Clearwater Beach, Fla. — Jim Beadle has held the chief financial officer role at Teel Plastics LLC through a period of rapid growth.
That's a big change from his previous experience. Before he came to Teel, Beadle spent most of his career in retail, including Sears Holdings Corp.
"I have had a fairly nontraditional path to my current role, having come from finance roles outside of the manufacturing world. I try to bring a creative approach to problem-solving and building the right teams to tackle some of the challenges facing our company and our industry," Beadle said.
He contrasted the experience at Teel, which has been growing rapidly, with the retail environment, where the focus was on cutting costs.
"A CFO once told me, 'One of the hardest jobs you'll ever have is an expanding organization.' And I think that's true to a certain extent because you want to be able to manage in a way that supports the growth," Beadle said.
"So there's a focus on budgeting and timing, but what I think is critically important is forecasting."
Baraboo, Wis.-based Teel Plastics is the 2022 Plastics News Processor of the Year. Beadle made it a double-double at the Executive Forum in Clearwater Beach, where he also took home the hardware for the 2022 PN CFO of the Year.
Beadle has been at Teel for five years, and he is responsible for the finance and information technology departments.
"I feel my role is to ensure our teams have the right balance of challenge and growth opportunities, as well as have fun — yes, finance is fun," he said. "We have worked to evolve the finance group into separate financial analysis and accounting functions to focus on both ensuring we have accurate day-to-day reporting but are also constantly supporting the business in helping to identify areas for improvement, using data and potential financial impact to drive and prioritize efforts to grow the bottom line.
"We have more than doubled the revenue of the company over the past two years with additional significant growth plans continuing into next year and have also increased the profitability of the company over that time frame while expanding," he said.
During his tenure, the company completed a deal where it brought on private equity investors in 2020, and then a recapitalization in 2022 to return capital to its investors. Teel also operated through the pandemic, and it implemented a new enterprise resource planning system in 2022.
Beadle said he focuses on forecasting, using data and analysis to quickly identify issues and opportunities.
"I am sometimes accused of trying to turn our operators and engineers into financial analysts, of which I accept full responsibility. The more we educate and train our teams to think and act like owners and analysts, to be curious as to drivers of profitability and efficiency, and use data to focus and prioritize our efforts, the more success we have," Beadle said.