Q: Which markets offer you the most opportunities?
Flannery: Our quality systems and capabilities are suitable for highly regulated markets. These are medical devices, these are life sciences. But other areas also benefit from controls and process consistency: automotive, aerospace and others.
I would say five years from now, I see the majority of our business in the life sciences and medical devices. These customers, once you have a customer who is happy with your service and you become an extension of your skills, they will continue to deliver for you as long as you continue to deliver for them. It’s too difficult for them to add their suppliers.
We have built three clean rooms in the past 18 months. Our fourth, we will start building soon and it will be ready by the end of 2021. So we will have over 40,000 square meters of clean room space. The majority of our growth comes from contract manufacturing in controlled environments in the clean room.
Q: The pandemic has changed our business and personal lives so much. Is there any lesson you have learned from this in relation to Formula Plastics?
Flannery: There are so many lessons. You have to respond to what you see in the market. The companies that did not respond went out of business. We have 750 employees. We were at 500 before the pandemic. We went back to half in March. And then we hired back every operator that we had to take leave and more.
It was a very stressful year. And I think we really had to make our employees feel supported. Alex and I made a 100 percent pay cut. All of our employees received a 20 percent pay cut. And I’m proud to say we paid back every dollar of it, plus.
I believe that our employees really have a high level of trust in our work and our mission. I think we are really doing it justice in many cases. Not to say that we are far from perfect. But we have a motto: We suck less than the competition [laughs]. And we like to joke, and we still want to look in the mirror and challenge ourselves every day.
So it’s about the people we work with every day and making them feel supported. And my role is their servant. I’m the caretaker on the third shift. I’m the staff in the canteen. I am whatever I have to be to make sure our team members feel that what we are doing here matters. I think we’re doing it justice, and I’m proud of that.
Q: What, if anything, keeps you awake at night?
Flannery: We make sure that we continue to focus on delighting our customers, that we have the right resources and that we are simply fulfilling and fulfilling our commitments. If you double the size of your business and need to double the pipeline again, our biggest risk right now is execution risk. It’s about making sure you have the best, brightest, most dedicated people who are focused on delighting our customers.
I can’t say it keeps me up at night because it’s something I personally enjoy a lot. This is a passion for me; I love what i do. I hope that my passion and our passion as a team rub off on our customers. And our financial results suggest that this is happening.