We last spoke with Damien Dossin from Anomatic, an Ohio-based global leader in anodized aluminum, just over a year ago. Recently, Manufacturing Today was lucky enough to sit down with the President & CEO once more.
“The last 12 months for us have been good, despite headwinds as a result of inflation,” says Damien when we ask him about the time that’s transpired since we last sat down for a chat.
“In fact, we were able to exceed our top line sales goals; however, our profitability was ultimately impacted by sustained increases in the cost of energy, raw materials, and chemicals. We have since worked tirelessly to correct this situation and will continue to do so.”
Damien goes on to explain that, for him personally, the mission of the last year was to cultivate and foster a culture of caring. “This is reflected in our values: People and Safety First; Integrity, Respect, and Trust; Continuous Improvement Mindset; and Accountability and Collaboration,” he reveals.
“Our vision is to inspire the world of consumer packaging, and our mission is to bring passion to packaging,” he continues. “All of these elements evoke emotions and promote inclusion, which is especially important to the success of the company.”
The manufacturer remains at the fore of the aluminum parts for the cosmetics niche. Contracts with iconic brands – Estee Lauder, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, and Bath & Body Works – have kept it busy, as has its active presence in the fragrance, cosmetic, skin care, and personal care markets.
In our last feature with Anomatic, Damien spoke passionately about the company’s then recent acquisition of an injection molding facility in Blacklick, Ohio – its third factory in the Columbus metropolitan area.
As he explained in 2022, the acquisition not only afforded Anomatic the opportunity to provide a clear vision to the market by integrating its manufacturing processes, but also underscored the company’s commitment to future growth and best-in-class service for its customers.
Today, we’re keen to get an update. “Our focus for the injection molding plant was modernizing our equipment, adding automation and optimizing the layout of the production floor,” Damien notes.
“By offering injection molding, we’re able to provide our customers with an integrated packaging solution,” he goes on. “Since we last spoke, we’ve managed to add some more international beauty customers – all thanks to having injection molding and metal forming capabilities in-house.
“Concurrently, we’ve retained some legacy customers and continue to service them actively. In the longer term, I am confident that our facility in Blacklick will be a major contributor to our overall success.”
It just goes to show that, with the right acquisitions, businesses can thrive. In the manufacturing sector, this means delivering customers even more value and potentially securing, as Anomatic has done, new contracts with brands that would otherwise have looked at a competitor.
Anomatic’s success with its Blacklick facility is the perfect example of setting ambitious but realistic goals and achieving them. For Damien, this is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of his role at the integrated packaging manufacturer.
“We do our planning for the following year in October – with many unknowns and uncertainties built-in,” he reveals. “In addition, we set ourselves goals for improvement across the board, but especially with employee engagement in areas such as diversity and inclusion.
“When we get to the end of the year and look back over our achievements, it is extremely rewarding to see how we have performed, not only relating to our financial objectives but also measurably improved the lives and careers of our colleagues.”
We’ve talked a lot about what has transpired in the last year or so. Moving the conversation onto the present, we’re curious to know whether Damien can share any insights on the manufacturing industry as a whole.
As President & CEO of a 750-employee-strong business, he occupies an excellent vantage point to assess and analyze the current state of the US market. “North America-based manufacturing allows customers to be agile and responsive to their markets for reorders and changes in forecast to avoid out-of-stock situations,” says Damien.
“This remains a big positive and one of the many reasons why Made in the USA is one of the most valuable credentials any organization can boast. Furthermore, from our perspective, Made in the USA also means we avoid some tariffs that exist with importation from some offshore manufacturing sites.
“But there’s also the sustainability element: we like to think of ourselves as an eco-conscious business; and this is becoming increasingly important for the end-user, too.
“Our customers are focused on reducing their global carbon footprint, so avoiding shipping from overseas is an important factor in that consideration. This leads me to conclude that there is a solid foundation in the US manufacturing industry.”
That said, strong inflationary pressures, followed by an impending recession must have impacted companies and their ability to forecast accurately. “They really have,” admits Damien. “I have certainly witnessed that, and as a result, we find ourselves constantly catching up, as the demands of our customers change quite frequently.
“Managing variable costs and making sure we have the right workforce on hand to respond to our customers’ needs requires a significant amount of planning and flexibility. Our teams have worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges of getting materials on time, converting them into our products, and ultimately meeting our customers’ deadlines.
“Early in 2022,” he continues, “we confronted the difficulties of achieving our delivery goals due to staffing shortages. As the year progressed, we made strides in all areas, and we’re in a better position now – back to pre-Covid lead times.”
The positive result is surely a testament to the focus and commitment of Anomatic’s strong operations team. Looking ahead, towards the rest of the year and beyond, where does Damien intend to take that team and Anomatic’s other divisions?
“We decided to set ourselves a sensible goal for 2023 because we knew there could be an economic pullback coming,” he answers. “At the same time, we’re busy planning for the future by working on capacity expansion in all our disciplines.
“Our goal is to kick off that expansion by the fourth quarter of this year to be ready by early 2025,” he goes on. “In terms of growth, we continue to pursue business with global beauty brands, as well as exploring the spirits industry.
“We’re also developing a broader product offering for new and existing customers. These plans are progressing, and I will be able to comment in more detail at a later date, so look forward to that!”
And further ahead? “That’s trickier,” Damien smiles. “The five-year goal is a combination of continuing to do what we do best in the metal forming and anodizing arena, expanding our production capacity to meet future demand, and focusing on sustainability.
“All of this ties into our founding objective,” he concludes, “supporting our customers in all avenues and manufacturing the best products in our niche.”