Venture Merges Separate Operations

April 28, 2003
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MUSKEGON — A new, minority-owned joint venture seeks to capitalize on the strengths of its two founding companies while pursuing business in the automotive sector.

IMC Products Inc. and Seabrook Plastics Inc. formed IMC-Seabrook LLC in February. The initial business thrust of the joint venture is to secure contracts from existing automotive customers of IMC Products and Seabrook Plastics.

Targeting customers in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive supply industry, which already do business with both companies and know their capabilities, may make it a little easier for the joint venture to receive consideration, said Irmgard Cooper, the owner and chief executive of IMC Products and the chairperson and CEO of IMC-Seabrook LLC.

“That familiarity helps with getting the foot in the door,” Cooper said. “The companies that we have done work for are now re-looking at our capabilities.”

IMC Products provides component assembly, warehousing, distribution and contract management services to clients.

Seabrook Plastics is an injection-molding company serving the automotive, office furniture, material handling and marine industries. Both are ISO and QS certified.

Cooper said that combining the core competencies of the two companies to form IMC-Seabrook LLC leverages the expertise of both firms to offer customers a greater level of capabilities in a single company.

“It gives us some strong capabilities. Now we’re in position to add a little more value to the proposition,” Cooper added. “It’s really in the infancy as far as where we can go with this.”

She said IMC-Seabrook will push to ramp up production by June and also plans to seek out contracts with office furniture manufacturers based in West Michigan.

The joint venture is housed at IMC Products’ current facility in the Port City Industrial Park.

IMC-Seabrook is seeking certification from the Michigan Minority Business Development Council as a minority-owned business.

Cooper is hopeful that the joint venture will get consideration from automakers and top auto suppliers that are increasingly awarding contracts to more minority-owned companies. That trend is part of the reason behind the formation of the joint venture, she said.

“It kind of makes sense. I thought that if I wanted to test the waters, now is the time to do it,” Cooper said.       

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