Better Work, Better World: Patrick Humphries of BW Flexible Systems

December 21, 2023
  • Brent Stewart
  • Brent Stewart
    Digital Strategy & Content Leader at Barry-Wehmiller

In more than 37 years with a company, you’ll see a lot of changes.

Patrick Humphries worked for Hayssen, Inc. in Duncan, South Carolina when it was acquired by Barry-Wehmiller in 1997. We applied a lot of the same strategies to Hayssen as we did in other companies we acquired. And Patrick noticed the difference.

“Just the way that you were actually treated by the company, you were listened to, and that means a lot,” he said. “Especially in what I do, having the engineering department listen to what I say. They can draw the parts, I make the parts. And if we work together, which now we are really doing, we can make a better part for our customer. We can make them faster and with even better quality than we had before. So, it was a big change.”

The Hayssen brand is still a renowned name in the world of packaging and its now part of BW Flexible Systems, one of our BW Packaging group of companies. BW Flexible Systems makes packaging machines that fill and bag thousands of food and non-food products. So, when you go to your local grocery store, the items you see on the shelf like bakery items, confectionery snack foods, frozen foods, fresh produce, cheese, and many more, could have been packaged on a BW Flexible Systems machine. And when it comes to non-food products, their machines help package pet food, personal care, pharmaceutical, agricultural, paper and mail sorting and collating, and industrial products.

Patrick has been part of our company as we’ve traveled further and further along in our journey of Truly Human Leadership. He’s seen many of the steps we’ve taken to create a company of caring, which includes not only encouraging our people to listen, but training them to listen as well through our internal Barry-Wehmiller University.

Working in a culture of caring, rather than a traditional manufacturing environment of command and control, makes a huge difference during Patrick’s time at work.

“It makes me more relaxed,” he said. “So therefore, I'm more comfortable with what I'm doing and I can think more positively about what I'm doing. Making a top-quality part, but most of all, making it in a safe manner. My mind's focused on what I'm doing and not, ‘Well, this didn't go right with them.’ It just makes everything more positive.”

And like many people at Barry-Wehmiller, Patrick describes the atmosphere at Barry-Wehmiller in very specific terms.

“The best way to describe the culture for this company to me is, we're family,” he said. “We're all family. This is a great family. We care about each other, and it shows every day. Someone new comes on board, hey, we take them by the hand. And if we have to, we walk them through whatever they need to do. Everybody around here is out to help everybody around here. We look out for the good of each other as well as the good of the company, but we also look out for each other. And it shows. You walk around the plant and you'll understand.”

Barry-Wehmiller CEO Bob Chapman explains why the word family comes up so much in our company:

In our workplaces, when people feel cared for by leaders who have the skills and courage to care, quite often people use the word “family” without even thinking about it – they are in an environment where people feel cared for by each other…

And that’s one of the reasons why the most transformative concept within Truly Human Leadership is when we suggest, rather than viewing those you lead or work alongside through the lens of their role, you think of them instead as someone’s precious child.

Traditional leadership or management conditions us to view people as functions to get them to do what we want so we can be successful, not because we care about them. Thinking of the person next to us or the people within our span of care as someone’s precious child changes that dynamic. It helps to bring some of that unconditional care to the equation because we recognize their inherent dignity and humanity. They are not a function or a role. They are a person, cared for just like I am cared for and deserve to receive that care from others.

And that sense of care not only extends to our team members, but hopefully, throughout all stakeholders in our business.

“The family feeling, I think it trickles all the way down to our customer because you want your family to be happy,” Patrick said. “Well, I want my customer to be happy also. And I want to provide them with a top-quality part and get it to them as fast as I can. I want to keep the customer up and running. And if they're down, I want to get them back up and running as fast as possible.

“And in the area that I work, we have gotten it down now to where we can have a customer usually running maximum within a week, hopefully a couple of days. And if we can do it in a couple of days, the next time that customer needs those kind of parts again, they calls us. They don’t look anywhere else, they call us because they know we're going to take care of them. They're family. So, that's our number one priority, is our customers.”

Patrick does a great job of describing what we mean when we say, “Better Work, Better World.” Our hope is that the culture of caring in our workplace will cascade throughout the lives of the people in our business and those who interact with the people in our business. Not only our customers, but the families, friends and neighbors of our team members.

“I feel good about myself,” Patrick said. “I try every day to do a little better today than I did yesterday. And in the machine shop I'm working in, I took over that area in January of 2020. When I leave that area, I'm going to leave it better than I found it. And if we all can leave things better than we found them, we'll be better.”


Better Work. Better World. is a video series designed to shine a light on team members throughout the global Barry-Wehmiller organization. Watch the video through the link above to hear more.

Related Posts

Need help in applying principles of Truly Human Leadership in your organization? Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute is Barry-Wehmiller's leadership consulting firm that partners with other companies to create strategic visions, engage employees, improve corporate culture and develop outstanding leaders through leadership training, assessments and workshops.

Find out more at