Twenty years ago two young professionals launched a forward-thinking manufacturing IT startup on a shoestring budget. Today they still consider themselves kids, just a bit older. At the core of Flexware Innovation, Inc.’s two decades of growth has been a dedication to continuous learning and a passion to help manufacturers innovate.
For President and CEO Scott Whitlock and VP of Technology Jason Toschlog it’s always been about working harder than anyone else, taking risks and changing the dynamics of manufacturing. By tackling tough manufacturing IT and engineering problems, Flexware has become a trusted industry leader who creates value, solutions and a dynamic future for their clients.
“Built into our culture is a need to compete and bring the next great product or solution to market. The exciting thing for manufacturers and FlexDogs is that we will never be finished creating. Moreover, competition is hitting from every direction with three distinct pressures – to innovate, be cost-effective and build quality within manufacturing automation processes. Flexware is uniquely equipped to meet all three,” says Toschlog.
So what does the next 20 years look like for Flexware? We may not have a crystal ball or be Marty McFly, but as continuous learners and experts in our field, we foresee an emphasis on big data and Internet of Things (IoT) as much as we see innovation in manufacturing. Smart sensors with the connectivity to share real-time data will move into everything from agriculture to our city streets and homes.
While Flexware will continue to assist manufacturers nationwide with outside-the-box thinking in a unique space called Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), our skillset will be applicable in new settings as well.
“It’s thrilling to think how primed Flexware is for this era of big data,” says Whitlock. “End to end solutions are what we’re known for, it will be fun to see our drive and expertise move manufacturing forward and even expand beyond manufacturing.”
Always a champion for STEM education and closing the skills gap within manufacturing, the Flexware team also sees its efforts within this area – increasing over the next few decades.
“It’s important to provide professional development for our younger engineers, with an ultimate goal to keep these highly talented professionals here in Indiana’s high-tech manufacturing and engineering firms,” says Whitlock. “By nurturing the best of the best through the Dr. Theodore J. Williams Trailblazer Engineering Fellowship, we are helping prepare the engineering talent of tomorrow to meet the growing business needs of manufacturing.”
Additionally, the Flexware team is fired up about the potential for manufacturing job growth within the U.S. over the course of the next 20 years. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will seek to be able to create products closer in proximity to their consumers and ease distribution. They will consider reshoring and seek talent primed to provide end to end solutions around manufacturing IT, automation and business intelligence. And the FlexDogs are more than ready for that challenge!
Cheers to the last 20 years and the positive and lasting impact we’ve been able to have for our clients and our community. We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years hold in store for FlexDogs and our clients.
Proud husband & father. Purdue grad. Adrenaline junkie. Handyman. Enjoys trying new things.