"There were many employees who were not sure if the plant would be open each day they arrived for work," he said. "We had to build trust."
The third step was increasing the top line and bottom line, though Mishkin said he expected to lose money early on. Artemis Plastics posted a "sizeable loss" in 2015 — its first full year in business — but turned a small profit in 2016, he said.
Since 2014, Mishkin said the company has seen double-digit growth in sales, and it is now profitable and cash-flow positive.
"Our strategy of quality and respect certainly empowered the team to deliver. We also challenged our managers to expand our capabilities and bring projects in-house that would have been outsourced," Mishkin said.
For 2018, the company generated nearly $4 million in sales. Mishkin said he is projecting sales for 2019 to reach just under $5 million, as the company prepares to take its proprietary products such as the dialyzer to market.
Aside from growing sales, Artemis Plastics is investing in more space and equipment to better serve customers.
The company recently purchased a 1,200-ton injection molding machine and auxiliary equipment for more than $300,000. The press — the company's largest yet — is expected to be installed by the end of February.
"We are very careful to invest in projects that we know will provide a double-digit return," Mishkin said. "We have one customer that required this larger press and has already placed an order for product."
Mishkin said the customer is covering the debt financing, too.
Artemis Plastics, which operates out of a 32,000-square-foot facility on 4 acres, currently has 12 injection presses in operation from 17-720 tons. All but one of the presses are horizontal. The company has a 50-ton vertical press that is routinely used for overmolding projects.
In addition to the 1,200-ton press that is on its way, the company is in the process of installing a 110-ton press and is considering a 30-ton press for a specific project.
Artemis Plastics is also finalizing plans and adding another 600-square-foot Class 8 clean room for device assembly and packaging. Its current clean room is approximately 400 square feet. The company has two other environmentally controlled rooms that are roughly 1,000 square feet.
Artemis Plastics has 27 full-time employees in Ocala, with plans to add up to three employees by the end of April.