President and CEO Scott Whitlock’s Fireside Story
Dynamic, passionate and trustworthy are just a few of the words Flexware Innovation, Inc.’s customers use to describe our President and CEO Scott Whitlock. As a team who has the pleasure to work side by side with him daily, the FlexDogs would agree that these words capture the very essence of our fearless leader.
He is a rare find in today’s business world; an incredible mentor to those that work for him and those that do business with him. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for strengthening U.S. manufacturing are so inspiring that people are always intrigued to hear Scott’s fireside story of how his love for the industry began.
Family Roots in Manufacturing
Scott, the oldest of four boys, was raised on a small family farm near Connersville, Indiana. His parents were adventurous, spirited and hardworking. His father was a Ball State business graduate and his mother was an Indiana University School of Music graduate. The Whitlock house was well-balanced with ambitious go-getter mindsets and fun-loving family adventures around every corner.
From gutting and remodeling the family’s old farmhouse (that didn’t even have indoor plumbing when purchased in 1976) to helping run multiple family businesses to projects such as restoring a 1966 Mustang from three separate parts-cars, Scott learned young four key work-life values that have always stayed with him;
- Always keep moving forward
- Do something even if it ends up being wrong
- Always leave a place (a job, a person, etc.) better than you found it
- Nothing is impossible
Case in point, Scott had the opportunity to work with his father on a power-washing job for the local Visteon plant in his formative years. He and his father were tasked with cleaning a ½ inch layer of grime off the plant floor of the once-bustling automotive parts manufacturing company. In order to complete a job of that magnitude, they needed a hot-water, 6000psi pressure washer, but a machine of that size didn’t exist. So Scott and his father brought to life a custom machine using a tractor engine and designing and assembling the unit themselves.
It was a true eureka moment for Scott. It didn’t matter how they got a job done, it just mattered that they provided the solution. It’s a lesson he still carries with him today.
A New Era of Innovation
Fast-forward to 1992. As a new Purdue Electrical Engineering Technology graduate, Scott had the amazing opportunity to go back into the Connersville Visteon plant while it was still open and work on a project-based assignment for his then employer, Indiana Automation, Inc. It was as if he had come full circle. Throughout four years with Indiana Automation, Scott became the go-to manufacturing software engineer for the firm.
His expertise in software led to the biggest opportunity of his young adult life. After a short stint as a software sales engineer with Advanced Interface Solutions (AISI) in early 1996, Scott was approached by a long-time industry friend and previous employer, to help him launch a start-up software integration company.
It was an entrepreneurial opportunity Scott knew he had to take. Those initial years were lean, but Scott was frugal and the business opportunities just kept coming. A couple key team members joined him in those early days and proudly still work with him today.
That original leap of faith has paid off and today the once small startup is now Flexware Innovation, Inc. serving manufacturing companies nationally and internationally in a unique space called Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). Scott took all the lessons of his life and wove them into a unique solution for the manufacturing industry – industry-focused engineering expertise and outside-the-box thinking.
The special breed of engineers at Flexware are affectionately called FlexDogs.
Scott and his fellow FlexDogs have a passion for software integration and innovative solutions. They share the same work-life values and are truly one of a kind engineers built for the long haul, thinking creatively and playing an integral role in the next generation of manufacturing.