According to sources at Sims Snowboards, their binding manufacturer—C-Tech Plastics—has closed its doors. This will affect delivery of all Sims’ bindings to retailers this fall. However, the company sees this as a good opportunity to shift its binding production to a less-expensive supplier and anticipates still shipping almost all its orders by late September or early October.
“We’re sourcing factories right now and expect to get the bindings done quickly once we pick a manufacturer,” says Sims VP of Sales Todd Liotine. “We’re looking at suppliers in Italy and Asia. We’re getting a lot of calls.”
Sims had been one of the only companies to have its bindings manufactured in the United States, which contributed to its higher prices. C-Tech Plastics was based in Vancouver, Washington.
According to Liotine, C-Tech had recently been bought by Imperial Rubber & Urethane Corporation based in Nisku, Alberta, Canada. According to C-Tech’s Web site, both companies are well-established, high-quality enterprises capable of designing, engineering, testing, prototyping, and manufacturing a broad spectrum of custom-engineered plastics, rubber, polyurethane, metal and metal-to-polymer bonded components, products and systems for a wide range of industry segments, including medical, microelectronics, sporting goods, automotive, and aerospace. Apparently, Imperial decided to shut down C-Tech, leaving Sims high and dry.
“At least we didn’t lose any money,” says Liotine. “We hadn’t paid for anything this year because we knew there were changes taking place. It was the last year of our contract, and we were going to change factories anyway.” However, the situation made things happen a little earlier then Sims expected. The company is currently trying to get its binding molds back to help with continuing production.
No one answered repeated calls to C-Tech, and the receptionist at Imperial said, “No one here wants to talk to you about that.”
Liotine says other Sims products, such as boards and boots, will ship on time or even early this season.