Connector Products Inc. was founded in 1977 in Camden, New Jersey by Mario Polidori, a power utility worker who saw a need for connectors to be used in commercial rail line and power generation applications. He developed the designs and patented the technology while subcontracting the manufacturing. The business eventually grew to a point where he invested in the equipment and personnel to begin manufacturing the products on his own. As the company continued growing and evolving to meet new demands, Polidori’s son Tom assumed control and moved operations to Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Today, Connector Products has nine employees and annual sales of $2.6 million.
Following a cold call introduction, an NJMEP field agent met with Tom Polidori to discuss the company’s needs. High on that list was the desire to enter new developing markets via ISO registration. With assistance from third party resource Rick Caswell of Prism eSolutions, the project entailed developing and documenting procedures for quality management in preparation for ISO.
Over the course of eight months, NJMEP provided on-site training and support, complemented by telephone and electronic support to assist Connector Products in developing and documenting its procedures in compliance with ISO standards. The company president, managers and key process leaders all participated.
NJMEP’s field agent coordinated meeting dates, attended meetings, and discussed and evaluated progress and areas of need with the principals. Prior to the project’s inception, Prism had conducted a gap analysis, so the scope of the undertaking had already been determined. Upon completion in July 2007, Connector Products was successful in its ISO 9001:2000 Registration. This resulted in increased efficiency, tighter quality control and better organization throughout the company. Cost savings and lead time reduction also were realized, and there is anticipation of increased business from South American, although this goal has yet to be achieved.
Connector Products hopes to work with NJMEP on a Lean Manufacturing project in the future. The company currently is working to implement the new ISO procedures and conduct internal audits and management reviews.
“Project implementation went much more smoothly than we were expecting, thanks to the help of our NJMEP field agent,” commented Tom Polidori. “We saw immediate results. Within a week of completion, we saved ourselves at least $500 through early detection of a problem, which we wouldn’t have caught prior to having a quality system in place.
“Working with NJMEP has been a very positive experience,” Polidori continued, “and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”