From Hot Job to Data Man: New GM takes the reins

Published Feb 18, 2024 | Posted in Cavalier, Industry, Manufacturing, News, People

From Canadian Plastics, Published Feb. 9, 2024 


“Hot Job” was his nickname back in the day.

Hard work is not new to Doug Brockman, and he also likes to take on challenges when he sees opportunity.

His work ethic started during his days growing up on a dairy farm in Essex County. Dairy farming is a 24/7/365 job since cows don’t take vacations from milking!

Brockman is an example of finding opportunities in manufacturing – and specifically in the world of plastics. He picked up mold making as a trade but soon decided he wanted to be part of making change, and looked for opportunities in a company that had room to move up the ladder. He spent 39 years at Active Industrial Solutions and approximately 42 years in the industry before landing the gig of assistant GM at tooling supplier Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd., in Windsor, Ont., and then more recently GM after the retirement of Tim Galbraith.

As for that nickname?

“Yeah, I was called ‘Hot Job’ because if there was anything aggressive, whether it was cost competitiveness or just aggressive speed to market, the team would say, ‘give it to Hot Job’,” Brockman says. “It wasn’t always about me, though, it was about being part of a good team. And now I’m part of a great team here at Cavalier that has much passion and drive.”

Brockman knew early on he wasn’t meant to sit idly by, and wanted to be both hands on and also be a part of a strong and dynamic management team. “I just had a real passion for hands-on manufacturing, but then again wanted to influence change and build a better mousetrap and be a good solution provider,” he says. “And now to land in a company like Cavalier, with such passion and talent, I indeed feel very privileged.”

Brockman has been someone who has thought outside the box and always looking for ways to help lead team members to be their very best.

This story is just one of the many compelling reasons to pursue a career in plastics and mold making: Opportunity to be part of an industry that stands at the forefront of innovation, playing a pivotal role in shaping the modern world.

It was at Active Mold and Design that Brockman started as a young apprentice – and a shop that offered up opportunities for advancement. He moved from lead builder, then group leader, then foreman, then plant manager and finally VP of operations. After some company changes, he moved over to Cavalier – and is now GM and reporting to president Brian Bendig.

“Doug brings much experience and new ideas and as a growing company it is important for us to build our team and plan for continued growth,” Bendig says. “We have an amazing management team, so Doug will be part of this next phase of our growth.”

Bendig says there are big shoes to fill with the retirement first of Brenda Quint and then Tim Galbraith, but like many things at Cavalier, this came about as part of a process.

Brian Bendig

“We know we have a strong and dynamic management team but we also need to have someone helping to steer us in the right direction,” Bendig says. “We need someone who also has an eye on data and on the path we need to take, which may not always be easy. But we also know if it’s what’s best for our Cavalier team and our customers and of course our bottom line, we will pull together as a team.”

Brockman is known for his love of data, analytics, and what he calls information. “We have to understand our baseline and where we are today in order to figure out where to go tomorrow,” he says.

Brockman worked 24 years with a private equity company – time he credits as a big part of his education and understanding of good business practices. “I learned about data and analytics and the value and power in having data,” he says. “That’s some of our challenges today. How do you calculate it? How do you measure it? So, we need to build that roadmap.”

Looking back, “Hot Job” was a more reactive reality. At hand today, the “Data Man” is more focused on how not to be reactive but to be prepared.

He is also happy to be part of a company with such a positive brand. “There is such an opportunity here,” Brockman says. “We have 48 years of commitment and a good customer base, and continue to build on that culture. Exciting times!”

Canadian Plastics

See story online at Canadian Plastics :

Photo and story by Gail Robertson