Sawyer Industrial Plastics, Inc.
100 Enterprise Street, West Monroe, Louisiana 71292
Deborah (Debbie) Sawyer & William (Bill) D. Sawyer, Jr.
Sawyer Industrial Plastics Incorporated was founded in 1977 by William Sawyer Sr. and Ed
Nolan. They started this business as a coal laundering business, but it was William Sawyer Jr.,
Bill, who saw a need for material in the paper industry, and proposed the company fill this
need. It has now been supplying components and manufacturing materials for the paper
industry for over 30 years.
The company manufactures a composite material that is used inside the suction roll of a large
paper machine. The material is machined and grouped with other items to create a rebuild kit.
The suction roll is a maintenance item that is rebuilt on a regular basis. What makes the
material unique is that it is specifically designed for the environment in which it is used. The
suction roll has a strip of Teflon that is installed, which is a patented idea that helps the wear of
the material much better than other products.
Sawyer Plastics utilized global expansion to aid in sustaining the business and overcoming
economic downturns. Sawyer began exporting products to Mexico and Canada in 1980. Then in
1996, exportation expanded to customers in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, and Australia.
Sawyer has representatives in India, China, and Spain with distributors in Italy and Germany.
Having a presence in these countries provides Sawyer with more consistent export sales to
these areas of the world. In order to facilitate global expansion, Sawyer hired a new sales
manager and upgraded its IT services. Such advances were able to be made through
reorganizing the day to day functions of personnel and making duties more specific, as well as
through training and improving the education level of the managers. The company has seen a
15% increase in sales in 2011 due to the international market. Although the company did
experience some challenges, the biggest being the lack of funding support for growth, progress
was nonetheless able to be made.
Bill and Debbie tell entrepreneurs and small business owners to never stop learning and seeking
outside help and knowledge.
Debbie said. “With the current economic climate, the uncertainty of health care, and the
increased tax burdens to small businesses, they need to seek advice from knowledgeable
people. Find a mentor, ask another successful business owner, read, take classes … continue to
grow and find tools that will help manage the business better!”
Written by Crystal McCants on August 1, 2011