Safety Workshop Helps HBM Portfolio Companies Collaborate and Share Best Practices

At HBM, our definition of success extends far beyond financial metrics for revenue and profitability. A key part of our mission includes serving as industry leaders for safety performance in each of our businesses.


To that end, it’s essential to help our portfolio companies learn from each other, as they discover what works and what doesn’t. We continually share best practice across our portfolio to address the day-to-day challenges of running a business — and that includes safety.

This was the purpose behind our Safety Workshop, held April 10 in Edinburg, Indiana, where more than a dozen operations and safety leaders from our companies gathered to exchange ideas on how to raise safety performance and standards. Convened by Terry Zerr, Mississippi Lime’s Vice President of Operations, and Marci Frazier, Mississippi Lime’s Safety Director, the workshop allowed safety leaders at our portfolio companies to meet face-to-face as they discussed annual safety plans and Human & Organizational Performance (HOP).

In addition to Mississippi Lime, companies in attendance included: Aerofil (with ESH Manager Adam Micich and ESH Supervisor Toni Hill); Delavau (with Director of Operations Jack Walter and Director of Manufacturing Matt Keib); Sacoma (with ESH Manager Bart King, VP of Operations Etienne Van Niekerk, and  Manufacturing Director Gary Cooper); Schafer (with Corporate HR Manager Georganna Geraghty and General Manager of Schafer Driveline Chuck Tate); and Tru-Flex (with Safety Coordinator Lewie McDowell and VP/GM David Dwight).

An important focus for this workshop was the creation of safety plans for each facility, which allow us to set goals and track progress on culture shifts that benefit safety. Aerofil is one example of a portfolio company that embraces goal-setting for safety progress. For more than a decade, Aerofil has used a process-improvement method called Lean Manufacturing with an overarching goal to eliminate waste. Safety improvement is one of the benefits. As part of Lean Manufacturing, Aerofil tracks metrics around quality, delivery and cost — but the metrics Aerofil values most are focused on human development, and that includes how the company manages the safety at its facility (people and processes).

Another company that emphasizes Lean Manufacturing is Sacoma, which was purchased in 2015 by our portfolio company Tru-Flex. Attendees at the safety workshop visited the Sacoma plant in Edinburgh, Indiana, for an in-depth tour, to gain a clearer understanding of how Sacoma uses Lean Manufacturing and other strategies to improve safety. Sacoma is an engineering-focused company with a wide range of design, fabrication and assembly capabilities. The company primarily manufactures metal component modules for the automotive industry.

Collaboration opportunities like the Safety Workshop underscore HBM’s emphasis on continuous improvement for all aspects of business. We are committed to achieving and maintaining “best in class” safety performance in each of our portfolio companies— and that includes sharing safety insights and strategies throughout the portfolio.