Molding Success

Engineer Missy Rogers believed the world of plastics held powerful new opportunities. In 2000, the former oil and gas executive launched Noble Plastics, a custom injection molding manufacturer that creates products for the petrochemical sector.

Her Grand Coteau, La., facility works with a wide range of clients seeking industrial instrumentation and other products. Sales growth for Noble Plastics has been so pronounced that Rogers describes her business as “a tiger on a leash.”

"We’ve doubled our staff and have seen 30 percent annual growth over the last three years,” Rogers said. “It’s been very satisfying to present solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations."

Noble Plastics has developed a strong brand for converting industrial instrumentation and equipment traditionally made from metals into durable plastics that don’t corrode. The company is poised for further growth, but its next move needs to be strategic, Rogers said.

Earlier this year, she took advantage of the Louisiana Economic Gardening Initiative, an LED incentive that supports entrepreneurial growth by providing CEOs something they need but don’t always have the capacity to obtain: research about new markets, insights into the competition and strategies for gearing their growth to the next level.

The Economic Gardening Initiative is aimed at growthoriented businesses that have advanced beyond the startup phase. Like Rogers, these business leaders want assurance that the decisions they make about new markets, business organization and staff time are on solid ground. The Economic Gardening Initiative helps CEOs unearth relevant business intelligence that can guide their decision-making.

The Economic Gardening Initiative provides approximately 35 hours of research-based analysis to qualifying companies. Together, a CEO and an assigned Economic Gardening team will determine what information the team should research.

“They started by asking me what I wanted to know more about,” Rogers said. “For us, deciding what markets to target was really important. I could easily spend $50,000 on attending a couple of trade shows, but if they’re the wrong ones, it does me no good.”

Rogers suspected the defense and design industries made sense, but she wanted a targeted list of sales leads. She got the leads and other information without leaving her office or incurring fees. Rogers said the Economic Gardening team worked so quickly that she still had a balance of hours remaining, allowing her to find out additional information about possible markets.

“The team mined for and found incredible amounts of data in a really short period of time,” said Rogers. “They helped me narrow down where to place my marketing efforts, culling a list of about a thousand trade show possibilities to about three dozen I should be more knowledgeable about. We had a really good experience with the program.”