Thomas Braun

Thomas Braun

Work History

Work History
Oct 2007 - Present

Managing Director

Kunststofftechnik Schnitzler GmbH & Co. KG

Managing Director at  Kunststofftechnik Schnitzler GmbH, Küps, Supplier of high precision plastic parts for the electronic, automotive and medical industry as part of the ROS Group with sales of 45 Mio Euro and 350 employees. Managing Director of one manufacturing plant with the potential to become the Group Managing Director as part of a succession plan.


  • New Customer Development in the field of medical technology
  • Developed the market for Russia
  • Implemented major process improvements
  • Introduced a TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) system for machinery and tools
  • Reduction of scrap and rework based on a concept of visualization
  • Introduced 5S and a management system based on key performance indicators
  • Development of a Quality Management System for the medical industry
Jul 2006 - Sep 2007

Managing Director

PWG GmbH & Co. KG

Automotive supplier with sales of 50 Mio Euro and 400 employees, developing and producing aluminum precision profiles for innovative applications, e.g. in roof opening functions. Managing Director Production overseeing three manufacturing sites worldwide.


  • Completed immediate measures increasing productivity
  • Reorganized operations and processes
  • Implemented a control cycle based on a continuous improvement process
  • Optimized setup times
  • Implemented a concept of visualization on the shop floor
  • Optimized the flow of materials
  • Installed product-, cell- and 5S audits
  • Optimized the QM system in accordance with TS 16949

I joined this privately held company with the option for business co-ownership. Unfortunately the company faced bankruptcy due to reasons beyond my control shortly after my start. In consequence this option was not pursued and the collaboration finished.

Apr 2001 - Jun 2006

Managing Director

Woco Group

Privately owned automotive primary developer and component manufacturer, 650 Mio Euro sales and 4,500 employees worldwide.

Started as Managing Director for the plastics operations Kronacher Kunststoffwerk GmbH, Kronach, with 25 Mio Euro sales and staff of 220. WOCO's Motor-Acoustic Systems (MAS) division had just acquired this family owned producer of technical plastics made from thermoplast and duroplast, with a diverse customer base in communications, electrical engineering, machine building, household goods and automotive.


  • Managed the turnaround and integration of this acquisition
  • Restructured the customer portfolio, focusing on the automotive industry
  • Coordination of launches and production program relocations
  • Conducted TPS (Toyota Production System) workshops
  • Significant improvement of operational efficiency, as well as parts- and process quality leading operations to profit within 6 months
  • Set up a quality management system according to TS 16949
  • Implemented "MAX" (a virtual employee stock index) as part of an employee involvement and motivation program
  • Aligned working time policies to operational needs
  • Established strategic goals as well as business plans and monitored execution
  • Established the local MAS-Division in Wuxi, China
  • Within 5 years tenure doubled sales to 25 Mio
  • Turned this operation into an award-winning WOCO benchmark for plastic processing

09/2002 - 12/2005 Additional responsibility as General Manager for NOLL GmbH, Langenselbold, another plastic processing operation within the WOCO group, with 14 Mio Euro sales and staff of 100


  • Consolidated and harmonized production programs with the Kronach site
  • Building up a manufacturing site in Budapest (Hungary) and transfer of the remaining programs to central / eastern Europe
Jul 1999 - Mar 2001

Commercial General Manager

LuK Group

Automotive supplier with a worldwide range of products for the automotive drive train, sales of 1 bn Euro and 6,000 employees worldwide. With INA and FAG now part of the Schaeffler Group.

Commercial General Manager for the business unit ASG (Automated Gear Drives) with operations in Germany, UK, Norway and Brazil and staff of 250, responsible for sales, finance, supply chain, IT, HR and quality functions, reporting to headquarters' central management.This operation had acquired the competitor Kongsberg Techmatic, transferred development projects into mass production and turned from a development center into a pilot operation for the planned divisional group structure.


  • Led the post merger management and integration of two acquired development operations in the UK and in Norway
  • Implemented a Balanced Scorecard for joint performance control
  • Designed and implemented an international know how transfer program
  • Standardized working conditions among the international sites
  • Implemented the 40 hours work week and new pay systems
  • Restructuring activities in the area of staff and IT
  • Organized and implemented integration workshops and staff exchange programs
  • Provided commercial support to a strategic development partnership with Bosch
  • Established profit center accounting in line with divisional requirements
  • Harmonized processes and documentation across international locations, setting the stage for certifications
Jan 1998 - Jun 1999

General Manager

Aeroquip now Eaton Fluid Power

Aeroquip GmbH now Eaton Fluid Power

Subsidiary of Trinova Corporation, Maumee, OH, USA, sales of US$ 2 bn and 18,000 employees worldwide. Aerospace, Industrial and Automotive Operations in Germany, with 120 Mio Euro sales in air conditioning and power steering hose lines made in Baden-Baden, 30 Mio Euro sales in plastics and metal parts made in Frankfurt/M., staff of 2,000 in Germany

General Manager of Aeroquip Wolfsburg GmbH & Co. KG, sales of 30 Mio. Euros and 160 employees, the mission of this built from scratch, close-to-the customer manufacturing operation was to deliver parts just in time into Volkswagen production. As a self-contained legal entity this operation covered the full functionality of sales, controlling, finance, logistics and human resources


  • Planning, building and expanding this new manufacturing location from scratch
  • Managed total investments of 20 million Euro for the construction of the site plus the necessary facilities and equipment on time and within budget
  • Started production after only 6 months of construction, achieved customer clearance within 10 days after start of operations, reached solid profit results after another 5 months
  • Increased productivity by 30%, reduced inventory to less than 10 days, implementing standards of the Toyota Production system into JIT delivery
  • Introduced the PPS system MFG / Pro
  • Establishment and continuous improvement of a process organization
  • Ensured timely delivery to the various locations of VW, Audi and Skoda using a system for flexible capacity analysis
  • Negotiated union agreements on a 40 hours work week, flexible working hours and innovative compensation schemes
  • Installed sales-, cost- and investment planning and control, short and medium term
  • Became international benchmark partner and Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award auditor for sister plants in Spain, England, Australia and Singapore
  • Selected, led and developed a strong management team
Sep 1994 - Dec 1997

Manager General Adminstration

Aeroquip now Eaton Fluid Power

Manager General Administration Automotive Division, based in Baden-Baden, sales of 160 Mio. Euros and staff of 1,200, within a management team of three I was responsible for all Administration, IT, Organization- and Project Management, HR, Quality Management and Finance (for an interim period), reported to the Divisional Vice President Fluid Connectors, supervising a staff of 50


  • Set up an integrated quality management systems as local quality representative
  • Recovered the Ford Q1-Award
  • Coordinated profit and investment planning, prepared forecasts and monitored cost reduction programs
  • Lead a cross-functional project team to implement MFG/Pro, a new Production Planning and Control (PPS) system. Completed this project, ranked no. 1 globally, on time and with full success
  • Planned a new Aeroquip production site including site analysis and selection, negotiations with municipalities and other institutions, and presentation of business proposal ready for approval
  • Member and leader of international project teams
Jun 1992 - Aug 1994

Human Resource Manager

Aeroquip now Eaton Fluid Power

Human Resource Manager Automotive and Industrial Division Baden-Baden, for a workforce of 1,200, leading a staff of 10, reporting to the Managing Director


  • Built the Human Resource function, upgrading it from a payroll office into a department covering employee and leadership development, recruiting and training programs as well as career path definitions
  • Promoted lean management structures throughout the whole company
  • Installed programs to attract professional staff, as well as training and development guidelines
  • Established a continuous improvement process throughout the company based on modern tools of HR management such as employee surveys, competency diagnostics, team-building workshops and a systematic feedback process
  • Negotiated agreements on teamwork, team incentive pay and work rules with the local works council
  • Reduced absenteeism through welcome-back interview program
  • Implemented a fully automated time management system
  • Was given additional international projects, became member of the worldwide Human Resources Leadership Council, gained global HR award for local operations
Jul 1987 - May 1992

Manager Employee Training and Development

Cherry Mikroschalter GmbH


Subsidiary of Cherry Corporation, WI, USA, worldwide

leader in the design, development and manufacture of automotive switches & modules, computer keyboards, and switches & controls, staff in Germany: 1,500

1987: Assistant to the HR Manager

1988: Manager Employee Training and Development

1990: Substitute Human Resource Manager


  • Responsible for the complete recruitment activities for technical and skilled employees and administration of wages and salaries in this area
  • Coordinated manpower and payroll cost planning
  • Developed and implemented a new performance appraisal system
  • Creation and revision of job descriptions for more than 300 employees
  • Designed and implemented a company-specific human resource development program
  • Expanded and optimized the company's apprenticeship / trainee program


2006 - Present

Environmental Specialist (TÜV-UMF)

2005 - Present

Quality Manager / Quality Auditor

Technische Akademie Wuppertal

Training and examination according to the standards of the European Organization for Quality (EOQ)

Jan 1996 - Dec 1996



APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society)

CIRM (Certified in Integrated Resource Management) including modules on Customers and Products, Logistics, Manufacturing Processes, Management of Information, People, Quality and Finance, Integrated Enterprise Management

Jan 1989 - Dec 1989

Correspondence degree course of study as Bachelor Professional of Human Resources CCI (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)

Sep 1974 - Jul 1983

Diploma from German secondary school qualifying for university admission or matriculation

High School
Sep 1970 - Jul 1974

Elementary School




Start-up Operations

Human Resource Development

Balanced Scorecard ( Key Performance Indicators

Project Management

French Language Skills

Spanish Language Skills

German Language Skills

English Language Skills

Potential Analysis

Accredidation on Insights MDI;   "The extensive INSIGHTS MDI® analysis tools enable you to start off with the right people, to train them uniquely and optimally, give them the opportunity for adequate careers and establish an optimum team environment - the best basis for your entrepreneurial success."    

Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001, TS 16949)

Post Merger Management

Toyota Production System

6 Sigma


Basketball, Running, Music, Turtles


Managing Director Automotive Industry with strong commercial and technical background. 10 years track record in restructuring, post-merger integration, organizational development and startup operations in Germany, Europe and China. Special skills include world class manufacturing systems, Toyota Production System, Six Sigma, quality management and human resource development. Fluent English and worldwide flexibility



Reiner Dr. Hecker

Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt was a peer during my time with Aeroquip and we stayed in professional contact over the years on various projects