Paul Manley worked his way up from the bottom at MGS Manufacturing Group Inc., joining the company in 1996 as an accounts payable clerk. He progressed to staff accountant, to controller, to vice president of finance.
“I started as a bit of a do-everything kind of person,” he said.
Now, as CFO and chief operating officer of the injection molder, he does even more.
He has helped the company grow from one plant to six. During his tenure, he has taken the firm from $15 million in annual sales to $180 million in 2014. In the past five years, the company has experienced 30 percent organic growth, and strategically doubled its position in the health care market.
Manley, who was one of the finalists for Plastics News' CFO of the Year award, also noted that MGS earned compound annual growth from operations of 43.5 percent for 2009-15.
The company saw record profit for fiscal 2014, ended in September, “and 2015 will beat that record,” Manley said May 14 by phone from the firm's headquarters in Germantown, Wis. He was preparing to leave for Singapore, having targeted that area and Malaysia as potential growth areas.
The expansion in health care came last year when MGS acquired a plant from a customer, Hospira Inc. The Buffalo, N.Y., plant makes parts for Hospira's medical-device and pharmaceutical operations.
The acquisition, which Manley called “a $25 million operation,” added 120 employees to the MGS staff, bringing the total to about 1,500. The site's 40 presses raised the MGS stable to around 250, ranging in size from 50-1,400 tons of clamping force.
For 2015, about 50 percent of MGS sales will come from the health care industry.
Manley also helped increase the firm's presence in the automotive market. MGS acquired a plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 2008. The site was the company's first outside the United States, and Manley emphasized it was acquired to serve customers in Mexico and not the U.S.