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STONER的故事

从孤儿到演变成企业家


保罗.斯托纳,STONER公司的创始人,在幼年时已学会要有耐心和毅力。1914年,出生于美国宾夕法尼亚州的兰开斯特镇,他13岁时,双亲不幸患了突发疾病身亡。他虽然是孤儿,又正值是美国经济大萧条时期,但感恩的是保罗得到他的家人、朋友和亲戚的无微不至的照顾和怜悯,他从小就十分懂事,勤学读书及课余兼职工作,凭着坚持不懈的努力,他最终考进了美国著名的富兰克林马歇尔学院,并取得化学学位。


保罗热爱科学和具有解决问题的实践能力。于1942年,他成立STONER公司,专门生产油墨、油漆和工业涂料,供给本土企业。在1950年代,保罗因应当时美国本土急速发展的塑料和橡胶行业而自行研发出脱模剂。到1960年代中期,美国主要的汽车和电子生产商都主动来找保罗,向他寻求一些润滑和清洁的解决方案。其中一些原始配方沿用至今。


保罗.斯托纳的孙儿,罗伯特在80年代中期便正式接手STONER公司。通过他富有远见的领导及他祖父已建立的基础下,罗伯特积极扩张业务,开发具领导行业的品牌,如INVISIBLE GLASS。保罗.斯托纳于1986年去世,但他那份秉持不懈的奋斗精神仍然存在,至今一直带领着STONER团队。



今天STONER已成功研制和生产了超过数百种的清洁剂、涂料和润滑油产品,供应给世界各地的商业服务企业、制造商、政府机构和大学。STONER目前被业界公认为气溶胶技术的领导者。STONER亦是塑料、聚氨酯、复合材料、橡胶制品、电子产品、以及专业护理产品行业的领导品牌之一。


STONER润滑油是用于制造军用飞机内的引擎发动机和潜艇组件。STONER电子清洁剂是用于通讯设备、计算机、办公设备,以及货币处理设备的保养。


塑料和橡胶加工厂会使用STONER脱模剂去生产仪表盘、座椅、软管、垫圈和汽车内饰。汽车美容店、汽车精品经销商、汽车收藏家和爱好者亦会使用STONER汽车护理产品为爱车进行清洁、打蜡、一般日常护理。



STONER的汽车文化

在1960年代,由于汽车零部件制造商指定要求使用STONER脱模润滑剂,所以当时市场上很流行。及后,STONER特别研制的配方生产汽车专用的清洁剂。70年代初,STONER开发首创的塑胶物料光亮剂压缩装,称为“无摩擦光亮剂“,它能恢复汽车塑胶物料的光泽和色彩,而不需擦拭。


STONER的生产工场位于全国最大的汽车拍卖场的旁边,所以“无摩擦光亮剂”很快成为汽车美容、汽车经销商,和洗车人士的最爱。


因应美国本土出现庞大的客户群,于是STONER陆陆续续推出新的清洁剂、车蜡和抛光剂。产品最初只供应给行内的专业汽车美容店,不作零售。及后,大批的汽车爱好者发现STONER产品的独特性,因此要求我们开始推展在汽车零售商店出售。


STONER汽车护理用品

由于STONER汽车护理用品的知名度日渐提高和产品易于使用,1996年开始,一些专业护理产品已渐渐地有零售分销。随着顾客了解和熟悉STONER品牌和包装后,再加上全球各地广告宣传活动不断进行,可以令更多的汽车爱好者认识我们。今天STONER汽车护理产品能为汽车用家的首选是因为其优越的性能和易于使用的气溶胶技术。



60 Years of Innovation

Located near Quarryville in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Stoner manufactures specialized cleaners, lubricants, and coatings for both business-to-business and consumer applications.

Founded 60 years ago by Paul Stoner (inset photo), the company has enjoyed a history of innovation and accomplishment, often against difficult odds. Paul Stoner, although orphaned as a child during the depression, persevered to earn a degree in chemistry and eventually start his own company in the 1940's.

Today, pursuing a mission to help customers "save time, increase productivity, and improve the quality of their work". Stoner formulates more than 300 solutions that are packaged in aerosol cans and larger bulk-liquid containers. For example, Stoner is the largest supplier of anti-stick release agents for the plastic molding industry.

Stoner specialty lubricants are used to manufacture military fighter jet engines, submarine components, and parts for the NASA space shuttle.

Stoner electronic cleaners help maintain telecommunications equipment, computers, office equipment, and money handling machines.

Professional auto detailers, collectors, and enthusiasts use Stoner car care products to clean, shine, and protect their favorite vehicles, from Fords to Ferraris. Several of these, including a no-streak glass cleaner called Invisible Glass, have recently gained national distribution through retail auto parts stores as well as the internet. Go to www.invisibleglass.com to learn more.

Serving more than 6,000 manufacturers, service businesses, government agencies, and universities, Stoner supplies products across the United States and internationally through distributors as well as factory-direct.

All products originate from the company's world headquarters, a single location in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania's Amish country. "Although we ship products worldwide, our goal is to be geographically invisible to our customers", says Traffic Director, Roy Peters.

Stoner's facility includes corporate offices, a research and development laboratory, manufacturing lines, warehousing, and shipping operations.

 

A Quest for Excellence

Stoner's commitment to business excellence began in 1992 to improve business results and establish a foundation for growth. Since then, the company has enjoyed double-digit average annual sales growth and consistent profitability.

Stoner routinely receives best-in-class customer satisfaction ratings and enjoys high morale among its employees. In 1995, Stoner was the first company to win the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award, the highest honor bestowed on businesses in the region.

In 2003 Stoner was the smallest business ever to win the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Only fourteen small businesses have won the award since its inception in 1988.

 

Team Based Culture

Under the visionary guidance of company President Robert Ecklin, Jr., grandson of founder Paul Stoner, daily operations at Stoner are coached by a Leadership Team. These hands-on leaders, with an average of 10 years service with the company, coach strategy development, help develop team processes, and mentor team members within their functional teams.

Strategic plans, deployed throughout the company, include vision and mission statements, goals and key performance indicators, and prioritized action items. Team members gather to communicate their plans and report progress at all-company meetings held in a refurbished 1700's stone farm house on the Stoner property.

Stoner team members are both empowered and incentivized to fulfill the needs of customers and meet performance objectives. Guidance is provided by a core set of company values: Exceed Customer Expectations, Motivated Team, Safety/Health/Environmental Responsibility, Innovation, and Continuous Improvement.

Performance-based bonus incentives, both financial and non-monetary, allow team members to share in the success of the company along with other Stoner stakeholders. "We try to hire the best, give responsibility and freedom, and share the rewards" says General Manager, Rob Marchalonis.

 

Exceed Customer Expectations

Stoner's strategy is to accurately target and acquire customers, and then keep them for a lifetime with world-class service. Some services that Stoner customers enjoy include: same day shipping of orders received by 5pm, FREE delivery to continental US destinations for full case shipments, a money-back guarantee, volume price discounts, low priced sample kits, and free expert advice and technical support.

Knowledgeable, factory-trained customer-care team members are empowered to immediately resolve customer concerns without cumbersome approval or frustrating delays. As a result, Stoner enjoys strong customer loyalty with a key customer retention rate in excess of 98%.

Feedback from customers who are dissatisfied is recorded in what is known as the "Below Expectations Log." Each customer's feedback is reviewed weekly by the entire leadership team, and by functional teams where appropriate, to determine corrective actions. Less than 1.5 % of all Stoner customer transactions result in below expectations feedback. Customer satisfaction is further monitored by an independent polling firm, where Stoner has enjoyed best-in-class ratings in four of five categories.

 

Innovative Marketing

Within their respective markets, Stoner products are easily recognized by bright, colorful packaging and memorable, trademarked brand names such as Invisible Glass glass cleaner, SpeedBead aerosol auto wax, ZeroStick mold release, GUST air duster, and Trim Shine auto protectant.

Stoner products are marketed using direct mail, catalogs, magazine advertising, and telephone or face-to-face selling. Promotional offers encourage new prospects to try Stoner products. Stoner catalogs have been recognized among the nation's best by Catalog Age judges, leaders in the direct marketing profession.

Using internet technology, Stoner has multi-tiered e-commerce web sites for key market segments as well as for individual product brands. Stoner web sites, such as MoreShine.com and CriticalCleaning.com, are supported with print media and catalog advertising campaigns.

 

Technology Leader

Innovative use of technology has resulted in improved operating efficiencies and better product development. Stoner is widely recognized as a leader in aerosol technology, with more than 200 different aerosol formulations that utilize dozens of proprietary packaging innovations.

In many applications, Stoner aerosols offer improved safety characteristics without sacrificing performance. Many formulations utilize water-based technology that provides environmental and economic benefits.

As customers and requirements have increased, the company has systematically added factory automation and information technology in response. For example, Stoner recently implemented a state-of-the-art Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to link operations across all functional areas of the business from raw material ordering through production and inventory management to shipping and sales tracking.

''It's rare for a company of our size to implement an Enterprise system this advanced,'' says IT Manager and Controller, Jon Farrell. The system went "live" on its target date, a rare feat with projects of such magnitude. One benefit Stoner's accounting team now enjoys is a paperless workflow, eliminating an "entire wall" of filing cabinets.

 

Lean and Flexible Manufacturing

Stoner products are produced and shipped by a lean, highly skilled team that is motivated and empowered to solve problems and improve production efficiency. Flexible manufacturing processes keep inventories low yet enable Stoner to ship orders the same day. Networked computers provide shop floor management and facilitate smooth communications.

All members of Team Stoner are trained and tested to ensure safe operating practices. Team members have benefited from more than 100,000 work hours without a lost time accident. Safety milestones are celebrated with all-team lunches and safety-related gifts.

 

Commitment to Community

Members of Team Stoner are active supporters of local and regional community initiatives. Most contributions and volunteer efforts are focused on programs related to youth activities, Lancaster downtown development, and the promotion of business excellence.

For example, Stoner's President, Rob Ecklin, has been instrumental in the recent purchase of the historic Rocky Spring's Carousel for relocation to downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In total, Stoner team members volunteer more than 1,000 hours to community activities annually. "Being active outside Stoner is good for both the community and our company," says Customer Service Manager, Dave Scranto

 

 

A Legacy Continues

Extending its tradition of innovation and achievement, Stoner continues to develop and market new "solutions" to help customers in both business-to-business and consumer markets. In anticipation of continued growth over the next decade, Stoner plans to expand its facility with an addition that will include both office and warehouse space. "Leading edge technology and a continued commitment to customers will fuel our growth," says Technology Manager, Harry Zechman.