Scott Benson is a project manager at NN Inc. in the precision engineered products group in Lubbock, Texas. NN is a diverse company with plastic injection molding and metal processing operations.
The 35-year-old was hired as a project engineer at Caprock Manufacturing Inc. in March 2013 but right away moved into the quality manager position. Caprock was bought by NN in 2013 and Benson was part of the due diligence team on the Caprock side during the ownership change. He stayed on at NN, obtaining an RJG Master Molder Certification after being promoted to project manager in March 2017.
What was your first plastics job? On my first day on the job, Caprock's general manager asked me if I would be interested in the quality manager position since the current quality manager was preparing to retire. I became the QA manager-in-training for six months before taking on the role in its entirety.
The main reason I ended up in the plastics industry is because my wife became pregnant with our first child. I was preparing to apply to medical school when she became pregnant. I felt the pressure to decide between medical school with training for 10 to 14 years, or being a dedicated husband and father. Through some networking, I landed an interview with Caprock. I have absolutely no regrets about making this career choice.
What was your greatest achievement? Recent RJG certification and achieving an MBA while working full time and raising a family were my biggest achievements. These achievements were not possible without the support of my wife.
What is your current challenge at work? Clear communication between all stakeholders. To make sure there is timely communication with vendors and clients and to make sure they understand what we offer.
What emerging technology or market most interests you? Additive manufacturing and the advancements in process control systems. Coupling these two technologies in plastics streamlines innovation and high-volume production.
What about the plastics industry surprises you? The vast amount of opportunities. From dealing with individual parts to individual people, the industry is changing each and every day. You can literally learn something new every hour of every day! There are all these industries that rely on plastic products.
What do you do to relax? I have two young daughters — we don't get to relax! We enjoy the time we get to spend with our family. My oldest daughter, Skylar, is 4 1/2 years old and my youngest, Harlow, is 2. These little balls of energy keep us busy 24/7.
Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to? Previously Ray Coleman, a manager I had in college when working at a retail golf store.
Currently, my wife — the hardest-working, nicest and most dedicated person I have ever met. She supports me in anything I do.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first? Listen, learn, observe and evaluate the situations to develop a strategy for success. In the future I would like to be an authentic leader who has the support and trust of an entire company that is fully aligned with my core values.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry? Go for it! The number of opportunities is endless. The growth potential is wide open.