2013 Leader Under 40: Michael Brauss, 32
Continuous Improvement Manager, Mark Andy Inc., Chesterfield, Mo.
Michael Brauss, 32
Continuous Improvement Manager
Mark Andy Inc., Chesterfield, Mo.
Years at Mark Andy Inc.: 9
BS Business Administration, University of Missouri - Columbia
“Mike is a passionate change agent and has a thorough understanding of continuous improvement practices,” said Chris Bronikowski, director of continuous improvement. “His approach of getting immersed in the process allows him to make fact-based decisions, while engaging himself with the people who do the job on a regular basis. Mike is very honest and is not shy about having a spirited debate to ensure that we are doing what is best for the people, and the organziation. Mike is able to balance short-term needs with long-term goals in mind. Simply put, Mike is an ‘A-player.’”
Why a career in manufacturing?
“After high school, I was given the opportunity to work in a manufacturing environment as an intern. Getting to work with different people in various departments sparked my interest in manufacturing and enhancing competitiveness through value-added processes from order entry to scheduling, fabrication, assembly, and field installation. It is fulfilling to engage participation in the development of a product through production of raw materials to finished goods. By applying Lean principles and continuous improvement initiatives at an organization, we have demonstrated that ‘made in the USA’ still means a competitive advantage allowing us to see results on the bottom line. Working hard has always been important to me, but it is also important to mentor those on how to work smarter.”
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.