Celebrating 50 Years in Business

Celebrating 50 Years in Business

Fifty years ago, P&P Industries was founded in Morrison, Illinois. We could not be more excited to celebrate our history, our success and all of the incredible accomplishments achieved thanks to our employees, customers, partners and the local community.

Reflecting on Generations of Success

Fifty years is a big deal to us, and while no one would have predicted the current landscape of the industry, as a family-owned company, we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone anniversary and our history.

“This milestone is made even more special when you reflect on the generational aspect of our history; you can’t have 50 years without three generations,” said Brian Pruis, President of P&P Industries. “We’re proud to say that we have successfully transitioned from our first generation to the second, and we are even more proud to say that we are entering the third generation at P&P. We know the company will continue to succeed under the eventual leadership of the incoming third generation.”

As with any family-owned company, P&P understands that with each generation, there is a chance the business may not carry on. Statistics reveal that multi-generational family-owned businesses do not often flourish. In fact, the survival rate of family-owned businesses successfully making the transition from the first generation to the second is only 30%, according to Score.com.

At P&P, we are proud to celebrate 50 years of manufacturing excellence, especially given that some companies do not make it one, five or even 10 years, let alone 50. This milestone gives us plenty to celebrate!

Important Milestones – The Transformations That Have Shaped Our History

In 50 years, we have had several important transformations in our history, which have helped to build the company into what it is today. Our humble beginning started in 1970, when our founder Warren Pruis, a tool and die tradesman, decided that he wanted to build tools and fixtures for local OEMs on the side of his full-time job. After reaching out to a fellow member of the fire department, Warren was able to secure a small space in the back of a construction business. Pruis and his brother then went out and purchased $3,000 worth of lathes and mills, marking the creation of P&P Tool. The brothers’ shop grew, and in 1972, they purchased their first injection molding machine.  Not long after that, Warren made a leap of faith, jumping into work full time at P&P – a big transition, but a risk he was ready to make.

Following this transition, the brothers quickly outgrew their original space, which they rented for $50 a month, and moved to a new location. As growth continued, they moved again to a bigger space in 1984. As part of the move to the old Clystic School building, the added space brought increased capabilities for the shop, prompting a name change from P&P Tool to P&P Industries. Soon after the move, P&P officially became a molding supplier for John Deere, an excellent partnership that has challenged us towards continuous operational improvement.

1995 marked another transition for the company, as Warren officially bought out his brother and took over sole ownership of the company with his wife, Marcia. To ensure the success of the company, Warren and Marcia needed to work long, hard hours, but their work helped build on the early success of the company. This transition period also marked the beginning of the second generation starting at P&P, and during these years, the second generation embraced scientific molding, which improved our quality and efficiencies tremendously. Then in 2005, P&P’s hard work and effort paid off in the form of John Deere’s Supplier of the Year Award – an admired symbol of our success.

In 2012, we had officially outgrown our old school building, bringing us to another fork in the road. With the option to add on to the existing facility, move to a larger facility, or build our own, we ultimately decided to build our own facility. This ensured that we would attain the infrastructure needed, with a building designed specifically for injection molding. Any company move is a big transition, but building one from the ground up adds a new layer of challenges. In the end, we successfully transitioned to our new state-of-the-art facility in Sterling, Illinois, which embodies our continued commitment to reaching the status of a world-class injection molder.

Constructing a brand new facility was a risk, but we trusted our long-term growth projections and built a facility that we could grow into for years to come. Since moving in, P&P has filled that space quite well, adding new presses, while still leaving room for continued growth.

In 2016, we reached another important milestone in continued success with John Deere, achieving their 15-year Supplier Hall of Fame award. This award was a tremendous honor for us as it highlighted the hard work we sustained, maintaining a strong status as a high level and trusted supplier. Our entire team understands the importance of cost, quality and delivery, and since 2016, we have maintained the same high level of expectations.

New Generation, New Logo, Same P&P

The latest transformations in our history and one designed to work in conjunction with our 50-year celebration was our company’s rebrand, highlighted by a new logo and website. The new logo displays a bold, modern look for P&P and features interlocking P’s, signifying the close relationship between all stake-holders at P&P. Overall, the logo was refreshed to better embody the current culture of the company and the ever-growing mindset of the company.

To the outside world, our logo reflects the close partnership between family, company, customers and employees, all working together to provide value in the form of plastic parts.  However, internally, the logo has a slightly different meaning.

“In the context of 50 years, this logo represents the next generation of the company,” said Pruis. “In the early years, my Dad [Warren] had a couple of different versions of the logo. In 1995, they wanted to do a rebrand, which was also the same time the second generation was coming on. That rebranded logo was the one that we just retired, and it served us well for 25 years.”

Rain Check: The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic

To celebrate our anniversary, there were several plans made at the end of 2019, including some fun events such as welcoming our local community to come and learn more about the history of P&P. Other plans included making t-shirts and holding internal activities throughout the year for our employees to acknowledge that 50 years is a big deal for us. We also worked with our prototype house, PDP, to make a tool, which allows us to produce a commemorative P&P coaster set featuring each one of our history’s four logos.  Unfortunately, when February hit, all of our plans were postponed, and efforts shifted toward managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

While our celebrations may have been put on hold for the time being, P&P continues our dedication to doing everything we can to build on our cornerstones of continuous improvement and scientific injection molding. We continue to strive to create repeatable successes in route to becoming a world-class injection molder. Reaching this status is more of a journey than a destination, but P&P would not be where we are today and would not have had the success that we have celebrated without the incredible and dedicated team that continues to help us grow.

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