being vigilant in how you respond to the macro-economic trends for the economies and markets you are working in. Finding balance in an up and down economy can be tough, but through thorough planning I believe it can be done. In the end, a plan is only as effective as its first day.

John Deignan
President, Americhem Inc.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Importance of Giving and Community Service

Americhem has been dedicated since its inception to being a good corporate citizen. Our founders believed in the caring for the community and giving to worthwhile causes, and that tradition has been carried down through several generations of Americhem employees over the 73 years we’ve been in business.

Our belief in altruism helps improve the quality of life for the residents of the communities that we do business in. According to Truist, a web-based corporate philanthropy platform, “By getting involved in causes that directly impact members of the local community…the company can actually improve the quality of life of those who make up the bulk of their consumer base and their workforce, both current and future. (Source)

At Americhem, we take this philosophy to heart. Some of our community service and giving programs include:

· Our Mansfield, Texas plant, which adopts a needy family every year around Christmas. Funds raised by the plant have gone to help pay a portion of the family’s mortgage, purchase the family’s childrens clothing and Christmas gifts, food, and other funds for the adults to use as they see fit.

· Our Concord, North Carolina plant raises money every year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, participating in the annual Walk for the Cure and other fundraisers. The goal is always to exceed the previous year’s giving.

· Our Suzhou, China plant has helped raise money for recent earthquake victims as well as supporting a variety of orphanages including Suzhou City, Xiangcheng, and Wuzhong District.

· Our Dalton, Georgia plant participates in a number of charitable events throughout the course of the year, including Feed-A-Family, food drives, blood drives, and blanket drives for homeless citizens. They even received the employee participation award for having the highest percentage of employees participating in planned giving to the United Way.

· Our Manchester, England facility has conducted a number of fundraising campaigns to benefit Springwood Primary School in Manchester. The school provides special education for students 2- to 11-years-old that have profound, complex and challenging needs.

· Our Liberty, North Carolina plant participates annually in the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, and the plant holds nonperishable food drives at Christmastime.

· Our two facilities in our headquarters town of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio have raised money and gifts for a wide variety of projects, including a current holiday toy drive to benefit Summit County Children’s Services, book drives for needy students, and an annual fundraising event to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital.

And for the second year in a row, Americhem is donating the money it would have spent on holiday cards and postage to a worthy charity. This year, it’s Heifer International, a global organization committed to ending world hunger and poverty.

Even more compellingly, our plants always take care of fellow employees in need, whether victims of house fires, natural disasters, cancer or other severe illnesses. It’s always refreshing to see the outpouring of support when a co-worker needs it the most.

So beyond making our communities better places to live, Americhem people believe in helping others in our workplace, communities, and the world. We are true believers in the words of American clergyman and social reformer Henry Ward Beecher, who once said, “In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give, that makes us rich.”