Bruno Independent Living Aids Inc.

Top 10 award recipient

Mike Bruno

Bruno Independent Living Aids Inc.

1780 Executive Drive, Oconomowoc
Founded: 1984
Industry: Manufacturing wholesale
Employees: 365
2015 annual revenue: Not disclosed

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Bruno Independent Living Aids has been helping individuals achieve independence for more than 30 years. In that time, the company has experienced record growth in all but one year.

While some growth can be attributed to the rising population of individuals who need mobility services, more can be attributed to Bruno’s company culture and its commitment to its customers and its people.

Mike Bruno
Mike Bruno

For Mike Bruno, it’s a personal business, and one his family has been in for more than 30 years.

“My father had been in this industry before with other businesses,” Bruno said. “He saw a real opportunity with the advent of the minivan and the small electric scooters to really help people. That’s when he moved and started the company in Wisconsin.”

Bruno Independent Living Aids was formed in 1984. Engineered and manufactured in Oconomowoc, the company’s stair lifts and vertical platforms help individuals with mobility inside, while its scooter, power chair and wheelchair lifts easily stow mobility devices inside or outside a person’s vehicle. The company’s signature valet seat is the world’s most popular turning automotive seat.

“The growth we’ve experienced is really remarkable,” Bruno said.

The company grew steadily and underwent a restructuring to maintain that growth, Bruno said.

Since 2007, Bruno Independent Living Aids has tripled its business, obtaining the highest sales percentage increase in a decade in 2015 and increasing its workforce by nearly 20 percent in the past three years.

In 2015, the company also expanded into the commercial markets and now offers commercial vertical platform lifts in its line of products.

“We’ve really been able to do a lot without any real increase in our physical footprint,” Bruno said. “That speaks a lot to our commitment to lean practices, the ability and flexibility of our workforce and our continuous improvement culture.”

Bruno recognizes that the employees are the company’s most valuable asset, and says the investment in them has really paid off for the business.

“We put a lot of time and effort into educating our workforce,” he said. “Even in simple things like communication, problem-solving and teamwork techniques.”

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