Whiteboarding the Future: HBM’s ‘One Team’ of IT Pros Gather to Collaborate

At HBM, we believe that our strategy of holding portfolio companies for the long-term and our commitment to being true operating partners with our businesses set us apart. We had a chance to put that approach to work at the firm’s first IT Summit this summer in St. Louis.

Led by the firm’s Vice President of Information Technology, Mike Chill, the gathering of IT professionals from HBM and our four portfolio companies was a chance to talk about shared mission and vision, start to collaborate across corporate lines, whiteboard the Manufacturing Plant of the Future – and build new connections and friendships with trips to TopGolf and a Weber Grill Burger Battle!

The gathering was the first time HBM had brought IT staff from HBM, Tru-Flex, Mississippi Lime, Schafer Industries and Aerofil Technology together in one place to put faces to our vision of One HBM Technology Team, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Participants got a deep dive into HBM’s investment philosophy and strategy from Chill and other HBM leaders, as well as insight into the firm’s Technology mission and vision, including the six factors that go into building a culture of excellence.  These six factors are our compass bearing that guides forward movement.

Similar to HBM’s Leadership in Action events, attendees had the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops on communication and conflict resolution as well as hear from PricewaterhouseCoopers experts on the latest trends in cybersecurity. And Chill introduced HBM’s new HR Business Partner program, with its focus on working across the portfolio to assist IT professionals in their career tracks and individual development.

Professionals from across the portfolio also had a chance to learn from each other, with overview presentations on each of the portfolio businesses and how IT is working inside each company to help achieve goals and strengthen execution.

Of course, this being IT, the focus was very much on the future, with conversations about initiatives and planning at each company and how to support the Manufacturing Plant of the Future – a future that seems to be coming at us more quickly with each passing year.

Participants reported being invigorated by the chance to take a step back and brainstorm about what the new manufacturing paradigm will look in their specific specialty manufacturing context.

Chill said one of the highlights of the gathering was watching professionals from different niche industries and geographies interact and learn from one another.

“We heard from several individuals about programs they’ve executed at their company where folks at other companies immediately said, ‘Hey, that may help us too!’” he said. “And we’ve already got two teams planning visits to other locations to exchange ideas.”

Feedback from the event, which we plan to repeat on a twice-yearly basis, has been very positive. One participant said: “It was great to hear where we are working on advancing our platforms in collaboration – business intelligence and cloud computing.”

We look forward to supporting our professionals in executing on the initiatives that were launched at this gathering and to meeting again in the new year to discuss our progress.