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issue: July 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

Brian Bishop of Demag Plastics Group, Corp.

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The world of plastics is deeply rooted in Brian Bishop’s family tree. Both Bishop’s father and grandfather were involved in the building and selling of injection molding machines. This, according to Bishop, has allowed him to learn several aspects of the business. It is his 20 years of experience that Bishop says he will utilize in his new position as president to mold Demag Plastics Group, Corp.
Bishop graduated from Ohio Northern University (Ada, Ohio, U.S.) with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. He then went on to spend 14 years with HPM Corporation—now a division of Taylor’s Industrial Services—that included a 5-year appointment as the general manager of the company’s Injection Molding Division. After working as the vice president of sales for Engel Machinery Inc. from 1998 to 2003, Bishop took the same position at the Strongsville, Ohio, U.S.-based Demag, the North American headquarters of the Germany based Demag Plastics Group. In March 2005, he was named executive vice president of Sales and Aftermarket/Interim President. Then, in November 2005, Bishop was named president for the company’s North American operations.
While holding a strong sense of industry tradition, Bishop is looking ahead to the future. He wants to help maintain the strength of U.S. manufacturing on a global scale while in his new position. “It is my responsibility to keep manufacturing strong,” Bishop tells APPLIANCE. “My focus is on Demag Plastics Group. However, as a manufacturer in America, we have a responsibility to stress the importance of manufacturing in our economy, and prove American manufacturing can compete on a global scale.”
One strategy Bishop will employ is to continue the company’s lean manufacturing initiative that was officially adopted more than 2 years ago. “We are planning for a new component flow line of our injection units…that will eventually be implemented for other injection molding machine components,” Bishop explains. “Once implemented, we expect to improve machine production and assembly time by 30 percent to 50 percent.”
Bishop is responsible for the “bottom-line” for all Demag’s North American operations, including profits/loss, sales and aftermarket support, manufacturing quality, and marketing. He says being successful requires active involvement from the entire company. “People need to be empowered and allowed to contribute to the outcome of the project or the company’s success,” Bishop says. “It involves not only employees, but in how I work with customers as well. That level of cooperative effort ensures a win-win situation.”
However, maintaining a win-win outcome is not always easy. Bishop says some of his most valuable learning experiences have come from working with customers. “An example could be a warranty issue dispute,” he explains. “Demag may be technically correct on the warranty coverage issue, but you have to use common sense. If the customer has a legitimate complaint, and it’s not worth potentially losing the customer over, then you work out the dispute so both parties are satisfied.”
As much as industry is an inherent part of Bishop’s heritage, family is also key. Bishop says he and his family enjoy taking vacations and make it a point to see the Cleveland Indians hit a few runs during the baseball season. Bishop is also working on becoming a scratch golfer.


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