Danny Harmann

Project manager, Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery
Danny Harmann, Project manager, Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery

Danny Harmann came to Spee-Dee by way of his grandmother, uncle and brother—all of whom worked at the volumetric-filler manufacturer. Harmann has been with the company since high school, and 12 years later he is the company’s newest project manager. He has worked in many aspects of the company’s business, bouncing around from being a machinist to a shop supervisor.


What is something you’ve been particularly focused on at Spee-Dee?

Improving our process all together. I want to essentially attack the white space, the white space being the amount of time a certain aspect of a project that is untouched by employees and isn’t being moved forward in the production process. As a project manager at Spee-Dee, I do more time and data studies that can help me analyze and target these areas, whether that means I assist in creating a new process, add more employee training, or assist in justification of new capital equipment. 


How do you ensure that Spee-Dee is innovating through your role?

From my perspective there are three types of innovations; sales/marketing, production and engineering. My main role is to ensure that both the required innovation as well as the projects are moving forward. Whether it is marketing, mechanical or controls innovation, my role is to ensure the idea generating people aren’t caught up in the minute details of projects. Helping them focus on the big picture gives them energy to allocate toward Spee-Dee’s relentless run at innovation. 


What advice do you have for other emerging leaders who want to make their mark? 

Ensure that you’re getting the most out of each day. Treating your workplace as a learning environment in order to absorb the most information possible. With the minimal experience I have, it is critical that I rely on those who are more experienced than myself. You have to make sure that you are asking questions and fully understanding your responsibilities. Learn to solve problems or find the most reliable sources to assist you in doing so.  


What does this award mean to you? 

It means an opportunity to network with other On the Rise Award recipients, as well as those who have been in the industry for a long time. It is important that I continue to speak with and learn from others. Most others in the packaging industry are experiencing or have experienced the situations and challenges I see on a day-to-day basis, and the opportunity to meet with others and educate myself is important in order to assist with the growth of my own career.


As a way to recognize young talent making their mark on the packaging and processing industries, PMMI set out to find 10 rising stars. OEM Magazine spoke with each On the Rise Award winner to find out where they think the industry is heading, how they have overcome obstacles in their careers and how the industry can better accommodate incoming generations to bridge the skills gap. Learn more about PMMI’s On the Rise Awards, and see the other winners.