Break all the molds. Reinvent yourself and manufacturing.
Well-grounded visionaries change the world.
Detroit, Michigan: Take a chemistry lesson at Small Business School and learn how George Hill and Arnold Joseff turned rust into riches using the basic elements of friendship, innovation, and a dream for making their community and the world a better place.
Founded in 1971 in a riot-torn and rundown part of Detroit, today, Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc. is a holding company for four subsidiaries, employs 200+ people and generates over $70 million in annual sales.
The real chemistry in this story is a very personal one. George and Arnold, friends since high school, began with a vision and transformed it into a set of businesses that produces sealants, adhesives, and products and parts from recycled rubber and other composites; one of their businesses also distributes paper products.
In this seemingly disjointed amalgamation of ventures lies a cohesiveness of principles and values that firmly adheres customers, suppliers, employees and the community to this homegrown business.
This is a story about good things happening to good people, yet in this episode we learn that there’s no alchemy in Diversified Chemical’s success. Rather, it is the right mix of ingredients -- attention to details, adherence to rules and procedures and exacting standards, fiscal responsibility, personal accountability, and an investment in their people and community -- that produce results that consistently meet their customer’s expectations and exceed their customer’s requirements.
They got their formulas right, but something was wrong, so they went into a mid-career self-analysis.
How many companies would even consider stopping what they’re doing when everything seems to be working so well? Surprisingly, the results can be quite dramatic. When George Hill and Arnold Joseff decided to stop being sales-driven and to become innovation-driven, the entire business was totally reinvented. They took their lab off the back burner and turned up the heat by putting it at the very core of the company. It meant putting technology ahead of personality as a way of defining their competence within their industry.
And, it meant investing heavily in talent.
They started recruiting scientists with PhDs and Master’s degrees. Diversified Chemical Technologies became a magnet for diverse talent that continues to transform the business with ingenuity, creativity and a strong work ethic. The results have been revolutionary. Dramatic improvements in process cycle times, tremendous increases in efficiency and new technologies applied to using recycled materials that save money—and the environment.
It’s a business known for innovation and results, and all because two guys stopped what they were doing to think.
This neighborhood, virtually abandoned by the city-state-and-federal folks since the '67 Detroit riots, is becoming vital again. Some of the open wounds are finally being healed simply because the people of this small-but-growing business care.
Meet George Hill and Arnold Joseff and some of the remarkable people who surround them.