Kydex was able to shift from primarily making plastic sheets for aviation to becoming an "essential business" producing materials for life-saving medical devices.
- Name: Ronn Cort
- Title: President
- Company: Kydex, LLC
- Industry: Thermoplastic manufacturer
- Region: Pennsylvania
- Vistage Chair: Jeannette Hobson
The Challenge: When lockdowns were issued to contain the coronavirus, Ronn Cort's manufacturing business was about to come to a grinding halt.
Leadership Opportunity: Yet, almost overnight, Kydex was able to shift from primarily making plastic sheets for aviation to becoming an "essential business" producing materials for life-saving medical devices. In just four days, 400 people were working in unison; all three plants were running 24/7, and Kydex was paying bonuses and developing new products.
"I've put myself into Vistage - a network of peers and mentors - which gives me access to the best and the brightest. And I try my best to share that knowledge within my company," said Cort.
He also attributed Kydex's lightning-quick transformation to "the playbook" he learned during the Vistage Executive Leadership Program in collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business.
"I've put myself into Vistage - a network of peers and mentors - which gives me access to the best and the brightest. And I try my best to share that knowledge within my company."
Even though it hadn't previously worked with the automotive industry (other than with Tesla on their charging stations), Kydex was chosen as one of the companies to partner with the nation's car parts plants who were ordered to convert to medical-supply factories by the Defense Production Act.
Kydex succeeded in meeting the demand and impossible deadlines.
As a result, the company was lauded in emails from new customers for their extraordinary efforts-- with Cort saying that his favorite comment came from a VP at a large automotive manufacturer, who said:
"Mr. Cort, when this is over, I will meet you and your team. What you have achieved in four days should not be possible. But, you have done it. I need to learn how you've done it."
Cort credits Vistage. "I can draw lines from specific Vistage speakers, meetings or events to the success of our company. And there is no doubt that we are growing right now because of the experience and knowledge gained in the Vistage Executive Leadership program."