News & Events
John J. Argitis - CEO ONE ON ONE
Telegram & Gazette, October 21, 2012 --
Founded in 1962, G&F Industries molds and assembles customized plastic parts for a range of industries, from medical to automotive. Mr. Argitis took over as president and chief executive officer of the company in 2008, succeeding his father, John G. Argitis, who is now retired. In 2007, G&F Industries bought a company called UPCOA, renaming it G&F Medical and moving its operations from Peabody to Danvers. G&F Medical specializes in silicone injection molding, a process similar to G&F Industries' core services. Overall, the company employs 75 full-time permanent employees and about 70 temporary employees at the Sturbridge and Danvers facilities.
G&F Industries is celebrating its 50th anniversary. How has the company succeeded over the years?
“We focus on satisfying our customers' needs, and we do that by providing great value, excellent service and great quality. ... The bottom line is we are very, very fortunate to have great customers and great employees, and we value both and do our best to be respectful to each. Those are things I was taught by my father.”
What do you offer to your customers that helps you stand out from competition?
“The greatest value or service that we can offer customers is a stable, sound company with a dedicated team of individuals, and those individuals have to understand what the customer's needs are and are willing to work to meet those needs. … Because many of our customers are manufacturers as well, it is oftentimes their customers' driving demand. Sometimes when we have a challenging problem, we have to remind ourselves of that — maybe it's not our customer driving demands, but it's their customers. Sometimes there is a trickle down, and we have to be conscientious of this.”
Do you think manufacturing is still an important part of the American economy?
“I believe manufacturing is critical to the health and the economy of the country in general. Aside from the most obvious reasons why manufacturing is important, like jobs and revenue through exports, I believe that a more subtle reason why manufacturing is critical is that through manufacturing we learn to innovate. And without innovation and development of new technologies, we are going to be in trouble as a nation. … Manufacturing leads to innovation, and innovation is pretty important to the health of the nation.”
What does it take for a manufacturer to succeed in the United States, and Massachusetts in particular?
“Willingness and ability to be flexible has been important for us. That is one thing. We serve a wide variety of industries, from medical to defense on one end to sometimes we even have individual inventors walk in the door on the other. We need to be accommodating and try to understand what's important and what's not important to them. Diversification has also played a major role in our success. We acquired UPCOA in 2007 that specializes in the silicone molding, and silicone molding is a newer technology than thermoplastic molding. And by offering that different technology we found a niche market that differentiates us. Our hope is that there would be some synergy between G&F Industries and G&F Medical, allowing both to prosper.”
Does your company export or do any of your customers export, and if so have you had any concerns about the European debt crisis or talk about a possible global slowdown?
“We export to Mexico and to Europe, and as a business owner I'm always concerned about economic slowdowns, but there is not much I can do about an economic slowdown. What we can do is continue to do a good job for our customers. It seems like there is never a day without challenge, but there is never a day without opportunity either, and sometimes you just have to look for it.”
Do you find it challenging to find skilled workers to work in manufacturing?
“Sometimes we do. Manufacturing offers many great careers for those who are willing to pursue them, and as a good manufacturer, as a good company, we offer educational opportunities and opportunities to grow within our company to those who are willing. So it's important for us to find employees who are willing and able to learn and to be dedicated to their job, and we will train them to do a good job.”
Compiled by correspondent Brian Boyd
For more information, contact John J. Argitis, President, G&F Industries, at email@example.com or 508-347-9132.