Brighton Leader: Steven Keys

August 2016

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[text_output]This is a periodic column from the managers in our company. Through their years of involvement in the industry and in our company, these individuals provide insights, vision and perspective on the ever-changing world in which our customers, vendors and partners operate.

Steven Keys
Vice President of Operations
Brighton Tru-Edge

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[text_output]What is your background and what brought you to Brighton? 

I have a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Tri-State University, now named Trine University, a small college in Indiana. When I was younger, I was interested in competitive swimming, and I co-captained my college swim team. One of my teammates went on to win two gold medals at the Montreal Olympics and set a world record that stood for close to 12 years.

I started with Brighton in June 2014 as Vice President of Operations. My responsibilities include leading the company operations group, which includes safety, quality, operations improvements, scheduling and logistics.

How does your chemical engineering background help you accomplish your goals? 

It is a great background for understanding the materials and metallurgical engineering concepts of our products. It also allows me to have a depth of understanding regarding the unit operations our products are supporting.

Can you describe your leadership style and why it’s effective? 

First, I have a fierce sense of customer service and a passion for the pursuit of operational excellence. We must have quality in everything we do, with safety fully integrated into our processes. I also consider myself to be an employee advocate. Being collaborative and intentional with team building is important. Eight or 10 heads are a lot better than one. I encourage people to express the contradicting view so we can consider all approaches and arrive at the best one.

As a leader, I want to be an enabler in a positive way and help folks fulfill their mission. We have high expectations that we can be THE world-class company in our industry. So my greatest pleasure is seeing the team succeed and being amazed at what they accomplished.


[text_output]What do you consider to be the challenges ahead in the next year at Brighton?

In our industry, there are some volume-related challenges. We must be the best we can be while providing great value to our customers. Engaging our awesome operations team and craftsmen will lead to success in this challenging business environment.

What are your latest efforts to highlight the importance of safety in the organization?

We strive to promote what we call our HPI (Human Performance Improvement) tools for safety. We also have put in place a Safety Steering Committee largely made up of our craftsmen in the shop. This team has been effective in making huge gains in improving our safety culture. Last December, we celebrated a year with no OSHA recordable accidents. Our goal is to repeat that again, many times over.

If you could make a prediction about the future of the industry, what would it be?

I believe we will see huge improvements in the coming years. I think the stage is being set for a new industrial renaissance in many of the industries that we serve, catalyzed by the high availability and low cost of chemical feedstocks and energy costs. The ability to finance projects at historically low interest rates is another driver that should help propel future industry growth.

Learn more about other members of Brighton’s management team.[/text_output]

Market Update
304/304L – 0.6700 $/lb.
316/316L – 0.9555 $/lb.
317/317L – 1.1275 $/lb.
309/309S – 0.8864 $/lb.
2205 – 0.9123 $/lb.
Alloy 276 – 6.0286 $/lb.
Alloy 625 – 6.3487 $/lb.
316 – 0.6300 $/lb.
Carbon Steel – 0.1300 $/lb.