Barry Dauber Interview

Mar 20, 2020 | , , | 0 comments

Barry Dauber Interview

With a new Division Vice President & General Manager it made good sense to give our customers and partners an introduction on who Barry Dauber is, what he values, and what are his goals for the division.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Chicago suburb of Palatine. I attended a typical US high school with the gymnasium, the big football stadium, the auditorium, and all this stuff that you see in the movies.

I have a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Illinois where I enjoyed a fabulous 4 years. Later on, I earned my master’s in business administration from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management whilst working at ITW Hi-Cone.

When you left University did you have any mentors to guide you?
I had multiple people in my life who were influential, however no one more than my mother, who was a true inspiration. She started her career in the 70’s where she worked her way up to be a financial manager at Hewlett-Packard – all done without a college education. She taught me that it’s always about the people, and not as much about the skill and intellect coming out of school.

What was your greatest success?
My daughters are my greatest success – intelligent and caring people who brighten my day every day. One of my daughters graduated from MIT, and I am incredibility proud of her success.

When did you join ITW and what was your first position?
I joined ITW in 1998 as an engineering manager for the Hi-Cone division where they manufacture the six pack rings for holding cans of beverages. After I completed my MBA, I had the opportunity to lead a small business called Mumm Products where we sold six pack rings to liquor stores, beverage distributors, and craft brewers. The role at Mumm was very developmental for me in my leadership. There I really developed a passion for the sales and marketing side of the business with extreme customer focus – we are only successful when we make our customers successful.

I had several senior general managerial positions since I left Mumm – I ran a tax stamp division, I went back to Hi-Cone and built a business unit in Brazil for both Hi-Cone and Zip-Pak. I’ve run three different global businesses for ITW: Marking and Coding Division, Zip-Pak Division, and now I am here at our Foils and Thermal Films Division.

What has frustrated you most this year?
Not being around the teams because of COVID. I am normally on the road half the year to get to know the employees, the customers and the suppliers. This has been a huge adjustment.

I think we have a lot of great calls over Teams and Zoom, but we are totally missing out on the casual conversations, the dinners, and just walking around the plant. We have had several calls with our customers online, and I always immediately call back the rep and say, “this is our drive back to the airport.” We would never walk out of a customer visit and not have that debrief time.

At the same time we have to do what we have to do, and the business is doing fine, but certainly the virus has been the hardest part.

What has pleased you most this year?
I think that our teams have come together for our customers and each other throughout 2020. The pandemic clearly dominates everything that we do, and there has been some highs and lows. We are fortunate in our business that the virus has not had a negative effect on the overall performance of the business.

We have been able to keep our production facilities healthy. Thus far no one has contracted COVID from any of our facilities. We have had a handful of people who have contracted COVID, but fortunately no one has had the need to be hospitalised in our division. 

It’s very pleasing to see our group of professionals respond to the challenge and respond, quite frankly, at a high level.

What values are most important to you in business?
Integrity is always at the top of the list. You have to be able to be honest with everybody: each other within our company, our customers and our suppliers. This allows us to trust each other. When we can believe what people are saying, and they follow up with what they will be doing, then we can all accomplish great things.

We also need to treat people with respect. People need to be valued. When we do those things it really opens the door for us to achieve the goals of having the highest quality products, the best service levels, and providing great value for our customers.

I would summarise by saying that the core values of integrity, trust, honesty and teamwork are meaningful and have to be evident every day. If we worry about those type of things – then we will most likely not get anything done in our business. 

What are your expectations for 2021?
We need to continue the momentum that we have. We are having quite frankly a good year. We have solid momentum on the sales side, the operational side, and our innovation teams are more focused and ready to achieve. We really want to continue that into 2021.

We’ve got some nice innovative products on the cold foil and the thermal transfer ribbon that we are bringing out to market. We can’t wait to share those with customers. Hopefully COVID will wain to a certain extent, as we would like to be present with our customers to help their operations and plants run more efficiently.

What is your long term vision for the TTR product line?
Overall, our mission is to help our TTR customers help their customers by providing a high quality and high-performance products that helps them improve their productivity or traceability at great value.

We will continue to focus on our core markets of North America, Europe and Asia – as there is a lot of fertile territory to grow from where we are and make that happen for our customers.

We are not afraid of change, and in fact we embrace changes in the market – whether that is competition, technology or even a global pandemic. Our vision allows us to adapt to short term challenges to ensure we deliver long term value for our customers.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

To request a sample, or receive a quote click here