Linetec People to Know – Ray Kroll

Ray---Half-Iron-7-17-16---2Q: Tell me about your job?

A: I am the Plant Manager of Linetec’s anodize facility. I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the plant, as well as strategic planning. Based on sales forecasts – we determine staffing levels, shift structures, daily and weekly overtime, etc. I am also involved in Continuous Improvement activities such as 5S and Lean.

Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?

A: I have spent my entire career in manufacturing, in several industries – textiles, screen printing and metal finishing. I grew up in the Midwest, but moved to South Carolina after graduating college. I spent nine years there. After three kids, we decided it was time to move back to Wisconsin to be closer to family. I worked for about three years at a company in Janesville, and three years at another company in Ripon, before moving to the Wausau area. I now have been with Linetec for almost 12 years.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: The people and the culture. Even with the growth challenges during the past several years, our team members always have amazing, positive attitudes. The willingness of our team to work overtime and to help wherever they’re needed makes my job significantly easier. I recently gave a plant tour and one of the people said they were amazed at how everyone smiles and says, “hi.” I’m told that it’s just not like that in other places. And although we have lots to do and our jobs can be stressful, people still like to joke around and have fun. It’s a great place to work!

Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?

A: Growth. Over the past four years, our growth has exceeded our capacity. However, we have responded to that with many expansions – adding a third anodize line, increasing Linetec Management Inventory (LMI), doubling our thermal capacity, offering a new shift structure, adding more packaging teams, etc. The past six months reminded me of how things were a few years ago – solid safety performance, good production performance, good OTC&C (on-time, correct and complete) performance, and strong financial performance. And I am convinced that this will be another exceptional year for our anodize team– with many much of the recognition we’ve frequently enjoyed in the past – VIP, meals celebrating our safety record and our OTC&C, and more!

Q: Are there any finishing type or color trends that you seeing more of lately?

A: We may only have a handful of colors available with anodize, but we are seeing more customer activity around our value-added services – such as bending, LMI, thermal improvement and special racking

Ray-web-golf-2011BeanBagGolf-(92)Q: What is something you are looking forward to?

A: Golf! Although I’m not a great golfer, I do enjoy getting out and playing during the summer months. I especially enjoy our Tuesday night league, which includes many current and past team members from Linetec and Wausau Window and Wall Systems.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you?

A: I have three grown daughters (two in college and one has graduated). With the additional free time on my hands, I have gotten into endurance racing – running and triathlons. I completed two marathons, and a half-iron distance triathlon last year. This year, I signed up for two more marathons, another half-iron, as well as the IRONMAN Wisconsin in September (2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run)!

Ray-family - BB - UWEC at UWSP 1-6-16 - 8c - Copy           Ray - Half Iron 7-17-16 - 1 - Copy

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