Necessity is the mother of invention. It’s also the mother (or father, in this case) of APR (Allen Plastics Repair).
The story begins with 18-year-old Dan Allen. Working on the family onion farm in upstate New York was just one of Dan’s jobs. Dan was born with an entrepreneur’s heart, and he began several business ventures in his youth. Once, he tried remodeling. Another time, rental properties. Perhaps the most famous story of Dan’s projects was the time he bought up all the eggs in town just before Halloween, then resold them. Let the trouble-makers do what they may.
But it would be years before Dan would alight on the idea that made his business dreams come true. His keen skills at observation, honed during his youthful business launches, came in handy when Dan moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and began working for Lake End Sales, a distribution warehouse. As many companies do, Lake End Sales used small plastic totes for their products and pallets for shipping. And as small plastic totes and containers do, they broke. Over and over. There were no better options, and so the company simply threw the broken containers in the landfill and bought new.
For Dan, that would just not do. He saw that the practice was more than just wasteful; it was also expensive. Dan began fixing the containers. At first, Dan repaired the pallets with a crow bar and a hammer out of the basement of his house. His entrepreneurial spirit came in handy through those early days, when, as Dan recalls, “It was a lot of work and time, for very little money.”
The time and effort paid off, along with some impressive recycling advancements. Years of practice and learning helped Dan advance his pallet recycling techniques, but it was much later when he finally found the solution he was after. One day, among the library stacks, Dan discovered plastic welding equipment that offered a much more efficient way of repairing totes and pallets. Immediately, Dan began lining up customers, and the business took off.
Soon, Dan needed more help, and he asked his brother Mark to join him in the business. Mark agreed, moved his family to Indiana, and in July 1985, APR was born.
Today APR saves its customers money with numerous services and options, including
- Container rental for only periods needed
- repairing broken containers for significantly less money than buying new
- recycling scrap containers to recuperate some of customers’ initial investment
- creating customized boxes that fit exact specifications
- selling cost-effective refurbished containers.
With decades of experience in plastic fabrication, APR has now moved into larger containers, focusing primarily on plastic collapsible bulk containers. A sturdy and reusable alternative to corrugated containers, APR’s plastic collapsible containers come in a variety of sizes to fit all kinds of applications. APR’s experienced account representatives work with customers to determine the ideal plastic collapsible container size for any application, from standard size to extended length containers, available in three different footprints and four different heights.
Necessity is still inspiring APR to invent, too. This year, APR got a call from a customer with a special need. They needed containers on a short-term basis only, and asked APR if that was a possibility. The APR team created a customized container rental program specifically to fill that need.
As part of the rental program, customers can rent containers as needed. APR delivers the containers, and when the customer returns them, APR bills only for the amount of time used. An ideal solution for companies doing a short production run, expanding their operations or moving, the APR rental program offers versatility and a lower initial investment for its growing customers.
For more information, visit www.aprplasticrepair.com.