Fast and reliable delivery of PLEXIGLAS® as key factor for our business
“We can produce almost anything that is made of plastic,” says the owner of Plastic Online Ltd, Andy Caley. The Hull-based company processes various plastics, including PLEXIGLAS®, into a broad variety of standard products and comprehensive solutions from idea to completion. The company uses the new PLEXIGLAS® Business Online Shop for the UK to order the brand acrylic glass from Evonik and is faster and more flexible than ever.
Tailor-cut plastic, 300 different products, as well as individual solutions for customers from the idea to the finished product – this wide spectrum not only describes the portfolio of the plastic processors Plastic Online Ltd. but is also a reflection of the history of the company and of the owner, Andy Caley.
“I joined my father in the family business, which is involved in the supply of semi-finished materials in plastic of all types. This was over 35 years ago,” says Caley. As a teenager, the 54-year old would cut sheets, deliver them to local companies and thus eventually developed an interest in technical plastics. “At the time, I was fascinated by the ease in which plastics can be used to solve many challenges in engineering,” the entrepreneur remembers. A fascination, which he has had his whole life, and which continues to drive him to further develop his product range. Over the years, the company grew and expanded into providing extra services and added value for its products. In the early 1990’s, Caley started to specialize in acrylics and display materials mainly connected to the shopfitting industry.
Established in the early days of the online revolution
The businessman took the bold step into the online world in 2005. “I wanted to offer customers an easy way to order materials which would be cut to their requirements and delivered to their door.” Using online platforms and a dedicated website, Plastic Online quickly became one of the prominent companies in this sector. Since then, the product range has expanded over the years. “Nowadays, we are a one stop shop for all manner of display products, furniture and a vast array of standard products,” he says. Moreover, Plastic Online Ltd. offers a comprehensive solution from idea to completion from a single source.
A large share of Plastic Online Ltd. production begins with inquiries. “We therefore rely on fast and reliable material delivery,” Caley explains. “That can be quite a challenge, since we order different materials from many different manufacturers.” For PLEXIGLAS®, the company largely uses the Business Online Shop from Evonik. There are only a few specific items which are not available online and which Mr. Caley’s purchasing team orders via email or telephone from Evonik’s sales office. “The shop gives us direct access to a quality brand acrylic which meets the requirements for our current products,” he says. “The Business Online Shop is a faster, easier and more efficient way of ordering for us, which also works really well in practice.”
While Mr. Caley’s employees previously had to enter order numbers in lists and send these to Evonik via email or provide them over the telephone, the online shop enables the selection of the required materials and their quantities within a few clicks. “Unlike telephone orders, there is no potential confusion with this method as there could be when people collaborate,” says Caley. “Inquiries are also unnecessary when using the online shop.” The ordered goods are delivered by a logistics partner within 72 hours.” Thus, the online shop is the company’s main source for stockholding in the UK.
200 varieties of PLEXIGLAS® are available in the shop in various shapes and sizes. This large selection is important to Plastic Online, as they uses many different varieties of PLEXIGLAS® products. “Colors are offered along with specialist grades such as high impact PLEXIGLAS®, and the materials have a 30-year warranty against discoloration,” he states. “This flexibility and quality allows us to implement various projects.” He produces splashback protection elements for kitchens using PLEXIGLAS® Hi-Gloss and colorless mounts for electric toothbrushes using colorless PLEXIGLAS® XT.
When visions become products
In addition to these daily products, Plastic Online Ltd. frequently develops individual solutions for customers, including a transparent yet robust dome for a new 3D printer, which is made from a single piece. Orders like these are particularly exciting for the company owner: “There is a sense of purpose and job satisfaction in witnessing the adoption of my ideas and seeing something I created being used,” he says. When a project is finished, the plastics expert is already thinking about the next one: “Currently, my work focuses on creating new products to sell directly to market via the online platforms and thus open up a new market.”