Container Manufacturing, Inc. Policies for Plant Visits
As one of the leading North American blow molders, Container Manufacturing, Inc. recognizes the occasional requirement for customer plant visits. However, when plant visits are necessary, we must also protect the innovation, processing techniques, and Intellectual Property (IP) that takes place in our manufacturing facility. Container Manufacturing prides itself on its Intellectual Property (IP) both from a manufacturing/processing and end product standpoint. Unfortunately, attempts by certain individuals whose sole purpose for a plant visit was to obtain processing techniques and know-how particular to Container Manufacturing, have resulted in tight controls over our proprietary work. Additionally, IP experts now caution that many visitors do not always understand or maintain the level of confidentiality that is expected in today's business environment, especially as it relates to the terms and conditions of non-disclosure agreements. Often times, agreements are executed on a management level, but actual visitors are not always properly advised on what has been signed. This issue becomes even more problematic when the individual that visited our facility leaves their company and suddenly works for our competitor or our customer's competitor (a potential situation that we have no control over). As a result, plant visits at Container Manufacturing, Inc. are strictly limited to package engineering, end-customer quality control and/or regulatory individuals directly responsible for package specifications and quality audits. To get started, any plant visit request must be initiated in writing on end-customers letterhead (or via email) detailing the purpose of the visit and the individual(s) that will be making the visit. All visitors must be employees of the customer requesting the visit. Once a written request is received, Container Manufacturing will determine if the visit is warranted. If so, we will forward a formal non-disclosure agreement to the authorized representative(s) from the visiting company, with full power to execute the agreement on behalf of its principal. The agreement will be signed by the authorized representative and returned to our office prior to or on the day of any scheduled visit. If the visitor is not authorized to sign such an agreement on behalf of their company, the agreement indicated above will be sent to the appropriate individual from the visiting company with authority to sign on behalf of the company. In this situation, a secondary agreement will also be sent to the individual visiting our facility in order to be sure that the individual understands that the non-disclosure remains in effect even if the employee leaves the company they are working for at the time of the plant visit. This policy applies to all customers (prospective and active).