October 20, 2017 | last updated October 20, 2017 1:56 pm
Family Business Awards

Acme Wire Products Co. Inc.

Acme Wire Products employees pose for a photo outside the company's Mystic headquarters.

Acme Wire Products Co. Inc.

Headquarters: Mystic (town of Stonington)

Industry: Metal fabrication

Year Founded: 1970

Founder: Edward J. Planeta

Generation Currently Running Company: Second

No. of Full-Time Employees: 50

No. of Part-Time Employees: 3

Family Members Currently Employed at Company: Mary Planeta Fitzgerald, President; Edward Planeta, Jr., Vice President of Sales; Michael Planeta, Vice President of Manufacturing

Company Website: www.acmewire.com

What does your company do?

Acme is a job-shop manufacturer of custom formed and welded wire and metal component parts

How do you remain competitive in the market?

As business costs rise and competition becomes more fierce, Acme Wire Products continues to provide a high-quality product and personal service and responsiveness to our customers while striving to remain cost competitive. Acme Wire Products is not providing commodity products. We produce custom-fixtured wire and metal components. We have invested in technology, equipment upgrades, employee training and cross-training and look for areas where we can more fully meet the needs of our customers by expanding our fabrication capabilities.

Cost is an important consideration but we try to provide the best overall value to our customers, whether it is in the form of custom-packaging solutions, a variety of finishes or a weekly shipping schedule. As a company, we listen to our customers and provide them with a solution to best meet their needs.

How do you instill your family values in your employees?

We take the approach of communicating family and company values through the way we act, speak and conduct ourselves. We stress the traits and values that are important to us and what it takes to be successful on personal and professional levels. We do not instill, demand or require that employees follow a particular path.

The family values that we emphasize are stated in a portion of our corporate mission statement:

We have a commitment to our employees to provide fair wages and benefits and to respond to their concerns in a timely and efficient manner.

We will manage the business profitably so it continues to provide value and employment opportunities.

We will conduct business in an ethical manner and contribute to our local community in the areas of improving basic needs and in the form of sponsorship to direct and further the manufacturing talents and aptitude of our local workforce.

What are the top two goals for your company over the next 10 years?

The first goal is to broaden and diversify the markets we compete in. As a job-shop fabricator, Acme provides services to customers in a variety of markets. Over its 47 years in business, Acme Wire Products has transitioned from supplying customers such as Wang, IBM, Xerox, Eastman Kodak, to Northern Telecom, AT&T and other telecom cable manufacturers to custom kitchen accessories to a new generation of customers in markets that previously did not exist. As markets evolve and new projects emerge, Acme needs to continue to provide support to designers of new products, which will support us in our continued growth. By remaining broad based and diverse in the many markets we support we minimize our risks.

The second goal is to attract and train a new workforce that can carry on the wire fabrication skills that our current employees have. Our current team is skilled, loyal and creative. Passing along the tribal knowledge to the next generation of wire fabricators is a high priority. We have increased internal training and have had cross-training in numerous areas to strengthen our crew. Advances in programming and CNC forming and welding are increasing the skill levels needed throughout the organization. Acme Wire Products reaches out to the technical and community schools to share the message that manufacturing jobs are great careers. We work with our local manufacturing group, CBIA and CCAT to provide and promote these career opportunities.

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