S4J Manufacturing Services turns 50
It all started 50 years ago after his father missed a bus.
Today, Doug Gyure has seen himself and his family business, S4J Manufacturing Services both turn 50.
The Cape Coral company is a major supplier of specialty connectors widely used in medical and laboratory equipment. It has also carved out a niche as a custom manufacturer while maintaining steady employment for 14 people, some of whom have worked for the company for decades.
“We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but settled in on a market area that provides durability and consistency,” Gyure said.
It all started when Steven Gyure, who wanted to become a veterinarian, couldn’t afford the bus fare to go to school. So, he went to work in manufacturing in New Brunswick, N.J. and attended college for engineering in the evenings.
While working, he noticed the high prices his employer was paying to have fabrication work done, and thought he could do it for less.
So, in 1965 he started doing fabrication work as a side gig from his garage while working full time for the company. Gyure started his own company that was incorporated in 1969 and stayed in New Jersey for 30 years.
The younger Gyure, who was born around the same time the company was founded, got involved at age 8, pushing a broom around the factory. “You can’t be in my family and not be involved in the business,” he said.
During that time, they ran into someone who wanted the senior Gyure to produce a specific product, which he did, and became the lone client for the company for seven years, producing this one product.
Eventually, the company would have to expand its reach to survive.
“We didn’t really go out after the market until he was sitting along during the recession and decided how to reach these other people,” Gyure said. “We honed our skills with one company before branching out. If we hadn’t done that, we may not have stuck it out.”
When the taxes became too much and the senior Gyure yearned for semi-retirement, S4J opened a Cape Coral location in 1989, bringing many of its employees with them. The company ran two locations before consolidating in Cape Coral in 1999.
Today, the younger 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.
The senior Gyure has also stayed involved, though he is mostly retired. He visits the plant once a month for a pizza meeting to discuss the previous month’s performance.
The manufacturing industry contracted in the early 1980s, with metal components giving way to plastics, which were disposable and could be dealt in greater volume.
S4J recognized an opportunity to differentiate itself by specializing in high-performance, permanent reusable connectors that are crucial to durable medical equipment.
S4J components can be found in endoscopy devices and tools used in cosmetic surgery, as well as in angioplasty procedures.
Doug Gyure hadn’t encountered S4J components in the real world until his wife was in labor and saw them in a blood pressure monitoring machine. He said he took as many pictures of the machine as he did the new baby.
Gyure said the key to the company’s success has been performing well in its niche.
“We show a tremendous respect for our customers. We’re still selling our products at the same price we did in the 1980s, thanks to competition from China and India,” Gyure said. “With our automation, we’ve made things more cost effective and are always looking for better ways to make our product.”