Expansion of current facility leads to better work flow

Sunrise over the new the facility entrance door

Allied Plastics is announcing its worldwide headquarters in Twin Lakes after the company expanded its plastic thermoforming facilities to streamline operations, create more room to grow and boost the company’s three-campus-wide footprint to nearly 300,000 square feet.

“The new building just brings everything together,” Allied Plastics co-owner Tim Neal says. “The state-of-the-art facility we had in the plant, we now have in the front office. Customers come through, they walk into a beautiful reception area, state-of-the-art office and then they walk out in the shop and it resembles what they see in the front office.”

Allied Plastics was established in 1995 with less than 10,000 square feet. Two years later, it tripled that space with its first expansion.

The 2021 addition is the company’s seventh, and it adds more than 35,000 square feet of warehouse space and more than 6,500 square feet of brand new office space to the campus in Twin Lakes. Including the company’s locations in Genoa City, Wisconsin, and Richmond, Illinois, Allied Plastics now encompasses just under 300,000 square feet.

Bringing it all together

Arial photo of the construction process for the recent Allied Plastics expansion

In February 2020, a month before the coronavirus was officially declared a global pandemic, co-owners Tim Neal and Steve Wieder had a decision to make. The company had to decide whether to go forward with a project to expand its warehouse and office in Twin Lakes. The company had already purchased a new piece of manufacturing equipment to keep up with booming business, and in order to make room it leased the Richmond, IL building, which has since been purchased by Allied. The company also wanted room to grow with future additional hires.

Construction began in April 2020 and finished in January. In addition to expanding to meet growing business, the project also aimed to streamline collaboration between departments.

“We had offices scattered all over the place, so the expansion brought everything together and now it’s centrally located,” OEM Sales Manager Jon Larson says. “Before, our offices were all on one side of the building, and you’d have to walk across the street (to get to other departments). And honestly, it was probably a 10-minute walk to get to engineering. So everything’s kind of brought together, it really helps with the collaboration.”

Some features of the new open-concept office include large windows for lots of natural light, a new cafe for employees and stand-up desks in the office.

Allied Plastics co-owner Steve Wieder adds that the company’s value of being like “one big family” was a part of the new building’s vision.

“In the cafe, we have multiple tables, monitors, so people can just get together and sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about projects, talk about things that are happening,” Wieder said. “We really tried to create that environment, more of a feel-at-home atmosphere. It’s good for our employees too. They’ve got all state-of-the-art, brand new stuff, that helps them stay here. We don’t want them to leave.”

Expansion project challenges

Rendering of Allied Plastics new expansion project

Aside from the day-to-day distraction of construction and shifting parking, a few larger challenges popped up amid the eight-month construction project, including a change in architect.

Neal and Wieder had a strong vision for how their state-of-the-art office would look, and about halfway through the project, they hired a new firm. 

“The truth is, the architect that originally designed the office, we just weren’t happy with it and we ended up hiring a new architect firm halfway through the project, and they helped create that space,” Neal said.

During construction, two external transformers needed to be relocated within the existing facility. Allied Plastics also installed utilities underground for a future thermoforming machine.

Booming: Strongest quarter in 25 years, empowering our people

Three months after the expansion was complete, more good news: Allied Plastics earned its strongest quarter in the 25-year history of the company, and Neal and Wieder said the company has a projected revenue of $50 million this year.

“We’re expanding, we’re growing and right now, business is very good,” Wieder says.

Another big change this year? After sharing an office for more than two decades at their plant, Neal and Wieder were able to make more space for themselves and benefit their team.

“Below the new office space, in an existing building, we built kind of what you would call an executive wing where Steve and I reside,” Neal says. “We felt that after 25 years of sharing an office together, we deserved that. But what it’s done is it’s allowed us to empower our people even more so, because we’re not as accessible as we were in the past. They make decisions without coming to us with every detail.”

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