I AM HONORED TO HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AS HILLENBRAND’S NEW PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER. IT IS AN EXCITING TIME FOR HILLENBRAND, AND I AM CONFIDENT ABOUT OUR FUTURE.
I want to start off by acknowledging the dedication and resiliency of our people. Our employees have risen to address the many global challenges and have taken extraordinary steps to serve our customers and support our communities.
We have built a strong foundation over the past eight years under Joe’s leadership, and I have appreciated Joe’s guidance and have a deep respect for his contributions to our company. Joe helped plant our roots firmly as an industrial company through the transformative acquisitions and integrations of Coperion and Milacron and the establishment of the Hillenbrand Operating Model in its current form. I have been in the unique position to partner with Joe and the rest of the leadership team in forming our strategy and in executing it as President of Coperion and before that as President of Batesville. I am confident the execution of our strategy will continue to drive profitable growth and create meaningful long-term shareholder value.
ACCELERATING OUR GROWTH
As we build upon our strong foundation, we are focused on accelerating our growth organically and through strategic acquisitions. We are investing in areas with attractive growth characteristics that play to our strengths, in addition to serving our goal of a more sustainable future. Areas we are focused on include food, recycling, biopolymers and batteries. Not only do these end markets have macroeconomic tailwinds to support long-term growth, but also the increasing scale of output and technical specifications required by customers provides us a great opportunity to win. We excel in supporting highly technical, large-scale processes where our technology and process expertise makes us a valued partner to our customers, and our global footprint and service network allows us to support our customers throughout the lifetime of the equipment. We win because we don’t just sell products, equipment and parts to our customers—we sell solutions to their problems. While we are investing in innovation to enhance the technical capabilities of our product and service offerings, we also are evaluating strategic acquisitions that can further strengthen and accelerate our position in both existing and emerging end markets.
THE NEXT EVOLUTION OF THE HILLENBRAND OPERATING MODEL
I am fortunate to have had firsthand experience in the development and application of the Hillenbrand Operating Model through my experiences leading Coperion and Batesville. I have seen the opportunity to unlock significant value when a business implements the tools for improving processes across the operating environment. We utilized the HOM to transform our Coperion business, driving significant improvements in margin, pricing, working capital management and cash flow. We see a similar pathway to success and value creation as we continue to deploy the HOM as part of the integration of Milacron. While we have had great success with process improvement to support margin expansion and cash generation, there is opportunity to further develop the toolkit for growth by focusing on innovation, commercial excellence, strategic pricing and our digital capabilities.
COMPANY CULTURE & PURPOSE
A purpose-based culture is something that I intently want to develop at Hillenbrand. I firmly believe that we have tremendous opportunities to drive outcomes and shape our industry and maintain firm partnerships between business and society. To achieve this, we need to clarify our purpose and embed it in what we do and how we do it. One of my first tasks as CEO is to define our purpose and embed it into our already strong culture of execution, which I believe will allow us to continue to win in the marketplace. We also know that having a clear culture and purpose attracts and retains the best talent, which can help drive exceptional performance and generate long-term shareholder value.
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
In our most recent Sustainability Report, which we issued in September 2021, we introduced a model for how we’ve prioritized our sustainability efforts based on the feedback of our stakeholders. We also aligned our reporting to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Reporting Initiative.
Macro Trends, Including Eco-Friendly Innovations, Support Long-Term Growth Across Core End Markets and Applications
Improve food shelf life, freshness and safety; innovation in recycled or bio-based content
Focus on safety, improved drug and therapy delivery and durability/disposability
Shortened product life cycles; innovation in multi-material products; design flexibility
Shift to plastics for durability, lighter weight and lower maintenance
Shortened product life cycles; durable plastics help create superior quality and design flexibility
Increased use of lightweight plastics to improve fuel efficiency; improved battery production for EV
More sustainable food sources such as high moisture meat analogues and texturized vegetable proteins
As we look to accelerate our profitable growth through fiscal year 2022 and beyond, we believe the demand for our products will be supported by long-term macro trends, including sustainability. For example, as consumer preferences move toward more eco-friendly food sources, our equipment and systems are uniquely suited to meet the rising demand for products like high moisture meat analogues and texturized vegetable proteins. Additionally, as consumers and governments are becoming increasingly focused on solutions to reduce plastic waste, we are investing in the development of innovative products and solutions to better serve customers in the areas of recycling and biopolymers.
When leading Coperion, my team and I drove the development of innovative sustainable products. As our customers require scalable solutions that can produce high quality product using increasing proportions of recycled material, they look to us to understand the increasing technical requirements throughout the process: from feeding, to conveying, to processing, to forming. Across all our operating companies, we have the opportunity to play a leading role in partnering with our customers to identify and develop new and sustainable solutions.
Hillenbrand continues to make progress on this important journey and I am excited to partner with our stakeholders in making sustainability a continued source of opportunity, innovation and profitable growth for Hillenbrand. I will continue to share our progress with you over the years to come.
WELL POSITIONED FOR PROFITABLE GROWTH
Hillenbrand is well positioned for the future. We have an experienced leadership team, respected brands, a healthy balance sheet, a strong backlog and we are investing in innovative products and solutions for our customers in exciting new areas for growth. While the macroeconomic environment for fiscal 2022 is expected to remain challenging due to inflationary pressures, global supply chain disruptions and a tight labor market, our teams have proven their ability to deliver strong results in the face of these challenges. I look forward to working with our leadership team and Hillenbrand’s more than 10,000 employees around the world to deliver on our goals for fiscal year 2022. Lastly, I remain confident and excited about Hillenbrand’s ability to drive shareholder value well into the future.