Cape Coral-based niche manufacturer well positioned for next half century
Doug Gyure has much to celebrate this year as the second-generation business owner and his family business, S4J Manufacturing Services, Inc. both turn 50. The Cape Coral company is a major supplier of specialty connectors widely used in medical equipment. It has also carved out a niche as a custom manufacturer while maintaining steady employment for 14 people – and it all started when Gyure’s dad missed a bus.
Steven Gyure didn’t intend to found a manufacturing company, as he had his sights set on veterinary school. However, he couldn’t get the bus fare together to get there. Instead he went to work in the manufacturing industry and attended college for engineering in the evenings. He noticed the high prices his employer was paying to have some simple fabrication work done, and thought he could do it for less money. So in 1965 he did, working full time for the company while fabricating on the side in his garage.
The younger Gyure got involved at age eight, pushing a broom around the factory. “You can’t be in my family and not be involved in the business,” he said. The company incorporated in 1969, and focused its offerings around Luer Lock fittings around 1980, when Steven created a catalog from his own hand-drawn schematics. Around that time the manufacturing industry contracted, with metal components giving way to plastics. Plastic component manufacturers were able to deal in greater volume for their disposable products, but S4J recognized an opportunity to differentiate itself by specializing in the clean, high-performance, reusable connectors that are permanent and integral to durable medical equipment. S4J components can also be found in endoscopy devices and tools used in cosmetic surgery, for instance. A steering handle used in angioplasty procedures is an example of a custom manufactured component.
The first time Doug Gyure encountered S4J components out in the world was in a blood pressure monitoring machine while his wife was in labor. “I did take as many pictures of that as I did the new baby,” Gyure admitted.
In 1999, S4J relocated from New Jersey to Cape Coral, which offered a less burdensome tax structure for business. Gyure runs the business with his wife, Gina. His sister works in the business, too, and three of the next generation, a daughter, a son and a nephew, are poised to follow in the family footsteps. These days the senior Gyure visits the plant once a month for a pizza meeting to discuss the previous month’s performance.
S4J is one of very few companies that deals in Luer Lock connectors and custom metal component manufacturing. It could possibly be the only company that focuses on these products and services as its core offerings, and that doesn’t seem likely to change. “We have a few opportunities to bring out different product lines that would bring us away from the medical market,” Gyure said, “but our main focus is keeping our current customers happy. Being that the connector itself is so well known within the medical market, and that the company is one of so few that make it, S4J has not had to work hard to court its customers and customers have rarely if ever gone to a competitor.” Few employees also rarely go to a competitor. Several even relocated from New Jersey with the company and have now been on the S4J rolls for 30 years. Three employees who have left the company to pursue other opportunities have returned.
Gyure is active with the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association, plus the Industrial Development Authority and Horizon Council with the Lee County Economic Development Office. He is intent on enhancing the image of manufacturing, an increasingly important sector in Southwest Florida’s economic growth, as an industry and a career.
“Manufacturers have a lot of concerns about their future workforce,” he said.
S4J Manufacturing Services, Inc.
Established in 1965, S4J Manufacturing Services is a second-generation, family-owned company specializing in the production of ultra precision components, reusable Luer Lock connectors, Quick Connects and miscellaneous adapters. Its more than 1,000 customer companies worldwide are typically original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of medical equipment and devices for biomedical and laboratory applications. Nearly 50-percent of S4J’s operations are devoted to custom parts and assemblies. Designs for custom parts are treated as confidential material. Upon relocating to Cape Coral in 1999, its new facility was designed around the product lines it manufactures, complete with the ability to finish in-house its brass components, which are electroless nickel plated. The result is a dedicated facility for the manufacture of fittings from bar stock to completed, ready to ship components. S4J is an ISO 9001 registered company. Visit www.s4jmfg.com or call (888) 745-5837 for more information.