When one door opens, sometimes even more open with it. That was the case for Gary Mishkin, CEO of Artemis Plastics.
Beginning as Apollo Renal Therapeutics, Mishkin acquired an existing manufacturing plant in order to produce a proprietary hemodialysis device that he developed.
“The injection molding contract manufacturing business was an added benefit of acquiring the plant and has turned out to be a successful venture on its own.”
Now, Artemis Plastics is a comprehensive custom injection molding and contract manufacturing partner that co-develops, manufactures and assembles devices.
Focused on combining innovation and technology, Artemis Plastics has created devices such as a Double Fiber Bundle Dialyzer for patients needing kidney dialysis, that delivers high efficiency treatments using the same dialysis machines already in the dialysis clinics and a stethoscope sanitizing device to help reduce cross contamination in health care settings.
On their radar, is a test strip and a standard glucometer for the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease. This will aid in the discovery and monitoring of kidney function changes throughout the world.
“No matter the need, our customers know that our process is innovative, thorough and efficient.”
A change of pace
After acquiring the company, Mishkin had the opportunity to keep the things that worked and change what didn’t. For him, company culture was at the forefront of his priorities.
“We acquired the assets of an existing organization that was in receivership. As you can imagine, the culture and morale were very low, prior to our acquisition,” he said. “We have also learned that it takes years to change a culture, and we know we are making good progress.”
“As a company owner, culture is very important. We strive to maintain a culture of collaboration, innovation, and progress. Culture must start at the top of an organization and top management must lead by example.”
About a year ago, Mishkin received validation that proved his leadership was cultivating the company culture he intended. “There was an issue with a product that went to a customer. To investigate the issue, we pulled together the entire team and, collaboratively, had discussions on the root cause, how to resolve the issue and methods to prevent the issue from re-occurring in this or other products,” he explained.
“After the meeting, one of our employees quietly stated to another that “…this was a huge change from previous management. In the past, the meeting would have been about “assigning blame,” now the focus is identifying and fixing the problem and moving forward.”
Mishkin has committed to creating a culture at Artemis Plastics that allows each employee to be their best, and in turn consistently deliver high quality, reliable parts to their customers.
Keeping a competitive edge
“Our experience makes us leaders in the medical, industrial and consumer industries; our commitment to quality keeps us there.”
In order to keep a competitive edge over similar competitors in the market, Mishkin says there are a few things they make sure to do before taking on a new project.
“We, as a group, evaluate the project and find ways to provide added benefits and improved efficiencies. We have created an Operating System that enables us to clearly articulate our vision to our customers,” he said. “We ensure all parties are clear on the key objectives, employees are clear on their respective goals and metrics, and we leverage repeatable processes so everyone is clear on their roles and respective hand-offs. Upper management’s job is to clear potential and actual barriers, so that each project can run as smoothly as possible.”
“When we first interact with prospective customers, or existing customers with a new project, we provide them with our unique value proposition – what we do, and how we do it,” Mishkin said. “We provide a high-level view of the overall process from start to finish, to ensure all parties are clear on the expectations and deliverables at each stage of development.”
However, for Artemis Plastics, the customer oriented mentality doesn’t end there. “We guide the product development process to ensure the project delivers what the customer anticipated, within the agreed upon time-frame and budget,” he said.
Knowing it takes a team, Mishkin is confident in his employees. “Our employees are empowered to provide feedback at every step of the product development process.” “The high percentage of repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals we get, helps us know we are doing well by meeting or exceeding our customer’s needs,” he said.
“If we had to identify just three traits that set us apart from our peers, it would be our innovative proprietary products under development, our commitment to quality, and our collaborative approach to problem solving, both internally and with our customers.”
Looking forward to the future, Mishkin says their focus is on the expansion of our capabilities and offerings.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
From the challenges he has overcome to the successes he has celebrated and everything in between, Mishkin had three important pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“After doing your research, if you still love your idea and see the need in the market, go for it. Make your mark. It may not seem like the best time, but there will never be a “best time;” you just have to commit.” he said.
He went on to stress to up-and-coming entrepreneurs, “Watch your cash flow. You may be profitable, but if cash flow is slow, you will run into issues if you do not plan accordingly.”
Lastly, “Maximize your upside and minimize your downside. If you keep your upfront costs low, you may start off making a smaller than desired margin, but as you prove the market, you can invest and improve margins in the near future,” he said.
What it means to be a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree
Artemis Plastics was selected as an honoree for this year’s Florida Companies to Watch, which recognizes second-stage companies located in Florida. Honorees demonstrate high performance, growth and innovation in the market place.
When asked about what being an honoree means for his company, Mishkin said, “It’s an honor. It provides welcomed validation that we are unique and on the right track as a successful employer in the state of Florida,” he said. “I want to thank my talented team of individuals at Artemis Plastics and members of the CEP and the Ocala community who believed in us and supported our vision.”
Notable Community Involvement
Artemis Plastics is committed to involvement with both local high schools and colleges providing students with internship opportunities and tours of their manufacturing facility. They are also active with the Engineering Technology Advisory Committee at the College of Central Florida, helping to shape the curriculum for present and future students.
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