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Desert Plastics Challenges Industry with Close Relationships with Clients and Employees

By Kelly Church

Desert Plastics is more than just an Albuquerque, NM manufacturing company. Formed in 1999, the company is a handicapped female-owned small business that specializes in designing and engineering products for ultra-high altitude airplanes, high energy experiments, snow measurement instrumentation, pure water creation and storage, solar vessels and more.

"As a small manufacturer, we rarely have the technical or financial ability to create major industry changes," Vanessa Chavez, Product Specialist for Desert Plastics, says. "However, we still know how to be competitive. Even though all of our products are made in-house in Albuquerque and shipped worldwide, we are usually much closer to our markets so we can react much faster than [larger companies]. Our faster reactions, our closeness to our customers and our common sense method of taking care of their business will always lead to success."

Owner Joe Barr shown above

Desert Plastics enjoys working closely with their clients to determine what features are essential in a project. The staff adamantly believes they can help companies improve their products. Chavez says this comes from bringing in opinions, allowing multiple sets of eyes on a project that bring different ideas, diversities and more to enhance a project.

"We contribute to the industry as a whole, and even more specifically to New Mexico by being good stewards of our social, political, economic and environmental realities," Chavez says. "We intend to leave things better than we found them. We also are very aware of the realities our employees must address in everyday life and adjust our benefits, our atmosphere if you will, to be attractive to them."

Photo Credit: Nathan Krishnan, taken at Hogle Zoo

In their human resources department, policies allow for employees to have flexibility at home, while working hard at work. Desert Plastics allows employees to work four 10-hour days, instead of a traditional Monday through Friday schedule. Chavez says this creates an environment that is more efficient with happier employees. Working longer days, fewer days each week allows employees to reduce their travel expenses by 20% while increasing the amount of time they are able to spend with their families and investing into their own personal lives.

She says Desert Plastics creates a work environment that supports the individual's work and personal needs with good pay, affordable healthcare, a positive (and fun) work environment and mutual respect for a strong workforce. The result is an expectation that employees work hard and invest the time they need while at Desert Plastics.

"That concept brings strength to our company," Chavez says. "We hold all our products and personnel to high standards. If our customers are not satisfied, we are not! Desert Plastics works to provide the customer with exactly what they envisioned, even if that means creating a product from a cocktail napkin idea. We carry our customers from start to finish."

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