Living United: The Verplank Family

Living United: The Verplank Family

When Gary and Midge Verplank started their companies, they made a promise to give back to the community where they were founded. Over the years, Gary and Midge have helped give back to different causes in the West Michigan area, including United Way. “We are not the singular reason for the success of our companies,” said Midge. “We owe something to the community and those associates. One way we can do that is making sure that our companies and ourselves participate in the well-being of the community that we live and work in.” On Thursday, March 24, the Verplank family received the G.W. Haworth Strength of the Community Award for […]

Leadership is Everywhere

Leadership is Everywhere

“Leadership is right here in this room,” explained Mark White, executive vice president of Asian and European operations. “You don’t need to have direct reports to have leadership skills – you can lead yourself to success.” There are tens of thousands of books, programs, classes, articles, speeches, and videos that discuss leadership. It’s an important topic and the skills that encompass leadership have been a point of discussion for many, many years. In order for the North to defeat the South in the Civil War, or the Chicago Bulls winning the 1998 NBA championship they needed to have good leadership skills to drive results. Here at Shape we have a […]

Breaking Ground in Athens

Breaking Ground in Athens

Southern hospitality is alive and well, just ask Shape CEO Gary Verplank and President Bob Currier. Both were on-hand for Friday’s dedication ceremony in Athens, Alabama to recognize Shape’s newest manufacturing facility. Representatives with the City of Athens, Tennessee Valley Authority, Limestone County Commission, Alabama Department of Commerce, Limestone County Economic Development Association and JESCO Construction were also in attendance. “We’re proud of what’s happening here,” said Athens Mayor, Ronnie Marks, to a crowd of nearly 50 during the dedication ceremony at the Shape construction site. A common theme among the number of city, county and state officials who spoke was the collaboration that goes into bringing a company like […]

Global Leadership Development Program

Global Leadership Development Program

Last month we achieved a Training Top 125 award, coming in at #12 on the list. People are the biggest asset to Shape and our efforts on employee development and training are a critical part to our continued success. Recently, our global training and development program was featured in Training Magazine. Read more about our Global Leadership Development Program at their website https://trainingmag.com/shape-corp%E2%80%99s-global-leadership-development-program.

Higher than Ever Before

Higher than Ever Before

Getting onto Training Top 125 list is no easy feat. Companies are graded on training programs, metrics, human resources, training infrastructure and more. This year, Shape beat out some tough competition and was ranked #12 – the highest in our history. Training Top 125 is a worldwide ranking of organizations that excel at training and associate development. This looks at the entire corporate training overall, not just single programs. In 2015, we beat out companies like Edward Jones, McDonald’s, Quicken Loans, MasterCard, AT&T, CVS, and more. Training and development became a business strategy and a necessary part of everyone’s employment experience here at Shape in 1996. Formal, corporate-wide needs assessments […]

Sharing the SPS Journey

Sharing the SPS Journey

The room was packed with fellow Toyota suppliers at the annual Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturers Association (BAMA), sponsored by Toyota, conference last week. Daric Morell, director of manufacturing, walked up to the stage to speak in front of hundreds of people about Shape’s journey with the Toyota Production System. BAMA reached out to Daric, Jay Blanchard, continuous improvement manager, Craig Arends, 1900 plant manager, because of the unique story behind Shape’s journey. Usually when Toyota comes into manufacturers to help them with their production systems, it’s because the supplier is in crisis mode – meaning that if they don’t change their ways, they could ultimately shut down Toyota. But this wasn’t […]

Toyota Shares our “Work Safe, Have Fun” Campaign Nation-wide

Toyota Shares our “Work Safe, Have Fun” Campaign Nation-wide

What started out as an internal campaign to raise awareness about safety, has turned into an opportunity to share our best practices with the entire Toyota supply base. Our “Work Safe, Have Fun” campaign focuses on being safe so you can enjoy your favorite activities outside of work. The iconic logos and tag-lines have been placed throughout the facilities to reinforce good safety habits. After the BAMA Safety Committee meeting this December, in Franklin Tennessee, Toyota requested attendees to share some of their best safety practices. Mike Westbrook, safety and environmental manager, sent in our “Work Safe, Have Fun” campaign to the group. Toyota liked the campaign so much that […]

Inspiring the Future Workforce

Inspiring the Future Workforce

Shape is partnering with FuturePrep’D again, to inspire and educate students about the manufacturing industry. Students received the opportunity to learn more about Shape, the manufacturing industry, career opportunities that fit their interests. During this program, they will also obtain more confidence going into secondary education and workforce. The program allows students to explore different career opportunities within Ottawa County. These students will spend several weeks visiting the locations and investigate problems that they could help solve. They will be paired with a Shape associates who will help mentor them through the problem solving process and ultimately prepare them to speak in front of Shape and a final competition.

Shape China: Coming Out on Top

Shape China: Coming Out on Top

More than 600 suppliers make products for Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company (DFL), and Shape China just topped their list, earning an honorable supplier award. DFL is a joint venture between Japan Nissan and China DongFeng Group. On December 22, on behalf of Shape China, Michael Wang, sales director and Lee Li, sales account manager, traveled to Panyu (near Guangzhou) to attend the 2015 DFL supplier meeting. Only 15 suppliers out of 600 received this special award. Congratulations team!

Shape Earns Honorable Nissan Award

Shape Earns Honorable Nissan Award

Nissan held their 2015 Annual Supplier Conference on October 28 and 29 in Franklin, Tennessee. Rebecca Vest, vice president of Nissan Purchasing for North America, presented Shape Corp. with the prestigious Nissan Monozukuri Spirit Award. Shape was one of only three suppliers that achieved this high recognition of Monozukuri Spirit for 2015.  In Japanese, Monozukuri is a compound word comprising “mono” which means “products,” (literally, “thing”) and “zukuri” which means “process of making or creation”. However, the concept embraces more than the literal meaning. It offers the idea of possessing the “spirit to produce excellent products and the ability to constantly improve a production system and process”. The concept carries “overtones of excellence, skill, spirit, zest, […]