Cal Franklin interviews
Wastebuilt Plant Manager Ben Scheiner
Ben Scheiner serves as the Plant General Manager for Wastebuilt in Winamac Indiana, home of the Galfab Roll-Off Hoist. He is a Manufacturing and Supply Chain leader with over 20 years of experience helping people and organizations achieve their maximum potential. He has worked as an Operational Consultant and Coach in Semiconductors, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Electronic Assembly. He has been the Plant Manager of the leading factory in its field in the world and Head of Operations for DeLaval’s Chemical Division. Ben holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA. He is a Chartered Engineer via the IET in the UK and a Chartered Fellow of CMI in the UK, he is a Certified Supply Chain Professional through APICS, the Association for Operations Management in the US. He is a Senior Member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. In his spare time he studies Spanish and volunteers in Spanish. Ben is the Pulaski County representative on the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board.
Franklin: The accent is the first thing people notice about you. Tell us what brought you to the United States.
Scheiner: A few years ago I was given the opportunity to relocate to Washington State to work as a Plant Manager for a factory making milking equipment. I have been a manufacturing professional for most of my career and the opportunity to manage a plant was too good an opportunity to pass up. I lived in the Pacific Northwest for 4 years and have been in the Midwest for the last 3.
Franklin: How did you come to Wastebuilt and how has that experience been for you?
Scheiner: I was recruited to help turn the Galfab facility (now Wastebuilt Winamac) into a modern world-class manufacturing unit. Once again – an opportunity too good to pass up. Change is always hard and the change process in Winamac is no exception but we have a superb team, both back office and in the shop. 2015 has been a great year and the team delivered amazing results. From a companywide perspective, Wastebuilt has grown both organically and through acquisition in the short time I have been a part of it – I think this is a great time to be a part of this company.
Franklin: I read somewhere about your thoughts on the concepts of trust as it relates to the business product. Can you explain what you meant?
Scheiner: I look at this from 2 key aspects. One aspect is from our customers’ perspective. They trust us to deliver a high quality product every time – improving that quality while delivering the growth we enjoyed in 2015 is a key focus of mine. The other aspect is in the relationship in the team – if I (we) can create an environment of trust where everyone pulls in the same direction, the team can achieve amazing results and ultimately the team wins.
Franklin: I understand you’re married to a practicing Psychotherapist? Tell us about your family.
Scheiner: I have been married to Tamara for 15 years, she is a South African from Cape Town. We have 9 year old twins – a boy and a girl – Gil and Noa, they were born in the UK but, unlike me, they have American accents. 9 is a great age where kids have a lot of cool and intelligent stuff to say. I think that being married to a Psychotherapist gives me a unique insight into what makes people tick and how to motivate via passion, compassion and understanding. As an engineer, I often see things in black and white, Tamara helps me to achieve a more complex and textured perspective.
Franklin: You once told me that building the best quality product is the goal you want to achieve. Can you explain?
Scheiner: The Galfab roll-off hoist has always been renowned as a quality product with innovative features. In 2015 we successfully met the challenge of maintaining and improving that quality while experiencing rapid growth. We do this via a combination of fixtures, checklists and testing. Every hoist goes through an engineering review before production starts and is tacked in a fixture to ensure consistent quality. Checklists are used throughout the process and we do a full functional test with a loaded container for every hoist. Once it is ready to go, the hoist goes through a multipoint final inspection by a dedicated team. However like you, I am a fan of the late, great Bear Bryant – who wanted “committed not contented” players – what we have achieved this year is merely the starting point for our next level of improvements.
Franklin: You are the Pulaski County representative on the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board. Tell us about your work with the Board.
Scheiner: The Board provides oversight and vision to all aspects for developing a workforce that is ready for future challenges. My involvement enables me to have a direct influence on that. Some of the reasons I enjoy working in Indiana include the importance placed on manufacturing and the innovative programs in place to connect the right people with the jobs we have. I really like being a part of that and being able to impact what the future workforce will look like. Being part of the Board has also enabled me to meet interesting and passionate people who I would not otherwise have met.