Q: Which markets hold the most opportunity for you?
Flannery: Our quality systems and our capabilities lend themselves to highly regulated markets. That's medical device, that's life sciences. And it's also other areas that benefit from controls and process consistency: automotive, aerospace and others.
I would say in five years, I see the majority of our business being in life sciences and medical devices. Those customers, once you get a customer who is pleased with your service and you become an extension of your capabilities, they're going to continue to deliver for you as long as you continue to deliver for them. It's too difficult for them to add to their suppliers.
We've built three clean rooms over the last 18 months. Our fourth, we're going to start construction soon, and it will be complete by the end of 2021. So we'll have over 40,000 square feet of clean room space. The majority of our growth is in controlled-environment, clean room contract manufacturing.
Q: The pandemic has changed so much of our business lives and our personal lives. Is there a lesson that you've pulled from it as it relates to Formula Plastics?
Flannery: There's so many lessons. You have to react to what you see happening in the market. The companies that didn't react went out of business. We're at 750 employees. Pre-pandemic, we were at 500. We went down to half of that in March. And then, every operator that we had to furlough we hired back, and more.
It's been a very stressful year. And I think we've had to really make sure that our employees have felt supported. Alex and I took a 100 percent pay cut. All of our salaried employees took a 20 percent reduction in pay. And I'm proud to say that we paid every dollar of that back, plus.
Our employees really, I think, have a high degree of trust in what we're doing and our mission. I think we're really living up to that, in many cases. Not to say we're perfect by any stretch. But we have a motto: We suck less than the competition [laughs]. And we like to joke about, and we still want to look in the mirror and challenge ourselves every day.
So the lesson learned is it's all about the people who we work with every day and about making sure they feel supported. And my role is as their servant. I'm the third-shift janitor. I'm the cafeteria staff. I'm whatever I need to be to make sure our team members feel like what we do here matters. I think we're living up to that, and I'm proud of that.
Q: What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
Flannery: Making sure that we continue to be focused on delighting our customers and that we have the right resources, and just executing and meeting our commitments. When you're doubling the size of your business, and you have a pipeline to double again, our biggest risk right now is execution risk. It's all about making sure you have the best and brightest and most engaged employees that are focused to delight our customers.
I can't say it keeps me up at night, because it's something that I really enjoy personally. This is a passion for me; I love what I do. I hope that my passion, and our passion as a team, I hope that rubs off on our customers. And our financial results suggest that is happening.
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