Cannon Falls, Minnesota-based Gemini, manufacturers of dimensional letters, logos and plaques, announces its recent acquisition of Mesquite, Texas-based Identification Plates Inc., manufacturers and distributors of custom and stock metal products. Through this partnership, Gemini says it will now offer a broader range of products and services while Identification Plates (ID Plates) holds onto its family-like work culture, according to the company.
As Gemini was looking to expand its plaques product lines, the company began to see opportunities in the nameplate and badging markets. During the investigation, Gemini continued to run into customers of ID Plates.
“Gemini has long been an admirer of Identification Plates for (its) commitment to (its) customers, (its) diverse product lines, and longevity in the industry,” says Fred Oss, president of Gemini. Gemini initiated a conversation with ID Plates about how it might work together, which morphed into a full-fledged acquisition.
Contacts between the two companies began in the fall of last year but truly took form right before Christmas. The transition went fairly quickly, according to Oss, due to the cultures of the companies being so similar. The more the two companies got to know each other, the stark similarities in values were quickly realized.
“Everything we do is value-driven,” says Matthew Crownover, president of ID Plates. “We hire, we fire; we pick customers and vendors based on adherence and demonstration of values.” Crownover explains this opportunity gives the family a chance to remain involved with the company without having to worry about how it will continue to grow and stay in business.
Ultimately, the devised plan enables Matthew’s father, ID Plates owner Doug Crownover, who has run the business with his wife for over 45 years, to retire while maintaining the level of family culture in his operation. Also important to the Crownovers was to keep all 72 employees in their present manufacturing facility.
For Gemini, this means it now has ID Plates’ people on staff while gaining a manufacturing facility that focuses on a range of products that Gemini struggled to make previously. “Both the additions of custom-made products and the substrates will improve what Gemini currently offers to the industry,” Oss says. Gemini has already begun to offer items like etched aluminum plaques as a result of the technological sharing that has taken place over the last few months.
“It has been a whirlwind learning experience for both companies,” Oss says. Although there are many similarities in culture, the types of orders and methods of operation varied between the two companies. “We have been working to maximize the strengths of each company without disrupting the experience of our mutual customers.” The end result for customers will be lower pricing and higher quality products, according to Oss.
Oss goes on to explain that initially, there won’t be many significant changes, other than a bit of joint marketing. Although the integration will take some time, Gemini has plans to ramp up production and technology efforts, while informing customers of the advancements as they happen.