Plitek Partners with IMEC for SEO Success

Want to turbocharge your SEO strategy for your manufacturing business? If so, join us for this MFG eCommerce Success show where Alma Likic, Marketing Manager, Plitek, and Jaclyn Kolodziej, Growth & Marketing Technical Specialist, IMEC Illinois, discuss how Plitek and IMEC worked together to drastically improve their SEO strategies and search results.

Want to turbocharge your SEO strategy for your manufacturing business?

If so, join us for this MFG eCommerce Success show where Alma Likic, Marketing Manager, Plitek, and Jaclyn Kolodziej, Growth & Marketing Technical Specialist, IMEC Illinois, discuss how Plitek and IMEC worked together to drastically improve their SEO strategies and search results.

Alma Likic brings over a decade of expertise in international trade and manufacturing to the table, showcasing her adeptness in business planning, sales, and trade show representation. At PLITEK, she’s been instrumental in steering the company’s marketing strategies, aligning perfectly with its reputation as a precision die-cutting leader catering to diverse industries.

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Jaclyn Kolodziej, adds a fresh perspective with her innovative marketing strategies at IMEC, aimed at helping manufacturers amplify their growth. Her unique blend of skills, from branding to web development, and her recognition as a certified Google AdWords expert, highlight the depth of knowledge she shares.

The Livestream starts with Curt’s electrifying energy. While talking about Damon’s absence, he humorously introduces Jaclyn as a replacement for Damon and encourages interaction from viewers. He then asks the guests about their childhood heroes.

Alma regards her mother, Anima, as her childhood hero for her enduring strength and positivity, even in the face of adversity. Upon her turn, Jaclyn believes her hero is her grandmother. She fondly reminisces about her grandmother’s independence and vibrant personality, mentioning how she lived a long, active life into her 90s. Lastly, Amy reveals that her mom, Janet, is her childhood hero.

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Curt asks Alma what attracted her to manufacturing.

Alma reflects on her journey into manufacturing, noting her twelve years in the industry. She recalls her previous role promoting Italian customers in the US, which exposed her to the diverse aspects of manufacturing and sparked her interest in the field. Alma finds the constant learning and the process of bringing things to life captivating, especially when encountering new technologies and equipment in manufacturing facilities.

Curt turns to Jaclyn, acknowledging her role with IMEC and asking about her journey and attraction to manufacturing.

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Jaclyn reveals her family’s deep involvement in the industry. Her childhood exposure to her parents’ work sparked her fascination with manufacturing. Transitioning into marketing, she gained firsthand experience working directly with manufacturers, which further ignited her interest in their creations. Joining IMEC allowed her to merge her passion for marketing with her fascination for manufacturing, enabling her to explore the stories and histories behind the products.

Curt points out the manufacturing aspect of Amy’s background and labels her as a marketing superstar. Curt inquires about Amy’s attraction to working with manufacturers.

Amy, passionate about storytelling and creating content, echoes Jaclyn’s sentiments about the joy of creation. She finds fulfillment in learning and hearing compelling stories, particularly those from passionate manufacturers.

She sees her work with manufacturers as a perfect blend of her interests.

Curt requests Alma to share information about Plitek, inviting her to discuss the company’s role in improving the world.

Alma says Plitek is a third-generation, privately-owned company with over fifty years of experience in manufacturing and contract manufacturing. Alma describes Plitek as a contract converter with a wide range of specialized manufacturing capabilities, including cleanroom manufacturing, precision die cutting, laser cutting, custom film extrusion, slitting and rewinding, release liner coating, adhesive coating, and packaging.

In addition to their primary role, they also have two product lines that utilize their converting capabilities. One of these product lines, patented thirty years ago, serves the packaging industry with products like Play-Valve, which are used in valve or spout systems for packaging.

She provides an example of their product’s application in coffee packaging, where it facilitates CO2 release while preventing oxygen ingress, crucial for maintaining coffee quality. This technology enables immediate packaging after roasting, enhancing coffee quality and production efficiency.

Similarly, the guest expresses the sense of family and camaraderie at Plitek, emphasizing the close-knit atmosphere among their approximately hundred employees.

Curt praises Plitek’s contributions to the manufacturing space and reflects on the wonderful atmosphere during his visit with Jaclyn, noting the palpable sense of camaraderie from the moment they arrived. He asks Jaclyn to share her impressions upon entering the facility.

Jaclyn describes Plitek’s modern and impressive atmosphere, noting that even from the parking lot, it exudes a sense of sophistication. Upon entering, she felt warmly welcomed and part of the team.

Curt turns to Amy and asks about her key takeaways and eye-opening moments while collaborating with Alma.
Amy details the vast array of products they discussed during their collaboration, such as the coffee squares and the cleanroom system which Alma earlier talked about as a manufacturing environment where strict protective gear requirements are enforced for anyone entering the cleanrooms. This gear includes hairnets, safety glasses, steel-toed shoes, and additional coverings for protection.

Curt is amazed at the output of 600 million units as a testament to Plitek’s success in manufacturing. He then shifts the focus to IMEC, asking Jaclyn to provide an overview of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), specifically IMEC’s role in Illinois.

Jaclyn explains that IMEC stands for the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center and is a comprehensive support hub for manufacturers in Illinois. Their support includes growth, marketing, leadership development, lean manufacturing, shop floor layout, and cybersecurity.

At Curt’s request, Jaclyn describes the structural setup of IMEC, which comprises a strong leadership team overseeing operations and connections with clients. They have regional managers who serve as the first point of contact for clients, assessing their needs and providing support. Additionally, IMEC’s team of technical specialists helps and trains customers in various areas such as lean manufacturing.

Curt shifts the focus to Plitek’s website. He shares his screen to display the website and invites Alma to provide insights and navigate through its content.

Alma shares that during the COVID era, she sought out government entities supporting reshoring and manufacturing in the United States, leading her to connect with IMEC through various agencies. She specifically mentions reaching out to Melissa Balsa and Jaclyn. When Plitek needed assistance with search engine optimization for their new website developed about two years ago, IMEC and their program were instrumental in providing the necessary help.

Similarly, she reveals that their previous website, dating back to 2000-2008, lacked the capability for updates or optimization.

Later, Alma guides Curt through Plitek’s website, giving its overview of their vast capabilities in precision converting and cleanroom extrusion. She explains that each page provides insights into their offerings and services, including design support, material selection assistance, rapid prototyping, cleanroom manufacturing, and packaging.

Curt expresses his love for Alma’s phenomenal explanation of Plitek’s capabilities. He invites Amy to share her takeaways from Alma’s description of Plitek’s offerings.

Amy reflects on her conversations with Jerry and Rob from Plitek’s team, mentioning their extensive knowledge and ability to explain complex concepts in a way that was understandable and engaging for her. She admires their patience, care, and passion for their work, which she believes is evident in their explanations and interactions.
Curt asks Jaclyn to impart any final thoughts or words of wisdom before wrapping up the discussion.

In response, Jaclyn encourages manufacturers in Illinois to reach out for support through IMEC’s website. She discusses grant initiatives available in Cook County, McHenry County, and Kane County, and advises interested parties to visit the website for more information and to ask questions. She also mentions how Alma was able to collaborate with IMEC for SEO work and received great support and resources available through their organization.

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52:49
SUMMARY KEYWORDS
jacqueline, manufacturing, amy, manufacturers, great, alma, cleanroom, damon, product, extrusion, question, wonderful, imac, helps, love, customers, talked, website, years, packaging
SPEAKERS
Jaclyn Kolodziej, Amy Sariego, Curt Anderson, Alma Likic

Curt Anderson 00:01
Hey, Happy Friday everybody. Damon how Wait, wait, we’re Where’s where’s Damon? I don’t see Damon onstage Jacqueline, we’re here with Damon, what are you doing up there?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 00:12
I was so jealous that Damon always is your co host that today I decided to create a disaster for him so he couldn’t attend. So today I’ll be demon. Sabotage

Curt Anderson 00:25
Damon. This is the sabotage demon episode. I absolutely love it. So we don’t even need to know what happened. So the good thing we’re not recording this right. Good thing. We’re not live or anything. So, Jacqueline, one of my favorite last names of all time. Are you guys sitting down? Are you ready for this last name? Amy. Do you know this? Jacqueline collo J She’s my cousin in law. Jacqueline. Happy Friday. How are you my friend?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 00:49
Happy Friday. Kurt. I’m so happy to be here. I’m so happy. It’s Friday. And for those of you all over they I have three inches of snow on the ground right now.

Curt Anderson 01:00
No. You know, it’s not like it’s March or anything. So speaking of March Madness, so hey, drop a comment in the chat box. Let us know that you’re out there. Damon is off conquering the world saving lives somewhere else today. And so we are missing Daymond today Dude, we love you. We miss you. But instead I’ve got this wonderful person right above me. We’ve got me Siri aigo. Amy, happy Friday. How are you?

Amy Sariego 01:22
Good. Happy Friday.

Curt Anderson 01:24
Now how did you get dragged into this little Soiree?

Amy Sariego 01:27
Oh you know and Kurt says on alive I have a lot of going on Friday at noon do want to come can’t really say no.

Curt Anderson 01:35
Can’t say no to the live show right especially especially when we have this guest now Amy Are you are you did you get a good night’s sleep last night Are you ready? Did I did I’m well rested you stretch Did you get some little you know okay. ALMA is in the house Alma like it How are you happy Friday what’s going on?

Alma Likic 01:54
Hi everyone. I’m well how are you?

Curt Anderson 01:56
Well, man much better how could we possibly be any better look at this. You know, I’m just I just loaded with just wonderful company here. Alma, you are with a company called applied tech. You’re in the great wonderful windy city of Chicago. We’re going to dive deep you are a fierce advocate for manufacturing. But before we go there, I might have a little question for you Damon slash Jacqueline. I’m going to do it. I have a question for ALMA you know what the question is right? Should I go there? Should we do it?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 02:24
You should go there.

Curt Anderson 02:26
Okay. Are you ready? Are you sitting down for the first question? Are you ready? Are you sitting down? Alright, you might you might want to hang on to something okay. When you were a little girl growing up when you were a little girl growing up who was your hero? Who was your hero? Who did you look up to when you were a little girl growing up?

Alma Likic 02:52
I don’t know that’s common, but I gotta say my mom.

Curt Anderson 02:57
Nice awesome.

Alma Likic 02:59
I’m sure I’m sure that’s a common answer. My mom has been my hero my entire life. Fierce lady extremely positive. You talk to her you feel like you can conquer the world. She grew up without a mom lost her mom at six and I feel like I felt that love my entire life and so that kind of

Curt Anderson 03:27
you know she is my hero. Nice. Hey moment. Yeah, she gave me goosebumps at that. I’m gonna what’s mom’s name? Please? Amina what does it Amina Nima I awesome. But big shout out to mom that is a wonderful lovely answer. Mom My mom’s my heroes so that there’s there’s no wrong answer with that question. Jacqueline. You’ve been hit with that question before right? We’ve talked I have refreshed your crowd who’s your hero when you’re a little girl growing up? My

Jaclyn Kolodziej 04:00
hero is my grandmother. So yeah, we went through that story and same thing with your mom Alma fierce had to be wildly independence and she she’s now gone but she lives a very healthy long active life into her 90s So I just really enjoyed having the experience of being with her and being able to have so much time with her for so long. So you would see her dancing chasing us around you name it so she she has a great personality and somebody that I definitely admire.

Curt Anderson 04:41
Well two great answers so we’ve got mom we’ve got grandma just fierce just just loyal and in. Alma when you said you just felt that love for your your mom having lost her mother at such a young age. That is just, you know what that’s going to stick with me. That was just a Awesome, Amy, I don’t know if I’ve asked you that question before. Who was your heroes? Little girl growing up? Ah,

Amy Sariego 05:06
yeah, I don’t think you have I probably my mom too. I was I would say, like, answer. And

Curt Anderson 05:12
what’s mom’s name? Janet, Janet. And why was Janet such a hero to you?

Amy Sariego 05:19
Um, she just was. I think everyone’s mom is like, their hero. They’re like, amazing. Awesome.

Curt Anderson 05:27
Well, hey, that’s great. Now, for the record on Monday, I asked that question. You guys are way too young to know this. I had bionic woman from the 70s. We had a Linda Carter who played Wonder Woman from the 70s. And we had Charlie’s Angels. So those were the answers on Monday. Love, Amy, you’re way too young to remember any of those.

Amy Sariego 05:46
I remember some of those. I was gonna say like, my non serious answer that I probably would have come up with is like one of the Spice Girls like when I was really little.

Curt Anderson 05:52
Alright, so which which? Which?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 05:55
Spice Girl?

Amy Sariego 05:56
Maybe spice? Spice

Curt Anderson 05:58
Jacqueline. Which Spice Girl was yours? Oh, man.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 06:02
I don’t know. Probably Sporty Spice. Yeah, that’s what I wouldn’t.

Curt Anderson 06:06
I would go Elma. How about do you have 30 Spice Sporty Spice. Alright, so I have great answers. All right, man. We cover a lot. So we’ve got Mom, mom, grandma, wonderful heroes. We’ve we’ve talked Spice Girls. Alma, did you have any idea? We’re going to be doing this today?

Alma Likic 06:24
No, this is nothing like being put on a fire. Right? Nothing like being

Curt Anderson 06:28
put on. So speaking of such let’s go here, my friend. When did you decide to pursue a career in manufacturing? You are just a fierce advocate for manufacturing, you are marketing superstar. You could have gotten into multiple different industries. What attracted you to manufacturing?

Alma Likic 06:50
Interesting, you’re asking that question. I always I mean, I’ve been in manufacturing for about 12 years now. Prior to my manufacturing life, I worked for the Italian Trade Commission. And our primary jobs similar to what Jacqueline is doing with IMEC was promoting Italian manufacturers here in the United States. So during that time, I got to visit and work with manufacturing companies, helping them promote their businesses in the US. And so the interesting part about it was, there’s always something new, there’s always something that’s, you know, something new to learn, there’s there’s a good aspect of I guess, what attracted me was, you know, making things, whatever they may be, and, you know, putting things to life, even if it’s just a component that goes into something, that it was intriguing, it was interesting, and, you know, visiting companies that have these huge pieces of equipment that I knew nothing about. And, you know, coming out learning about, you know, what they can do, it made it interesting, so I decided to pursue a career in manufacturing. Well, isn’t that

Curt Anderson 08:12
awesome? When you just you find something that you’re passionate about, and I love what you said there Alma, you know, they just they make really cool stuff, you know, all manufacturers, I don’t care what good, you know, you might say, well, this isn’t the coolest thing. Yeah, it is. It’s super cool. Because you’re producing, you’re manufacturing something really exciting. Jacqueline, you are with iMac that is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of the great state of Illinois, what attracted you what brought your superpowers into manufacturing.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 08:39
And I think very similar to Alma, prior, while my family is all very deeply entrenched in working in manufacturing, so being able as a kid to see my parents going to work in making things and really fascinated about that. And then starting to work from a from a marketing perspective, going in and working directly with manufacturers really opened my eyes to all of the amazing and wonderful things that these manufacturers create. And so then my you know, both interest in worlds collided when I got to IMEC. So I get to do marketing with manufacturers and it’s just a really super exciting thing. So it’s fascinating, like who decided to start making this thing 200 years ago or 100 years ago and why like I’m always interested in that that history and that story.

Curt Anderson 09:40
Yeah, you know, and you like you look around your room and like you’re looking at Amy’s background what degree I’ve little background MV right now, Amy, but you’re looking at you know, just grind room. Everything was manufactured everybody made something you just kind of taken for granted like a guy just walk in the store and just get it off the shelf, but somewhere some way somehow somebody produced that awesome product. Amy, you really You plunged into helping manufacturers, you’re the marketing superstar. What attracts you to Why do you like working with manufacturers? Um,

Amy Sariego 10:08
I think it just helps. I like telling a story. I like creating things just like on mine, Jacqueline said, I think it’s just creating a different kind of thing. I love to learn, I love to hear a good story. And I feel like telling that manufacturer story, it’s always in my experience. It’s always like someone like me who’s just like really passionate about it. And so they always have a lot to say. And so like being able to take what they’re saying and make it into like, something on their website or like a blog post or something like really gets like a lets me do what I love, which is writing and then like, learn and tell those stories. So yeah, I think it’s a perfect marriage of interests.

Curt Anderson 10:42
Yeah, there’s an enthusiasm that’s super contagious. So alright guys, again, Happy Friday, everybody, man, we’ve got a loaded stage. If you notice there’s somebody missing but Jacqueline collo j is taking the place of Damon today. So drop us a note in the chat box. Hey, Diane Byers here. Diane sending you lots of love my friend Happy Friday. Alba Let’s go here. We’re talking about a company named ply tack for our friends family out there they are curious minds are burning to know how who is pi tech and how does pi tech make the world a better place? Tell us a little bit about pi tech.

Alma Likic 11:16
Chure surprise play Tech is a contract converter with specialized vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities that include cleanroom manufacturing, precision die cutting, laser cutting, custom film, extrusion, slitting and rewinding, release liner coding, adhesive coding, packaging. And that’s just scratching the surface. Right, Amy?

Amy Sariego 11:47
I was just sitting here thinking I know all those words now.

Curt Anderson 11:52
Amy knows what all those things. So let’s give a shout out to a couple of things. So company has been around for over 50 years, I believe. Do I have that mic close on that. And it’s been around almost as long as I’ve been around, right? How long how long it’s been around. It’s

Alma Likic 12:04
actually a third generation Nice. Set. Well, I should say second and third generation are involved in the company since a privately owned company over 50 years in manufacturing. And contract manufacturing is the primary role. But we also have two product lines that are part of utilizing our converting capabilities. And we have a patented product line that we’ve been manufacturing and selling for over 30 years to packaging industry. It is a play valve for me to guessing valve or sewer systems, which include one way to guessing valves and then applicator systems that are used to apply them. And what that is, is to put things in perspective. For those who don’t know, if you open up a can of, let’s say Maxwell House, coffee, the little square that’s on top of your lid is this proprietary product that we make in it. What it does is it allows co2 to escape from inside the package. But it prevents oxygen from coming in. And a little bit of background coffee when it’s roasted and releases co2. And roasters have two options to do what to do with it. They can either let it sit in the gas for up to seven days, or they can package right away, which is kind of imperative for quality of coffee because exposure to oxygen is bad. And so our product allows for that to happen right away. And in addition to that, it helps with the throughput.

Curt Anderson 13:47
Well, I we need to dive into that for a second because so coffee, pet food, there’s a number of different industries that you service now. I prepared a little pop quiz for our other guests here today. You probably know the answer, but I have a little pop quiz. Jacqueline. Amy, are you ready? So Alma just described a patented product and what it’s a de gassing valve. Is that how you described Adama? Do I have that? guessing

Alma Likic 14:10
about? Yes, no. Okay.

Curt Anderson 14:11
Jacqueline and Amy, do you know how many that pipe Tex produces in a year?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 14:20
Do not Amy would probably have a better idea. It

Amy Sariego 14:26
has to be in the millions.

Curt Anderson 14:27
It’s more than two right? It’s more than two three a year right. There’s that do I have this number? Correct. You guys ready? You sit down 600 million. Did I read that? Correct? Do I have like I couldn’t even count all the zeros and other the other commas right is that I’m on my my remotely close on that. You

Alma Likic 14:43
are between five and 600 million a year? Yes,

Jaclyn Kolodziej 14:46
ma’am. Jacqueline, I want to fruit we all should applaud coffee drinkers unite right now. Thank you so much for keeping my coffee beans fresh.

Curt Anderson 14:56
Right? That’s good for all was pet lovers you coffee lovers out there? And so in again, like who thinks of that, right? Like who thinks of making that little product there? So now Carl Hoffman is your leader, your CEO? Is that correct? So it’s the Hoffman family. Just share a little bit of background. What in and hey, we’ll go on the record here. I’m What do you love working out PAETEC, Jacqueline and I, we’ve been on site, we saw the excitement, we met a number of your teammates there in person. It’s just a wonderful facility that you have in the suburbs of Chicago. What’s so great, what’s a wonderful about working at PAETEC?

Alma Likic 15:35
I’m just the feel of family. It really is the feel of being part of the family. So we’re a small company, about 100 employees. And every one of our employees is somehow connected, we feel and I don’t mean Connect. Feel like we’re part of the family we feel we’re all embraced and loved and cared for. And that that is wonderful. And so I think, naturally, whenever there’s a challenge and anything, it feels like everybody’s rowing in the same direction, because everybody’s focused, to make sure that whatever the target is, it’s accomplished. And then beyond if that makes sense. It

Curt Anderson 16:26
makes perfect sense. And Jacqueline, when you and I were on site, I mean, you just you feel it when you when you know, when when you walk in the door, when you pull up to the parking lot, right? I was snapping pictures of Jacqueline in front of the front of the facility. Jacqueline, what was your take? How did you feel when we walked in the door? It was great.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 16:42
I mean, even from just the parking lot experience, so a very modern state of the art facility. It’s beautiful from from the parking lot, you know, you’re going to walk into something really cool. And you know, once you get in and you’re greeted, it just feels like you’re part of that team, you’re part of that family. And you’re there to see what’s going on and how, how to help and you’re embraced. So it was really cool.

Alma Likic 17:14
Hearing that. Thank you, Jacqueline, we have actually just moved into this new facility about a year ago. It was it’s a newly built facility about 75,000 square feet. And not that I didn’t love the old facilities, just this one’s about 25,000 square feet bigger and everything is brand new. And so our equipment that that that’s also state of the art fits well with the outside of it, if that makes sense. And it’s it’s been an exciting road for this first year in the building. Yeah. All

Jaclyn Kolodziej 17:53
my remind us. So you had played a large part in designing a lot of the office space, correct?

Alma Likic 18:02
Yes. More on the furniture side than the design. So the layout was already pre designed. If If then, if you will, I was involved with the new furniture selection and basically layouts of the offices, individual offices, and then also the common areas. Yeah, that was that was new. And then pretty challenging, I would say simply because I had no experience doing it before. But no, no, no, I feel like I could say that I’m the expert.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 18:40
So from from marketing expert to design expert, you really made some awesome, and I keep saying state of the art, but your conference rooms that your customers and your guests can come in, they are just souped up with the most all of the technology, all of the space available. They’re comfortable, modern, sleek. It’s just you don’t see that everywhere. So it’s really great. You should definitely feel good about that.

Alma Likic 19:11
Thank you. I appreciate it. You guys have to visit more often now. Yeah.

Curt Anderson 19:14
Well, I’m so glad you brought that up. Jacqueline. You remember we’re sitting there. And I’m like, man who designed this room and everything. And I think almost like oh no, what’s he gonna say? And I was like, This is amazing. He’s like, well, well, I did. I mean, it was the coolest room and it was just such a great little meeting which you know, a lot of manufacturers you don’t you don’t encounter that. So Jacqueline, you’re spot on as soon as you walk in the door. Everything’s state of the art. So let’s go here. Um, so you know, we noticed so Jacqueline I we got a chance to you know, overlook everything. It is immaculate, you know, thus cleanroom extrusion right? And now everybody has to wear a lot of safety clothes and features right? Is that do I? Am I close on that like is that a thing?

Alma Likic 19:59
Yes, we offer a class a cleanroom manufacturing and anybody entering those cleanrooms is required to wear a gear to protect. So hairnets glass novels or glasses, steel toed shoes and then coverings over that. That’s one of the coding like smokes

Curt Anderson 20:24
right now. And I don’t was I supposed to wear a hairnet? I don’t remember. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. That was a joke.

Alma Likic 20:30
Now. special permission?

Curt Anderson 20:32
Yeah, I got special permission. I did. Jacqueline needed one I did. But I’m not when we’re walking around. What are those things called that your cover your shoes with? What do you call those things? Booty? Oh, that’s right. All right. So we got we got fun. What? So you’re covered head to toe. And so again, it’s just you guys have covered everything that you can think of from a safety feature, just you know, putting that out there. Amy, as we started digging into working with Alma, and just getting a clearer understanding, what were some of the big takeaways for you? What were just some eye openers that you had?

Amy Sariego 21:06
I think just how very many products like we talked about those coffee squares. Like the sheer number of things that we did I know an entire article on the cleanroom system. And like, just like how much care is taken is like you don’t realize, first of all, if you’re me, like how many things are getting created that you don’t even know about? And then like, Yeah, I think really just like the care that goes into the entire process, because like everyone that I talked to was just like, and there’s so many layers of like quality checks to. So yeah, it was just really interesting to hear how everything is made.

Curt Anderson 21:39
Yeah, if you’re putting out 600 million of anything, right? You’ve got to be you’re doing something right if you’re if you’re putting out that type of quantity. So now all right, we’re gonna give a shout out to our friends at iMac. And Jacqueline, why don’t you give just for folks out there for everybody? Probably, you know, yeah, Kurt, we hear you talking about the MVP all the time. But for folks out there that are not familiar with the MVP, which stands for manufacturing, extension partnerships. You are part of the MVP, not part of you represent MVP in this great state of Illinois. You and your wonderful team at iMac. Just share with folks who and what is iMac, this

Jaclyn Kolodziej 22:14
iMac. So Illinois Manufacturing Excellence center. A we are Illinois one stop shop for our manufacturers to support them in several different areas. I personally am very close to the growth and marketing area of services. But we have leadership development, we’ve got a ton of lean manufacturing experts, five US experts shop floor layout. Oh, geez, cyber cybersecurity. So taking taking all of us on the IMEC team and all of our expertise, we’re able to serve the Illinois manufacturers in all of the different areas that they might need at a given time or another in their journey of having, you know, manufacturing.

Curt Anderson 23:09
Yeah, I love it. So if anybody out there, if you’re in the great state of Illinois, you need to reach out connect, connect with everybody here on the stage on LinkedIn. Do yourself a favor. ALMA is just fierce advocate at manufacturing advocate at ply tech. Amy is a marketing superstar. If you’re looking for a relationship connection with IMEC in Illinois, you definitely want to connect with Jacqueline, if you’re coming to us from another state man reach out to Jacqueline reach out to myself, we’ll get you connected to a representative from the MEP. I’m gonna Let’s go here. If you can go back in time. Do you remember what what what sparked your interest to reach out to our friends at IMEC.

Alma Likic 23:48
So during the COVID era, I was searching for different government entities that are interested in or support reshoring and manufacturing, bringing back manufacturing into the United States. And so that’s kind of like a short version of how I came across different department of defense and different agencies. And through that I learned of and connected with IMEC. And I’ve been in touch with Melissa balsa, and great Jacqueline. And when there was a program we kind of had the new website developed. Well, we had the new website developed about a year and a half or two almost two years ago now. And we needed help and so IMEC and their program greatly helped us with the search engine optimization, which was part of what basically that was it Would that was a helpful if needed? I’m sorry, I feel like I’m stumbling my words. No, you’re doing

Curt Anderson 25:06
awesome. In the past, we

Alma Likic 25:08
had a website that basically did not give us the opportunity to many make any updates, we were receiving some leads, we had basic online presence, but our website was from 2000 to 2007 2008. And I had no way of making any updates or optimizing it by any means. And so when the new site was developed, it was already optimized. But you know, as you guys know, more and more is required. I mean, you have to continue doing it if you want to succeed. And so I had the reach or I had the tools to do it, but I needed help in terms of how to do it and so I Nick and you guys helps greatly with that. Well,

Curt Anderson 26:03
I love that are you I don’t put you on the spot. Are you comfortable? Can I pull up the website? Can I show your website to folks?

Alma Likic 26:10
I’m sure absolutely. Okay,

Curt Anderson 26:12
I’m gonna pull it up in one second why we go there. Jacqueline, she mentioned Melissa Bossa and let’s let’s give a little love little shout out to some friends family at iMac I know there’s a big listen if you know Dave Dr. David A raise a guy know Melissa Basa Cameron, Cassie Jordan Christie, Michele fosu, whom I know I’m leaving out a ton. Give a shout out to some of your friends at iMac and how they help.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 26:39
If you can list all I’m ackers, one day on a video, I will personally pay for dinner for you for your

Curt Anderson 26:51
apple Bell, do you promise or think of beef jerky. How’s that so but give a shout out to some of your friends at iMac again, just some of the expertise of how you guys come in as a pack. And just you know Dave Musgrave again, we could go on and on Tom, I met this week. Sure a little bit about your team. And I’m like,

Jaclyn Kolodziej 27:10
Oh my goodness. So kind of structurally how it’s set up, we’ve got a really great leadership team, they’re at the helm of making sure that everything is running, and they are going and getting it and making connections, keeping us a strong MEP center. So that’s all great, we’ve got a whole team of regional managers. So those are our clients kind of first point of contact and helping get to know the client oversee, you know, figure out what they’re doing, what their needs are, what they’re doing great, what they need some help and, and then we have a whole team of technical specialists and all the different different areas that I listed before. So maybe somebody maybe a client comes and they have a strong need to figure out what lean means and how to make make their processes leaner on we’ve got a team of technical specialists who go in meet with the clients, they provide training, oversight, they do some of the work for them. So we build those long lasting relationships with the with the manufacturers. So because once one thing is done, and their you know, client is on their way, and they’re succeeding, something else happened, the pop up, right? So there’s different needs at different times. And we’ve just got a great team. If we don’t know the answers, we will find a different organization or a resource to support and help our clients to get those answers so they can continue, you know, just being amazing and doing great, great thing.

Curt Anderson 28:52
And I’ll tell you what an admirable job that you have of going in helping manufacturers and you know, I really, I want to win that free dinner from my wife and I and myself at Taco Bell. So, you know, Paula, Mary, Melissa durable, Stacy curry, she’s gonna be on the on the program in a few weeks. And so I’m sure I’m leaving some Noah I know I’m probably leaving some other folks out there. But Eric Ray, so lots of love to our team and friends at iMac. So let’s go here. Elma, you talked about the website and folks like cleanroom extrusion, what are these things and coffee? You know, like, that’s, I’m going to pull up the website. So give me one second. And how about we go here, we’ll go here. We’ll go here. And here’s pi tech right here. Okay. And can you guys see my screen? Yes, perfect. Okay, so Alma, this is pi to just tell us a little bit what a clean wonderful looking website might just take us through a little bit. Tell me any particular pages that you’d like me to cruise through. But just tell us a little bit about what’s going on? What are we looking at here?

Alma Likic 29:58
I’m having a hard time seeing what you’re Are you on the main page,

Curt Anderson 30:01
I you know what I’m showing the little the package the gassing system. So I’m looking I’m we’re looking right at play valve.

Alma Likic 30:10
So what I would say is, if you go all the way on top, basically our website summarizes a list of our capabilities which are vast. And to those who do not know about precision converting cleanroom extrusion. Each of these pages represents a little bit about, you know, our capabilities and what what we do, which is under converting capabilities, I think you are now in it looks like you may be in extrusion. And then we also list our services. So as part of our offerings as set, you know, in addition to our converting capabilities we offer, anywhere from, you know, we offer design support, material selection assistance, rapid prototyping, cleanroom, manufacturing, and packaging. And so, people searching for a contract converter or precision converter can kind of learn, you know more about our capabilities on the website. But in, in addition to, I’m really sorry, Kurt, I can’t see what your point you’re, you’re fine.

Curt Anderson 31:25
I’m just I’m kind of just popping around a little bit.

Alma Likic 31:30
Because I’m actually calling in from my phones. Yeah,

Curt Anderson 31:32
no worries whatsoever.

Alma Likic 31:36
And then, you know, our website represents a list of markets that we sell to, which are medical primarily, and packaging and merchandising, automotive, aerospace, electronics, industrial, so anything that requires cutting tips, films, foams, adhesives into shapes that go either as components of a device, or in some cases finished device, we can certainly help.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 32:08
Well, here, I’ll jump in and give you a secondary follow up question. Why choose ply tech? What sets you apart from your competitors? And why should someone pick you?

Alma Likic 32:22
Well, we because we offer a lot of vertically integrated capabilities. That makes us sort of a either single stop shop or single or, you know, straight, it helps with streamlining converting capabilities where our customers do not have to go to multiple suppliers for for example, someone who can extrude film and then take that film to have it precision die cut in another location, and then hit have another material coated with adhesive to a third location. So that’s that’s part of it. Our expertise and experience, number of years that we have been in this industry speaks for itself, our technical capabilities. One thing I get a shot give a shout out to and that’s our engineering team, which we have number of engineers in different with different areas of expertise, such as chemical engineers, electrical, mechanical, and they all come together to offer support to our clients. So sometimes clients come to us with request to, to die pet, something that they already have a print for, and they already have materials specified and they just need number, a certain number of those cuts produced excuse me, however, sometimes customers have an idea. And they know that they need they they’re looking for a solution, but they don’t really know what materials they need to use, they may they may require a diagnostics device component that requires a cleanroom extruded film that needs to be cut maybe coated with adhesive and they may just not know what the shape is certain geometry that will fit into as a component into a device. But more than that, they may you know they’re during development they may be in developing stage. This is where our engineers can come into play and they can assist them with help with the design. We are not not design responsible, but we do offer support and we also have the bility to prototype products. So if somebody’s looking for a certain material that needs to be custom extruded in the cleanroom, we can do that. And we can do that pretty quickly and in small quantities. And in order for our customers to test it to get the feel for it, or maybe for, you know, FDA submissions, I feel like I’m going on and on. And I can I can continue, I don’t know how much time we have

Jaclyn Kolodziej 35:31
on your team, your team has so much depth and just a wealth of knowledge. And that is it’s so valuable for your customers like because like you said, they might not know exactly what their needs are, they know they want something but having your your engineers and your experts say, hey, why don’t we look at it and take this other approach? Or have you considered that you need this packaging to be FDA approved, and it can’t be this material you want? So like soup to nuts? That? Yeah, oh, that’s amazing.

Alma Likic 36:07
We had a recently we had a customer who did that design, the ER was already producing thermal management components. However, it was the early stage of development. And so the material that they had specified was coming in sheet forms. And so sheet form, which is basically you’re taking a piece of material, feeding it to the machine and cutting it, that’s not sustainable for high volume production. And so we helped them with a number of things, including, you know, looking for finding an alternate source of material that is supplied and on a roll form. Also, improving efficiencies in terms of cutting so that we, you know, we can produce millions at a time not, you know, 10s of 1000s at a time. So,

Jaclyn Kolodziej 37:07
you know, what I hear there was no cost savings. When you can provide cost savings to your customers, you are winning

Alma Likic 37:16
percent, that was actually part of it. I don’t like to, you know, emphasize cost savings simply because that’s not always the case. But majority of the time, obviously, that’s something that everybody needs to consider. And we do as well. And so providing cost savings to the customer by being able to manufacture something more efficiently. And it’s a win win for everyone.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 37:47
Absolutely. Amy, did you take notes? Is this gonna be the next case study? Yes.

Curt Anderson 37:55
So Well, that was phenomenal. Hey, how about a round of applause for alum. I mean, I usually don’t do a round of applause so early. But that was phenomenal, what a great explanation of the company because it is a sophisticated, competent, I would say complicated, but it’s a unique product. But when he you know, as I was whipping through the website, these are products that we’re all using as consumers on a daily basis. So you’re part of that supply chain, you know, and things that we’re using every day, day in day out, and you guys are a part of it. So you’re part of millions and millions of lives, you know, helping, you know, and you’ve mentioned safety, efficiency, we do rapid prototyping, you need something quick and fast. We’ve got you covered. And so, you know, a lot of times we hear about, you know, a lot of manufacturing going overseas, but this is just such a wonderful, powerful example. Amy, do you want to I’m going to pull you back on stage. Do you want to share a little bit you know, you did a great job working with a number of their folks couple of their engineers, sales folks on you know, getting interviewing them getting content information. What were some takeaways for you? The time was what almost just described?

Amy Sariego 39:00
Um, yeah, I think I talked to Jerry and Rob on your team I forget which one was that one of them was an engineer, I believe a sales engineer and the extent of knowledge that he had and the way that he was able to phrase it for someone like me who has had never heard of like some of the things that he was saying and made it make complete sense was just like I think really a testament to like how smart and like how like well versed he is and exactly what he does because I think if you can explain something well or like teach it to someone else like that’s like the true mark I think people say like that you really understand something and he was just like going above and beyond and like being able to explain it and very patient with like all of my questions and like I said he talked with such care about the whole process he it’s clear that like he really is just so knowledgeable and like has so much like passion for it, which is like sometimes you think like oh, like you know, it can be hard to say like oh is manufacturing exciting or whatever, whatever we’d like you know, touch on in the beginning but But I think it’s like the passion is just clear, like from both people that I talked about and talk to, and, you know, the interviews that you do really. Like, the content that you’re creating really depends on those interviews. And so if people are kind of like, clammed up, they don’t know what they’re saying they don’t like want to be doing it. They don’t necessarily have the knowledge like that it will show and like the content that comes out of them. And the, the blogs that I think we created for PI tech, were some of the best ones. They were really long. They were really juicy. I think they should be really helpful for your customers, hopefully. And yeah, a lot of people really

Curt Anderson 40:32
juicy. I love it, you know, and that’s me what I was on a webinar yesterday, and a guy dropped a line, I’d never heard this before. I absolutely loved that. He said, If you can’t describe what you do, and you can’t clarify, then like, there’s a problem with like, you know, your passion or you know, like, and he gave me a great example of like, you know, you’re describing it to your grandmother, and grandma doesn’t get it. You’re like, Oh, Grandma, you don’t understand. He’s like, No, that’s not grandma’s problem. That’s your problem, that you’re not explaining what you do. And how you just, you know, when when we had the Conversations with Jerry and Rob, they have just such a fierce passion for these products that you know, you and I didn’t even know existed, we obviously we know they exist, because they’re part of these products that we use, but we didn’t know who’s making them or what what function they use this talk a little bit, the passion of your team. Jerry, Rob, some of the other folks like you said, like you have a great culture, they’re wonderful family atmosphere, and people are just fiercely passionate about how you guys are making the world a better place. Talk about a little bit more on your team and teammates there.

Alma Likic 41:33
So what what would Amy just described? And thank you, Amy, first of all, thank you for your patience. With the interviews, you know, I can certainly appreciate and understand when someone is you know, outside of this world and coming in, and all the terms, all the options that we talk about. We live it day in and day out. And so I can certainly understand and appreciate. And you You nailed it so well. And thank you for that. And you mentioned, you know, passion from our team. I think that goes back to your question Kurt earlier about, you know, what I like about biotech and you know, this family feel. And I think it’s, it’s all about being able to grow in the same direction. And people are all supportive of each other supportive of whether that’s their process that someone has a question on, or whether it’s something that they just happen to know. But there’s a great camaraderie and teamwork. And I think that that is clear and evident when we work with our customers. It’s rarely one sales engineer working with the customer, and maybe just as initial conversation, but usually our team gets together, it validates what the project we’re working on is and how to approach it because everybody brings different aspects to the table or a different point of views and different knowledge base. And providing a solution from different angles really helps drive home that success story. Yeah, I’m not sure if that answers know, that

Curt Anderson 43:18
answers that perfectly. And again, you know, big shout out to rob and a big shout out to Jerry for putting up with us in like, you know, drilling them with all the questions and, and I to both those guys, especially if they’re listening. Ask her what Oscar award winning performances, I must say. Right, Amy? I mean, they were absolutely. They were phenomenal. And Jacqueline we got to meet Jerry in person when we were on site. And so that was great. All right, well, sir, I know almost super busy. We’re all busy. We’ll start winding things down here. So um, so again, connect with these three lovely ladies on LinkedIn. They put out great content are just wonderful human beings. Connect checkout play tag, go to play Tech’s website if you know any friends and family that need these little film extrusions. You can check out reach out to Alma um, as we start winding down. You’ve built a wonderful career in manufacturing. I have a question for you. Why should all the cool kids be considering a career in manufacturing? What is so cool what is a wonderful Why should all the cool kids be considering a career in manufacturing?

Alma Likic 44:22
We make the world move.

Curt Anderson 44:24
We make them world move. Bam Jatha migrate there that Nuff said right there Jacqueline. Right we make a world move that she’s

Jaclyn Kolodziej 44:32
like, You know what? It’s short and sweet. And this is what we do. Well,

Curt Anderson 44:37
I love it a jacket. I

Alma Likic 44:39
mean manufacturers in general, I’m sure you know, I back and their support. Makes makes a great impact and working with different manufacturers make makes this world move a little faster.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 44:55
So I’ll add to that. So with IMEC we help them manufacture actors so that they can make it happen. That’s right. That’s right. So they can make the world move

Curt Anderson 45:04
a lot. Lots of love. And that’s you and you guys have had a great experience working with Jacqueline and team iMac and what just hey, I will go round applause for Jacqueline and the team at iMac for just crushing it there. Right.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 45:17
Thank you think I’m not worthy? No. Jacqueline,

Curt Anderson 45:20
why, in your humble opinion? Why should all the cool kids be considering their career manufacturing?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 45:28
Would you rather work in the service industry? Would you rather DoorDash That’s right. I’m just like that we make things and we make things happen. Manufacturers are the people who are doing that great work so that we can have packaging for containers we can buy cool cups we can go through a drive through or to you we can do things we can drive a car. That’s

Curt Anderson 46:00
right. Amy What do you any what do you what are your takeaways any any thoughts here as far as why the cool Why Why should every cool kid be considering a career in manufacturing?

Amy Sariego 46:09
Um, well my career is that really technically in manufacturing? I agree with what Alma and Jacqueline said I think continents a fun job. You get to talk to a lot of people you get to learn a lot. Yeah, well,

Curt Anderson 46:23
you create great wonderful content for lots of major manufacturers so you’re you’re contributing my friend you’re right there in manufacturing. That’s right. So all right, we’re gonna wind down I have two last questions Alma first one is any last words of wisdom parting thoughts, how they can anybody can reach out to you or anything that you want to share with folks as we wind down from apply tech standpoint. Oh, absolutely.

Alma Likic 46:47
Anybody looking for precision converting die cutting film extrusion, feel free to either visit our website, reach out to ply tech.com Or you can connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m not sure I don’t have a message here but correct. If you don’t mind sharing, you can just share my LinkedIn account that and we’ll be happy to help you happy to assist you with any converting manufacturing you’re looking for.

Curt Anderson 47:18
Love it. Okay. Jacqueline, any parting thoughts, words of wisdom that you want to share before I do have one last question but before any words of wisdom that you want to share, reach out to you reach out to iMac anything that you want to share?

Jaclyn Kolodziej 47:31
Yeah, I if you have questions, if you’re a manufacturer in Illinois, you need some help, definitely reach out. Look at our website imec.org. And we’re all here to support support you guys and any way we can. For those of you in Cook County. We have a huge grants initiative, the Cook County manufacturing reinvented grants. For those of you who are in McHenry County, we have the advanced McHenry grants going on right now. And for those of you in Kane County, Illinois, we just launched a huge Kane county initiative. So for more information, go to our website, reach out to us ask questions, we’re happy to help. And this is how, you know almost came to the table and was able to do some really great SEO work with with all of us here.

Curt Anderson 48:25
That’s right, man. Did we have a good time? Or what? Amy? Any words of wisdom parting thoughts that you want to share from your perspective?

Amy Sariego 48:34
No, I think I’m, I think I’m good.

Curt Anderson 48:36
You’re good at

Jaclyn Kolodziej 48:37
a woman who wants to be quiet today.

Curt Anderson 48:39
Woman a few words. So first off, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us thank you to the entire team apply tech for allowing us the three of us to work closely with you. It’s been nothing less than an honor privilege. It’s our mission, passion purpose in life, to help manufacturers just be a little bit better and make our contributions. And so thank you for your trust in allowing us into your facility and boy did we have a great time working with you? And we absolutely love that. So again, I’m going to invite everybody give a big round of applause for our esteemed panel guests here today. And just you guys absolutely crushed it. Damon, man, dude, did you miss a really good show today? Now I do have one look at me. I do have one last question for you. I do have one last question for you.

Jaclyn Kolodziej 49:29
So feel to be Damon today, Elma?

Curt Anderson 49:33
I? Well, I as a possible to truly be Damon is that even humanly possible? Who I mentioned someone to Damon the other day and they’re like, Oh, that guy’s gonna be on Hollywood’s pretty soon here. So just got it all going on. But um, uh, I know you’re a you a baseball fan. I know you’re a big basketball fan, right? But are you baseball fan by any chance? You’re not Alright, so here’s a question for you. So for you guys out there, she’s a big basketball fan Chicago Bulls, she’s gonna catch a game over the weekend. So, um, let’s just say hypothetically the bulls are playing the hated Detroit Pistons, right? We don’t live if you live in Chicago, you’re not a pistons fan, I’m assuming, right? So you’re playing, you’re playing the Detroit Pistons, okay? It’s Ty score. There’s no time left and there’s like a half second left on the clock. And there was a file but with a file, the person that was filed was injured. So now they need somebody else to come to the line to drill the winning shot to end the game case, or they need somebody to come to the line to hit the winning shot. The coach looks down the bench and says, Hey, Elma. Take off your jacket, get up there, and you’re going to hit the winning shot. So you’re walking to the foul line basketball and hand you’re walking to the foul line. You’re going to hit the winning shot to win the basketball game. Are you with me?

Alma Likic 50:57
So far?

Curt Anderson 51:00
As you’re walking to the foul line, what is your walk up song? I will survive. I will serve Oh, that was a drop of migrate there Jacqueline out that one didn’t even bat an eye on that. Love it. I will survive. And she would just go error on me. I write that from that I will survive, man. Jack Herer

Jaclyn Kolodziej 51:31
say saying she’s gonna survive this free throw experience. I will. That’s exactly what

Alma Likic 51:38
I was going. Jacqueline,

Curt Anderson 51:40
what’s your? What’s your walk up song? Oh, man, we

Jaclyn Kolodziej 51:43
do this way too much. And I never have a good one. Um, I don’t know, pass pass any?

Curt Anderson 51:51
I know. It’s a Taylor Swift song. What is it?

Amy Sariego 51:55
I think today I’ll say it’d be jeweled by Taylor Swift. Yeah. Okay.

Curt Anderson 51:59
All right. Well, all right. Thank you. Thank you for playing my little, you know, just you know, I’m an older guy. Just these little things mean a lot to me. So I, let’s close out. I want to thank everybody for joining us today. I want to thank Amy for being a special guest. I want to thank Alma for being here for just being such a wonderful guest. Jacqueline, thank you for filling the big shoes of Daymond. Today, we appreciate you guys. Let’s close out. I wish everybody an amazing, incredible, wonderful weekend and like I just love to share every show. Just go out and be someone’s inspiration just like these three lovely ladies. Were our inspiration today, especially our being our special guests. One last round of applause for ALMA crushing it from ply tech. I’m going to close out we’re back here on Monday. Hopefully Damon will be back with us, guys. God bless. Have a good weekend and we’ll see you soon.

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