Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 155

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 155
“ Leadership Lessons Learned:A Conversation with Keith Singleton
of Gates Corporation”

Hosted by Vector Global Logistics
Learn More:

Keith Singleton is a Management Leader who has over 20+ years of experience leading people and organizations.  He earned his Masters at Central Michigan University with a concentration in Leadership and Executive Administration.  Keith started his professional career in the Marine Corps working in Distribution and Logistics.  He has a variety of professional experiences ranging from Sales, Business Operations and Supply Chain Management.  He currently works at Gates Corporation. Keith has been married for 26 years to Melissa Conyers, has three children and two grandchildren.  His hobbies range from running to coaching AAU Basketball with the Atlanta Celtics.  He has memberships in both APICS and CSMP where he has served on boards for both organizations.  He is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.  Keith’s ongoing mission is to leave the world better than the way he inherited it.  His philosophy that drives his daily activities reflects his life endeavor: “…what would you do if you knew you could not fail.”

Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now Radio. Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now Radio and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:

Scott W. Luton is the founder of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was recently named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and serves on the advisory board for the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Connect with Scott Luton on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @ScottWLuton.

Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Keith Singleton, Operations Manager for Gates Corporation.  They discuss Keith’s career, his role models and mentors, and his perspectives and philosophies about leadership.

[00:00:00] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply chain. Now radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Scott Luton live with you here on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. We’re coming to you live from Vector Global Logistics this afternoon, a company that’s providing world class Logistics services all while deeply investing into the communities they serve. Based here in Atlanta, but with an international reach. This company is on the move. You can learn more at vector geo dot com. On a quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple, podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify and wherever else you find your podcasts. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss anything. Supply Chain Now Radio was also brought to you by a variety of sponsors, including the Effective syndicate pro purchaser dot com apex, Atlanta Supply chain real estate, dot com and several leading organizations. So be sure to check out the show notes to learn more about our valuable sponsors. All right.


[00:01:23] Let’s welcome in our co-host in today once again, the irrepressible Greg White, a Greene regular co-host here on Supply Chain Now Radio and a Supply chain technology maven. Hey, don’t, Greg. Hey, I’m doing great. Maven and irrepressible. Two new words. Yeah, all in one day. Keep it fresh. Right now how you keep track of that? Well, we’ve gotta we’ve got a whole staff here. Supply Chain Now Radio that Mount Gusto. But make sure we introduce you with new creative devices.


[00:01:52] I know that. All right.


[00:01:56] So, Greg, we had a great show this morning with Sarah Barnes Humphrey from out of Toronto. Host Let’s talk Supply chain and CEO of Ship Ship Z ships, ships there. But always refreshing to hear her perspective kind of as we kind of covered the supply chain buzz. A lot of different developments going on in the world.


[00:02:14] Supply chain. Yeah. Great to have her back from Panama. That’s right. It’s not in Panama City. Well, Panama City, Panama.


[00:02:21] Saddam had a real in the country. Panama. Yes, that’s right.


[00:02:25] And as you might hear, our special guest today is a great friend of the show and great friend in general, Keith Singleton, senior operations manager at Gates Corporation. Keith, how you doing?


[00:02:34] I’m outstanding. Good seeing you guys.


[00:02:37] We are glad you are here. Now, the Supply chain world’s going to hear a lot of what I’ve enjoyed through a Lu board participation and seats and lunches and events. It’s good to have you right here to catch not only catch up with you, but get your thoughts on some things going on in the world. Supply chain.


[00:02:53] Well, thanks for inviting me out. I’m looking forward to this conversation and I hope that’s what it is. Just an interactive conversation.


[00:03:00] Absolutely. So we talk when we say board, so Keith and I go way back. You Apex Land has been around for about 55 years now. You serve in the metro Atlanta area. You know, they’re one of our sponsors here at Supply Chain Now Radio Keith. And I first met volunteering as board members for right picks Atlanta back all day, right? We did. I want to say, I hate to date myself. We’ve been in Atlanta now, as I like to say, three kids and two houses ago. But I was probably about 11, 12 years ago, no longer in it longer than living in it.


[00:03:33] But I will keep them honest now. I won’t date guy. I remember squat.


[00:03:39] It’s got quite a quite a few years back.


[00:03:41] Yeah, yeah, yeah.


[00:03:42] And vice versa. We had a lot of time. Great chapter. A lot a lot of cool things go a lot of cool things in one supply chain here in Atlanta, but also the Apex and HCM universe these days. But let’s start off on the right foot. Keith, you’ve got a really interesting background. And as we like to do with our featured guests, we kind of want to paint a picture for our audience and give them a sense of who Keith Singleton is. You know, especially where you’ve been kind of your story to get here. So we want to start things off with you telling us about yourself. So let’s start with the good old question. When would you grow up? Keith.


[00:04:14] Kind of interesting question. I grew up in Oklahoma City toward toward the end of my high school time. I moved to Anchorage, Alaska. I graduated from high school out of Anchorage. And then I came back to Oklahoma and went to school at the University of Central Oklahoma. It was OK. It was central state at the time. You branch track history major is the issue. And frat boy. So had a good time in college. What? Frat Alpha Five. Okay. Go, Phi Alpha. Pretty active in the school in general, but just a really good time. From there, I joined the Marine Corps when those six and 86 graduated 87 and was on active duty in 1988.


[00:04:55] Wow. And the supply chain world. That’s why I got my. My skills, I was a supply officer in the Marine Corps and basically Siplon is that the guys that that handle all the administrative emissions in business needs of the Marine Corps in terms of warehousing and other supply chain, you know, avenues that you have to work in.


[00:05:16] So we take the warfighting mission capability. I mean, they keep the keep the engine running, right?


[00:05:23] I think we do. We get the engine running. I mean, there are there are another a number of other other associates or a number of other MLS is that feed into that. But I think everything begins right there. It with with that yet. Young Supply chain officer.


[00:05:40] Yep, agreed. So if I can move back, I want to talk more about your military background. But gosh, the from Oklahoma.


[00:05:49] Take a laska and then back to Oklahoma. I mean I can only imagine some of the thing. I mean, just some of the temperament, some of the wardrobe changes you had to make it. Tell us about that.


[00:06:02] Actually, you don’t when you’re doing it, you don’t really think about it. It’s just when you after you look back, you realize, wow, what a culture change. Anchorage is a great, great place. I love Anchorage. I consider Anchorage my second home. Wow. To Atlanta. I love Anchorage. Great experiences. Met great people there. And it’s know just some of some of some of some of my mores in terms of how to conduct myself with business, things like that. I attribute it to my experiences in Anchorage. Very cool. How long were you there? I was there my final two years of high school and then on and off there throughout my four years in college. Oh. So my my father actually was an Air Force career guy and was in the world of the Supply chain professionals at the Air Force. And he landed in Anchorage with his brothers. And he had a couple of sisters there. And he was in federal government and did did the same things he was doing basically in the Air Force.


[00:07:01] Very interesting. So you’ve eluded so we’re going to talk about role models, them the next it seems like Anchorage played a pivotal above critical role in your kind of identifying your values in a business sense. But let’s talk about some of your early hobbies. And I bet these hobbies can be very different from Oklahoma to Alaska. But what did you love to do as you were growing up, actually?


[00:07:25] They’re not gonna be much different. You know, I ran track and play basketball and played football in my younger formative years. And I just I continued that in Anchorage just with warmer clothes.


[00:07:37] Believe it or not, it’s a funny story.


[00:07:40] I was terrible at track in Oklahoma. It’s terrible. And it was just a dare. Another former basketball player that we were at track practice. I was only going to track practice the skip from working.


[00:07:56] My dad wanted me to get a job. Yeah. If you’re not going to work, you don’t want to. I didn’t want to work.


[00:08:01] So basketball player and all my ways are the car. Walt asked me, Hey, man. Run the 200 with me. And I was like, Dude, I’m terrible. I am slow, you know. So I go out on the track in the longest short, I ran the entire four hundred four by 100 relay team. And I was like, wow. And I’m good at this and I’m might be pretty good at this. Yeah. So from there I carried that through college.


[00:08:29] Wow. So you majored in history in college y history. I love history. Yeah.


[00:08:37] I think everybody has to have a cornerstone in their lives and history provides that for us. I don’t know if we do a good job in teaching it, but. But everything has a history to it, including supply chain when we even have histories. So. But I love history. At one point I wanted to teach history. I even thought about in the near future, maybe teach in some history when I retire. But still to be determined. Still to be determined.


[00:09:06] I can see you now. I can see you holding court with a classroom in captivating based on what you knew. You know, you studied, but also you’ve seen, you know, if anything last 20 or 30 years and supply chain, we’ve seen some some huge shifts in how business is done. Right.


[00:09:25] Major transformations, major transformations. But it’s still just always comes back to the fundamentals, which is flood sports. Guys in here, we understand you have to have fundamentals and anything that you do, that you do, that you perform in. And the Apex certification reinforces that as well.


[00:09:40] When you said US sports guys, you point at Greg White and point at me.


[00:09:42] Can you say I didn’t mean to leave you? Yeah, I was not. I would put myself in that bucket so I would support everything. All right. So let’s talk sports. Right. You’re in that book. OK. If you’re you’re accurate. All right.


[00:10:02] So let’s talk role models. Yeah. I think a lot of our conversations we’ve had over the years, Keith has been about leadership. Right. Right. Business values. You know, he’s got it right. Who’s kind of missed the mark in some ways? Things. Let’s talk about some of the folks that were effective role models for you early on.


[00:10:24] I will tell you, this guy named Richard Berry, that is by far probably the best leader that I have ever worked for. He was my first commander in the Marine Corps.


[00:10:36] Extremely bright. I remember one day trying to get something over on an old man and the XO didn’t have to check my work. And so I gave him a paper and we were talking like we’re doing now. And then he handed it back and said, Hey, man, you need to get those two miss bills, you know, cleaned up for me and I’ll sign off on it. And I looked at him. He said, I just tried to do that on purpose to see if I read it. And I and I later found out the guy read two thousand words a minute. Wow. Just an incredible guy. Incredible leader. And then I would say to bring it fast forward. Got it.


[00:11:09] I look on as a real role model for me now as American hard work worked with him. It’s sunny delight. Between two thousand and five in 2012. And he’s pretty dynamic, a leader. Real dynamic. The people side of the business is what he really tuned in online. Me too. Mm hmm. Yeah. Prior to that, I think Scott may have witnessed that transformation. You know, I was probably when we first met, I was probably more of a nuts and bolts numbers guy. Not as personable unless I really got to know you. But but but Amir reminded me that people. The reason why we’re successful.


[00:11:47] Yeah. Yeah, it really is. And in fact, you know, as our working together leading that cultural transformation is some delight today. It was a huge transformation. Yeah. And that was one of the earliest dinner meetings that I can really think of. And then, you know, take out a pix and search. You know, these chapters and associations are built on dinner meetings, right? Right. An outside perspective, making presentations, providing best practices, insights, you know, you name it. But I think Amir is you were you were kind enough to kind of facilitate his presentation that night for that dinner meeting. And Matt, what a powerful presentation. What a powerful story that you all really made happen there.


[00:12:30] We really did. I mean, we really did. And the one thing that I always remind myself of is that it’s easy to stray away from the things that got you successful. I just read an article last week about being too critical.


[00:12:42] You know, sometimes too much criticism will turn a bad a good employee. Bad. Mm hmm. It just creates a toxic environment. And so that I think there is a term we use as feedback sometimes that’s just overused and oversimplified. Sometimes we just have to let people be human. Mm hmm. And system management is the best way of doing that. It takes all the emotions out and takes personalizing things out of the equation. And you can just focus on the problem and get it resolved.


[00:13:10] Mm hmm. Well, put an effort to connect the dots for the three listeners that may not have heard of some delight, which the well-known brand, mainly a juice manufacturer. Right. Right. With the operation here in the Atlanta area. But I think based companies based out of Cincinnati. It is. Right. It is. And that was that was a while back. But great experience, great story with a huge emphasis on the people side of business, even in the manufacturing industry, which is kind of tough.


[00:13:40] Yes, really tough. Tough to do that, really. Sometimes I think we just have to answer the hard questions within ourselves. And we’re witnessing a transformation right now. I think with our work economy well, I think some of those answers are going to be forthcoming anyway. It’s just. But you just have to remind yourself that that is the people that are the people, the both the people they work for you and the customers that you that you sell your product to. Those are the most important elements you love.


[00:14:06] That’s very timely, right? Yeah. We talked about that this morning. Yeah, right. Please.


[00:14:11] Yeah. I mean, this morning we were talking about companies that need to have this awakening, that they have a greater responsibility than just simply making a profit. Right. They have to they have to do right by people. They have to have to have to do right by the environment and reduce waste and be more sustainable. All of those things accrue to the benefit of a company and they have to be right, do right by their customers as well. And I think, you know, we called it a reckoning earlier today. If you don’t if you don’t do it, it’s gonna get done to you.


[00:14:46] I mean, Jack Welch put it best. I mean, change before you forced to change. Yeah. And those words are coming back to haunt a lot of people that are that are disciples of his. But, you know, Jack was right. You have to be. You have to be nimble. You have to be willing to change. And you have to look at the business end of what you have to look at profitability and the things that go with that. You know, execution ratio. Things like that. Those, you know, those are that the unemotional sides of the business that unfortunately they they reinforce you and remind you why you’re there. On one on one aspect. But on the other aspect is, is that you have to give the customer something that they want. And then but those other stakeholders that you can’t forget about. We’ve seen some of that. You can’t forget about the employees. They are a major stakeholder in what makes a business successful. And you cannot forget about just supply chain partners. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we saw that with transportation. You, Scott, we talked about that in 2008 that the transportation industry was being taken advantage of. Yeah. And you have to make sure that you have to remember why they are in business to win, not just to beat them down on cost.


[00:15:51] You know, it’s interesting and I don’t want to make this kind of Sunday like commercial. But way back when one of the things that that you all were involved with at the time was a first for me early, the first time I’d really observed it because you were just talking a second ago about how, you know, your stakeholders include your supply chain partners.


[00:16:09] Well, you know, these days progressive collaboration upstream and downstream and supply chain is much more common. But but back twelve, 14 years ago, it you know, it companies that did that, if I recall correctly, some delight was partnering with its one of its workforce partners. Right. And then with one of its three PR partners, a sit down and problem solve together across those walls. Absolutely. And these days it’s much more common, right. Especially in the global economy. As you know, root causes can keep. You know, we’re all trying to find him. But but back then, that was not quite to call it unheard of, but it was far less common.


[00:16:50] You read about it. You read about it in magazines. You talked about it with the S&P or you went to Apex. People talked about boundless boundary banner, no borders, where there’s just there was nothing competing.


[00:17:04] But to actually bring somebody, you never saw wild land. You know, I’m inevitably you would have somebody show up, hey, here’s a nondisclosure.


[00:17:12] You can’t talk about anything. We talked about it here today. So, I mean that again, that was a slow evolution. But I can really say I think that was one of the things that made me a better professional was being in that environment. Sunny D. Well, we actually sat down with people and we really talked through. And what part did you play in this? And it wasn’t a finger pointing. No one interested in that. I mean, hey, I will go with that success today. But how do we make sure it is seamless? Next month? Yeah. And that’s where we have to drive to.


[00:17:42] You call borderless borders.


[00:17:45] No borders. Boundary, boundary, less borders. OK.


[00:17:48] You’re going to trademark that? No, no. I’m always search. You know, in the podcast world, we’re always trying to come up with the right title that reflects the conversation we’re talking about. So I like I like making sure some of the things that stick out because that is a I think even far beyond the example you’re using it in. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. That’s a powerful phrase in general, because there’s far to me barriers that are preventing real conversations from happening. So I might steal that and make t shirts and we’ll send you a commission check and say, I don’t know.


[00:18:20] It’s not an original Greene comes out of my mouth guarantee as I’m reading.


[00:18:24] All right. So let’s switch back into the your professional journey kind of a short way back when. So clearly, Richard Barrett and Americanized were two of your your most powerful role models earlier on. But let’s talk about your very first job. Sure. And a key lesson learned from it.


[00:18:41] Oh, man. I know there’s a back story here. There’s a reason you’re asking me.


[00:18:45] Oh, then my very my very first professional job, I would say was was was being in the Marine Corps, being a supply play officer.


[00:18:55] And the real first thing that really imprinted on me the most was that that that Gulf War experience and I was in Bahrain and we had we had to get to some I had to resupply one task force recon teams. So we needed some repair parts. And I forgot where they asked for it. As with them, it was just it was wood and I think some knapsacks. That’s crazy stuff, right? Supplies, Zodiacs.


[00:19:28] So I go and I don’t know what street we are in Manama, but we meet the vendor and we don’t even talk business. You know, we have to sort of sit down. You know, we used to cut well, sit down on ground and cross leg style jerai kind of thing, Indian style. And so is what we see in Oklahoma City. But he hands me these small, dirty teacups.


[00:19:52] And I’m looking at my sergeant and my sergeant’s looking at me saying, sir, don’t screw this. And and I’m playing what what you mean and I put my head over to him and he says, you can’t I clean that cup. Which blouse? Yeah, okay. Got it. So I’m drinking the tea that this guy serves. And we don’t even talk business. And then we through an interpreter, we get into the business aspect of it. And that’s what that was. That’s one of the most powerful lessons that stayed with me was. Sometimes when you come to the table and you’re talking to competitors or you talk it’s suppliers, you have to. We have to do what we did today. We have to find some sense of who is the person that I’m dealing with. And you know what makes them go? Why do they have this this item of these parts that I need before we even get into. Well, here’s my need. How can you how can you feel this need for me? And that was an interesting experience. You know, we didn’t know where we’re gonna get these parts and we didn’t have the Internet at the time. So it was a lot of homework. But, you know, driving from where I was heading to Bahrain, that in and of itself was an experience. I bet there was.


[00:21:05] You got to find common ground before you can find a common interest. All right. I mean, that’s I mean, that’s essentially what he was. He wanted to see. That’s essentially what he wanted to see. How you were going to respond to his to him. Cultural outreach.


[00:21:20] A lately, I couldn’t put it better myself. I mean, that’s that’s essentially what happened. And we built we built a real strong relationship with that particular vendor. Hmm. Later on, as we got ready to leave come country, we had some outstanding bills.


[00:21:34] And you know how the government the system is. And so I had to actually go and make some real strong points to our contracting office to say, hey, we need to go over here and pay this guy. And of course, he didn’t want an IOU. He wanted cash. Yeah.


[00:21:51] So that was do we are still yo yo.


[00:21:55] But I was able to work that out when we actually paid the vendor, you know, several thousands of dollars for the items that he supplied us with them and that we were able to deliver it to listen to the battlefield on time.


[00:22:08] Wow. So he delivered them in good faith to meet the need right. In time. Exactly what you needed. And it sounds like you had that kind of fight through some battles and make sure after he provided the supplies and good faith that he was taking care of that he was taking care of.


[00:22:22] And that’s that, you know, often use that lesson both with with my colleagues and even with some when I’m talking to my children. Is this is that how you got to meet the needs of your partners? And if you are a leader, that is your job. You have to remove roadblocks. You know, that guy doesn’t care. Well, you know, he doesn’t care about acronyms or what we use internally within our organization. All he knows is I gave you I need to be paid and that front line soldier could care less. All the hoops you had to jump through, all all he knows is that, hey, that’s the bad guy. These are the things I’m telling you I need. How are you going to get it for me?


[00:22:56] So. So to your credit, you didn’t screw it up on the front end or back yet? No, I don’t mean that guy. I bet that guy knew after that first meeting that you were going to take care of him, right?


[00:23:10] I mean, I think I just had to convey to him that we had we had first developed some lines of trust and then I had what whenever I committed to him, I had to make sure I delivered that to him. Otherwise, I mean, you know, the whole thing would’ve went haywire.


[00:23:26] Yeah. Well, you know, what’s interesting is these lessons you learned there basically in combat or at least deployed. Right. You know, combat, as we all know, in the Gulf War was was more confined. You know, the 44 hour ground rule or I believe back in that day. But then again, we had an air campaign that went on quite a bit for. But what’s interesting about that and those critical lessons learned, it clearly stayed with you, you know, in a plan and then applying that and to the civilian side, the private sector world with supply chain when we hit, we had. So we’ve got a veteran focused series here in Supply Chain Now Radio that we do in partnership with Vetlanta. And in the last show, Greg, if you remember, one of the I think was Christopher Lamb. Yes. Christopher Plame. Plame plant. Plant. Yeah. He stated that it may be a tribute to a strong person, but he stated, hey, whatever he s he was in the private sector and whatever the problems we that we had and, you know, laid out, whatever it was, at least no one’s done today. Well, I absolutely. Because those are the stakes. You know, when you’re serving and you’re and you’re you know, you’re trying to solve the problems critically to enable the engine to move forward and to protect the folks in uniform and protect the mission. But, you know, we have big problems. Supply chain, but not quite that big.


[00:24:45] And, you know, it’s a funny thing that comes with age. I mean, when you’re young, it just seems like you’re just not mature enough really to understand the full impact of what you’re doing. I jumped out airplanes and I didn’t really realize how dangerous that was until I turned 40. I kind of thought it from the other. And it’s the same thing in being that type of situation, too. But transforming that back to today, today’s reality. The problems that exist in everybody’s organizations are just as critical is their problem was for me. You know, when I was a young lieutenant in the Marine Corps, you know, in terms of real life urgency, I would say probably we had. A greater urgency where I was at. In Saudi Arabia, but in terms of companies, survivals, people’s jobs. Today, the people that work for you. It’s critical that you execute. It’s critical that you do the things that are necessary in delivering his trust in a man.


[00:25:40] So moving from your first job in some is critical lessons learned, which is really interesting, especially common ground point you made. That is so what we need so much for common ground in today’s business environment and just general environment. Let’s talk about your first big promotion and how that came about and and what doors that may have opened for you.


[00:26:01] No, I think the real first promotion that I got was that because I’ve had several throughout the career, but the one that I remember most in my life was was when I got promoted to captain in the Marine Corps. That was the first time that I really, you know, transition from one level of leadership to another. And it just didn’t really hit me until the following year when I got reminded that, hey, you know, you operated on this scope here. Now we expect you to operate at this level here. And so carrying it forward to the civilian world at. I you know, I worked at Target for some time and I don’t know why I’d say it. Know I don’t know why. What made me say, okay, we’ll try to assess this as a supervisor because I want to understand what my supervisor will be doing for me later.


[00:26:50] But when I went out, when I got promoted and became a manager with Sony, I took those lessons I learned with me from the Marine Corps. And I think that a lot of times young leaders in the private sector, they become nothing more than office managers. And they become desensitized to the people element. And how many how. How wide their scope has really expanded in these new positions.


[00:27:19] Do you think it’s because they are managing by spreadsheet look, too. I mean, we all know what the data driven economy we live in. And that’s not taking thing away from, you know, managing by numbers and and knowing your numbers probably. What I mean better than managing my numbers, do you think that is too ingrained and they’re so focused on what’s on sale E6 that they’re not paying attention to what’s going on and desk, you know, down the hall?


[00:27:47] It could be a lot of times people take on the personalities of the folks they worked worked for or they take on the dreams of somebody else is somebody else’s drives and a motives in initiatives. So they never really take that. They’ve never really taken account. Okay. Yeah. All it as important. Got it. But what’s your role? And you’re responsible for these people here and you’re responsible for this set of values or deliverables for these customers, vendors, whoever. And what. What does that have to do with you and how do you fit in this overall puzzle? A lot of times the numbers and I’m a big numbers guy. Scott knows I’m a real big numbers guy. True. Very true. But the numbers are no more. And you would appreciate this. Then this then in the scoreboard. That’s what the numbers are. Right. And so, you know, it’s like I would tell my son all the time when he’s playing basketball. Hey, man, don’t worry about how many points you score right now. Worry about first their first number. You trying to make sure they know the game you win. And then the next thing it gets down to the basic, basic fundamentals. What does it take to win? Do you have to really assert yourself in other key areas to to impact that scoreboard and all the other things that you practice? All the other things that you hone? They come in to play right now. When you’re on the on the court, you know, we don’t get paid to be stock spectators in the stands. We get paid to be on the court and engaged.


[00:29:17] And you’re talking about your son. Keith Junior, who was a great athlete in his own right.


[00:29:22] Keith Keith played hockey. Yes. And Keith is a good athlete, a great, great hockey player. But now I’m talking about Nick. Oh, well, my youngest son, my bad. Yeah. And you know, actually, Skye has met Nick, but he probably would even recognize Nick. Now, Nick is Nick. He’s not the same Nick you saw as I need who are listening right now.


[00:29:41] Nick, is this right now?


[00:29:43] Yeah.


[00:29:43] Yeah. Nick is Nick is Nick.


[00:29:46] My apologies for getting mixed up because I know you’re also a great big athlete. That’s part of what we’re talking about. His exploits last time we were we had lunch together. So cached. There’s so much to unpack with what you just shared. I want to. I’m trying to figure out the best thing to dive in on because you’ve shared so much. I like practical management and leadership advice. Right.


[00:30:11] And I think you’re a big kindred spirit in that regard because you lip service and theoretical and and know whatever’s in Chapter 7 of the latest New York Times bestselling marriage. Right. Right. Stuff. Yes. What works is what gets my attention. Greg White.


[00:30:27] Yeah. I mean, I mean, I think I think to continue with your analogy, I mean, one of the things you’ve got to recognize on the basketball court is when you need help.


[00:30:35] Right. You got to ask for it. Yeah, you’ve got to ask for it. I mean, it might not be popular with the coach the time, but hey, if you need help and it needs to be coaches help, you better say time out. Yeah. And so a lot of times young leaders forget that the people they work for are also resources, too. Yeah. You know, just say time out and go in and tell the boss, hey, boss, you know what? I don’t know how to do this. Instead of always saying I can’t look like to the boss, I don’t know what I’m doing.


[00:31:01] Mm hmm. So I don’t know if this is universal, but I’ve seen work environments. It’s a lot safer to do that now than I remember. Existing in my history, it’s a lot safer to show a little vulnerability, to ask for help, to admit you can’t do it right to to get someone to help you move along. It sounds like it’s Sunny D that was probably, you know, acceptable.


[00:31:26] It was. It was. But, you know, I got to be honest, I got a hard hit. So I thought the mirror kind of gave me some hard love. Hey, help her in that direction.


[00:31:37] But, you know, with some of the best stuff that that I’ve ever gotten, I mean, I would I would take the other person. They Keith me very, very grounded, is my true champion. And that’s my wife. I’m a very, very successful professional. But her advice is always very timely.


[00:31:51] Mm hmm.


[00:31:53] Also listening. I don’t know.


[00:31:55] I don’t know. I’m kind of doing our own thing. So, yeah, she’s probably working.


[00:32:00] Yeah. So let’s make it. We’ll make her listen to it later.


[00:32:05] So let’s talk about your transition.


[00:32:09] I think one of the things I’m always curious about, we’re always curious about as we have veterans on the show here in Supply Chain Now Radio is, you know, their transition stories as they left, you know, whether whether it was a supply role or supply chain related role in military or if it wasn’t. But, you know, kind of. Their transition into the private sector such. So if you could speak to a little bit of your experience there.


[00:32:31] I can’t. I’m happy to tell you about that. I actually got fascinated because this guy is one of my office mates, used to listen to Rush Limbaugh every day. Oh, lord. Did it offers and so did I. Oh, and at the time it was 9 3 9 4 timeframe. And so we just seemed like we were preoccupied with the private side and how efficient the private side was. Well, I got to be honest, I don’t come from a family environment where we have a lot of entrepreneurs. I don’t. My wife does. But I don’t. So I just became preoccupied with it from this from the standpoint of view of first admitting what you really don’t know. And I just didn’t know anything about the stock market. I didn’t know anything about insurance or any of those financial vehicles. And so I transitioned as I transitioned into the business world with Household International. I was a part of the general manager training program at the time the household was bought by HSBC. But I got into that GMT programs Jenny management training program is pretty prestigious program in Chicago. You have to live there for 18 months. And I was pretty successful in that program as as a GMT Household International was that like we also had money? We own HFC. I don’t know if you remember household finance, right? Yeah, household finance. Household bank, household mortgage services.


[00:33:56] Okay. I once I had a card, I remember I had a mini car, vaguely Roman. You remember the logo, but. Right.


[00:34:03] So how. So for you for from transitioning from a supply chain or a siplon officer in the U.S. Marine Corps to high finance and the private side. How were how was your what was that onboarding like or what stood out as a hey, this was this worked well for me. And so this is maybe an idea you’d shared with folks today transitioning. And then is there another blind spot or a gap in your transition that maybe you didn’t expect or something that maybe you would share with folks transitioning today?


[00:34:36] Why I take a gap is that I would all tell anybody is that you can learn anything. And that’s something that that you and I. We we we realized in the military, you can learn anything. And people is the young people that can teach anything. I think the military does the best job training than anybody. They can teach a young guy how to fly a plane and come from an environment where you fly planes or like me, I don’t have we didn’t own weapons at my house and they taught a guy like me from Oklahoma City how to shoot a weapon in the Marine Corps. And so it was the same concept that household household was like, we’re gonna take these GM, GM TS. They know nothing about the business world and we’re going to show them how to do business operations, business collections, business sales, and then learn every aspect about the finance world from insurance to banking, from high finance to auto loan financing, etc. to arbitrage and even commercial lending. And so we did six month, we did six week rotations and we rotated through every business unit and we were also the crisis little front line managers.


[00:35:44] If something came up that was an issue in the company, they would send a team of GM TS with a senior manager to go in and things. So that was my first introduction to the business world. And that’s what taught me that word. Nimble. Yeah, learn how to be nimble. You’ve got to learn how to be a good listener and then you’ve got to look at the scorekeepers and that’s the numbers. You know how to read the financials, right? Right. What those actual accounting problems, how it’s meant. Yeah. How to read a balance sheet, things like that. And then have to break into the numbers within the balance sheet to really pull out things like, you know, execution ratio. Execution ratio is no more than revenues and expenses expenses divided by revenues. That’s it. How you are here today, it tells you just how efficiently a company is running and every company has their their sweet spot. So. So that’s what I learned household.


[00:36:39] So it’s not like that. That first roll out of the Marine Corps was a pretty powerful experience. When one stay with you have one. It taught some some fundamental private sector lessons. It did for you.


[00:36:51] It did. It did. Met some great people. Met some great people. I got to go to Chicago, Chicago, to the incredible city. It’s massive city. I love Chicago. Great food and great food. Just just great for public transit.


[00:37:04] Great landmark, right? Great people. Just a really cool city, especially. So when does it get. Once a weather term really nice in Chicago.


[00:37:15] I want to say this about May, end of May. June is when it gets really nice.


[00:37:19] So we were up there last October, starting September, early October, and it was what it was. It was gorgeous. We really had this outdoor farmer’s market. We ate outside. OK. Still, it must have been like 68, 70 degrees. It was perfect.


[00:37:33] But that first experience for you. I mean, is that clearly it that set the stage for a lot of career success. And as we both know, a lot of folks that come out don’t have nearly the same level of transitional success. There’s a lot of challenges that you’re not prepared if spoken a lot about it. All right. Sharp rise lunches. What? So before we switch gears and kind of pick your brain more about what you do in your current role, what Gates Corporation does. What do you what do you see with the folks you still talk to, you know, who you served with and what you just your general observations with the sheer numbers of veterans getting out? I want to say two hundred fifty thousand a year that that number is going to be really close somewhere around there.


[00:38:16] Yeah, it’s a pretty high number. When you talk to guys like me, I mean, what an asset. You know, veterans, they are well-trained. They come out of service with maybe unique enhancements sometimes of some real emotional issues that other people are dealing with anyway. So a lot of times, some of the fears that may maybe some people have about bringing a vet on board to their teams is exaggerated. Because people are going through those common is the common problems any way. So that’s kind of a myth in terms of in terms of what they bring to your workforce. They bring discipline. They come in with discipline. They have an idea of. They have an idea really of how to train and how to be trained. And these are people that are used to receiving instructions, feedback. You don’t have to. You don’t have to berate it. Got it. Once you tell them, once time you go out and execute it.


[00:39:12] And they act on your last point, their critical thinking and acting independently and taking the ball and running with it.


[00:39:20] Right. So what they are charged with, right? In many ways, minus. That’s certainly one of the gains they bring to the table.


[00:39:28] All right. Greg, did you want to weigh in on something I don’t want to do? I mean, I lost it.


[00:39:35] I lost. I was going so well.


[00:39:37] So one of the things one of the things I know you. One of the Stuart observations you’ve made before is is kind of that disconnect between private sector business leaders and the folks that are huge advocates of the military and successful transition are seen to be a gap that still needs or does it?


[00:39:55] You know, actually, thank you for that reminder. What struck me is that the way that HFC or household, the way that they. Deployed, you guys. Right. Rose seems to have been with some knowledge of of where you come from in the military. I mean, the way that they did you rotating training in that sort of thing. But I think they must have had some sort of conscious effort to have it somehow related to the way that you had been trained and trained people in the past.


[00:40:24] I wonder, I tell you, I that’s a great observation. I mean, and that was one of the things that made household so attractive when I once I got involved and I love being in a household because it was very structured. Mm hmm. And it was a formality to it. Right. I mean, we had a dress code and I mean, we would tell how he had to dress. And then there was a hierarchy in the same respect we would give to senior officers and general officers in the Marine Corps. You gave those to senior management and to the executives and household. Right. So it was it was a seamless transition there. But then in terms of in terms of lateral promotions, how people got to the higher level positions and it was much, much more nuanced in the private sector. And it no doubt yet. Military’s straightforward. I mean, you come in and you know, what you can be from day one is a private in the business world. You could be a great M.P. person running a male shop and somebody might say, I like this kid, make him a V.P.. Next thing you know, you know, he’s working out.


[00:41:25] He’s working out the CEO’s office in charge of sales. Right. I’m telling you.


[00:41:29] Yeah. So Malcolm and the research team just shot me. A quick note on the sheer number of veterans that are leaving the service according to see A C and B C dot com article from late July. Two hundred thousand military veterans returned to their communities each year. So while a higher number. Yeah. S he is a huge number. And you know, that’s some of those folks, as we’ve talked about on the show or as we’ve talked about the spouses from folks on this show, Silver are exiting after 20 years retiring. Right. And that have certain needs. Other folks are first termers, like what was that, you know, didn’t know anything. And they also didn’t have a lot of the benefits that were gonna kind of. Even if they hit a rough transition, you know, you don’t have the backdrop that retirees do. Right. Right. And some other things. But. All right. Let’s switch gears for a second, because before we kind of pick your brain. Keith own the just supply chain trends in general. I want to learn a little more about the Gates Corporation, what that company does and your role there.


[00:42:32] Okay. My current role right now, I’m the operations manager for our Lithonia plant. And we we. I’m in the distribution channel that business Gates is a fluid and power company. So we we sell a variety of business products and services and I reaches pretty far reaching, right? Yeah. I’m more where I’m at. I mean, the auto replacement sector. So I’m dealing with auto repair parts, things of that nature hoses and built houses and belts. Those those are great, right? Water pumps, things like that. Yeah.


[00:43:07] And so across crawl, managing all the operations mainly focus on the DC center in the metro Atlanta area. Right. Yeah.


[00:43:16] All right. So kind of go in broader.


[00:43:19] Now we’ve kind of dialed in on leadership and dialed in on own veteran and down and maybe your career journey. Let’s kind of look at the industry in general and what are some of the supply chain trends that you’ve kind of had your finger on the pulse of more than others here lately.


[00:43:34] I tell you to one that you wanted. I’m I really think about and it concerns me a bit is that you cannot stop the advance of A.I.. Right.


[00:43:45] I mean, A.I. is here. You literally can’t stop Lu. You can’t stop. It grows on its own. Is it?


[00:43:52] And anything that’s related to really automation, correct? Yeah. So I think that I heard it best prior to, you know, Steven Hawkins dying. Is that. But you can’t forget the human element. You just can’t do that. I mean, the story of John Henry, I’m often reminded my favorite stories is that you couldn’t you couldn’t you couldn’t stop the advance of Industrial automation. But at the same time, it kind of leaves a trail if you don’t exercise some some civic responsibilities of it. Yeah. And focus and hone those new skill sets in the directions that are most needed. So I you know, I think we’re headed in the right direction, believe it or not, in our country. I really do. I think we’re hit in the right direction of understanding that it’s going to take a community effort to to really address some of the skill set deficiencies and to really get people recalibrated. Mm hmm. And what what the real needs are for the 21st century workforce.


[00:44:52] I can’t believe I’m about to say this because I was raised by hippies. So, you know, it’s Greg White. My job is to fight the man. That’s what I’m all about. But I I we and we talked about this earlier today. I mean, I think one of the great things about automation, A.I., some of these tools is that it allows us to it allows us to have the work that is repetitive and mundane and unsatisfying to human beings. Right. Done by machines. And I don’t know how how much everybody keeps an eye on a guy. But I do really closely, though, the roles that it’s taking on are those things that are repetitive and mundane, because right now, a, I as a child, if you think about it from an intelligence maturity perspective, a guy is a child. So it can only do those really fundamental things except for those wacky to robots and Facebook that created their own language and then locked the.


[00:45:59] That’s what you’re afraid of. And that’s what I’m afraid of. But it’s very. Yeah. But it should be. But.


[00:46:05] But, you know, I I I think that we’ve got and I’m a I’m a fan of history myself, too. Right. He who does not study history is doomed to repeat it. Doomed to repeat it. So I keep a close eye on what, you know, how history and even historical literature has has awakened us to the possibilities, both good and bad of automation and that sort of thing. So I have faith that we will keep our hands and eyes on it and we’ll control it. I think that Facebook, in instance, as a matter of fact, was an awakening for people. Right. Elon Musk had strong, strong words for Mark Zuckerberg about a guy, even as both continue to press forward using it. And I think we just have to be aware of the fact that this is what I hope to see from automation in general, and that is doing the things that human beings aren’t best equipped and aren’t or aren’t satisfied doing. Right. I mean, if if it can be done and it’s something that a person gets bored with and less productive with throughout the day and it makes their day miserable. I’m I’m all for. Give that to a machine. Yeah. And let’s let human beings do those things that are not only are they better equipped for, they are. More satisfied and doing so. One of the one of the lessons I’ve learned about this was encapsulated so perfectly, I think, by either lawyer Christopher or Matt when we when we talked with them last week on the Vetlanta show is what you learn in the military and what is the skill that most applies to business? In my opinion from the military is you learn how to rapidly make life changing decisions with inadequate information. Right. And and that applies to business as well. And that’s very difficult to impossible at least impossible right now for any automation to do. And that is a satisfying experience as a human being to solve a problem, right?


[00:48:07] It really is. You know, it really, really is. And just kind of piggyback on that. I think people that drive forklifts and everybody’s seen forklifts after, they’re actually pretty amazing and they think they are pretty amazing. They’d get on a five thousand, maybe ten thousand pound vehicle.


[00:48:28] And they make the forklift do things that when they first create a forklift. Nobody ever thought they would be able to do. Right. And they do it. They drive these things and they don’t have braking systems like cars. Many times, A, they have to use braking or the or the brakes that they do use on those are so inadequate. That is the vehicle with stuff is going to slide five to six and they do it safely in the building where you might have a hundred other people working beside them. And you know, the amount of injuries that could really, really happen technically if you just really think that is kind of frightening. But because we do such a good job in the supply chain world of training these people and employing safety programs, they make that work look seamless. And you’ve got people that do stuff like go inside of freezers or go inside of refrigerated warehouses daily under some adverse conditions that they do a very, very good job. What you have to the part that when we start talking about automation is that when you start employing vehicles like automatic guy guided vehicles, then that guy who is dependent upon a job, he just lost a job. So what does he do? You know, if he’s been doing it for 20 years and he understands that aspect, the pay, I got to get this truck loaded in 25 minutes so that he can make its appointment at the public’s market. What does that guy do now? What does he have? He he adds value. So those are the kind of things I think we have to think about a Greene forward.


[00:49:59] Yeah, it’s a good point there. I mean, there’s always those people caught in the transition, right. Of those things like John Henry, right? I’m right. They are caught in that transition. And we’ve got to figure out how to elevate those folks if that job is gonna be automated. Right. I do hope there is that awareness. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about that aspect of it, but I think I do hope there is that awareness to make sure that there is a place for everyone that is being displaced by automation.


[00:50:26] So I would add to that, though, I think organizations owe it to owe them, owe it to their teams to figure out what that, you know, we want to take advantage of the technology that makes everybody better. Right. Right. And allows us to serve the customers. But at the same time, especially for those employees and team members that are willing to go back to what you’re saying, learn, learn the skill set, step into new roles. Right. Because that’s what you know. That’s what we all have to be willing to do, especially in a day and age where things are moving and changing and advancing as rapidly as it is. Right. That’s the that’s the onus that comes with the with I think with with the rapidly.


[00:51:15] Autonomous. Automated everything. Machine learning everything. I mean, all that’s being applied in such a remarkable way, shape and form these days. But we’ve got to own four, four companies there and they’ll give you a great example.


[00:51:30] I’ll make an A.


[00:51:31] I am working this poorly, but I’ll give you a great example. So we went out the no. OK, not too long ago, it had a great tour. We did a couple of shows out there with our Jay Smart with a Georgia manufacturing alliance and they were talking about a lot of the technologies they had implemented, which really speeds along picking a packing right in an operation that they were arguably Amazon before Amazon was Amazon. Right. Right. Their high degree of service levels and the commitments.


[00:51:58] I mean, they I mean, 24/7, they had their own fleet. I mean, the folks are same day parts. All the stuff. All right. Pretty phenomenal stuff. Really interesting in the culture that that goes along with the ability to make that happen. So this this one facility here in metro Atlanta area implemented these these automated picking machines. However, rather than losing anyone with that implementation, they train their maintenance teams on how to program and code robotics. And they it led to salary increases for their maintenance teams. So not only is the operation and the ability to serve the consumer, that’s not being compromised, they’re being able to deliver on that. They’re teams that that will speak for them. But their teams that may not have known how to work on these were bodied robotic innovation. Right. Right. They were up skilled. They got they made more money. And so ultimately, although they kept them all there more higher, but they’re putting him more in demand, right? Absolutely. And so everyone wins.


[00:53:07] And obviously, you can you can’t create a situation where everyone wins every single time. It’s just it’s next to impossible. However, that degree of planning and preparation for for both sides of the proverbial coin, that that was impressive to me and that that needs to happen more often, I would think, in industry.


[00:53:30] I think so. I think there are. I’ll put it this way. I think that we’re now creating a generation of leaders that actually do that. I don’t know, you know, where we fell off between the 80s and now, but I do think you’ll create a more conscientious leader now. That is that they are incorporating that. I also what I also like, too, is we’re now really doing a better job of of of bringing some industries back into the United States and working them here. I mean, it just makes some of it just makes more common sense. Right. And that’s what the term supply chain really means is being holistic, because some of the stuff we were doing even 10 years ago with outsourcing didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. I mean, create your transportation costs. Right. But just that it was the thing to do and the impact that it had in terms of stock price, things like that. I mean, there was one stakeholder that benefited more than some of the others. The other three did. I think that’s now getting. That’s now being calibrated and it’s much more equal exchange. So, you know, going forward in terms of as we evolve with equipment being more more automated. And I just think that right now, I think is a great thing going on in Georgia in general where we’re promoting this aspect, where we’re having kids not only get their diplomas, but they’re there. The classes that make sense, they can take the first two years of a college experience.


[00:54:54] They’re complete net, like I want to say, with a number like 20 percent of a certain county that their kids had associates degrees when they when they graduated. So some of some some some of that training, robotics training, things like that just kind of makes common sense to give your parent, prepare your kids that way, your children that way, so that as these jobs evolve and become more available, we don’t have to. We also, you know, outsource. We bring employees that we need from other places. But if we do that training here, you don’t have to do that. Right. You’ve got the resources here. And anybody that argues against me with that, I always counter that. OK. So I can take an 18 year old kid out. I owe the Kansas and Lifer or Hutchinson or Third County, Kansas maze. And I can show the kid how to how to become a approve a computer technician. I can show him how to do some of the most advanced stuff that we have available in our marketplace today. I can show him that. Would other kids that are from similar backgrounds. And you mean to tell me that I can’t do that with a worker in the greatest country in the world? Of course I can do that. And, you know. Good point. So excellent. That’s that’s what I think. Technology. Ford says that ability. Really transition in that direction. I agree.


[00:56:16] I agree, I wholeheartedly agree. I think the upskilling, the uplifting, the retraining, I think that’s a critical part of it. I think so many people are employed beneath their gifts. Absolutely right. That that when we can take some of that. Lower level work off him. We get to see what they’re really capable of.


[00:56:38] And I think that two hundred thousand a number to to threw out for veterans. Yes, I think that’s a good jumping point to leverage off of. You’ve got people already trained in familiarized with somebody’s skill sets. It’s just a little imagination. I get into a board room and figuring out where to play these people and they help you help yourself.


[00:56:54] Agreed. And I think, you know, as we’ve talked about and this is going to probably sound like me beating a dead horse to our audience, but we’ve talked about it extensively. But. You know, don’t get caught in the resumé trap, but the resume doesn’t have these five things that you got to keep on driving that.


[00:57:09] I mean, that’s the biggest waste of time. Right. Lisa Clark was talking about that. Yeah, right.


[00:57:13] I think also, Lisa. Or who were one of our past guests? No, come to me. Maybe as I make the point. But, you know, if if the candidate doesn’t have a 100 percent the qualifications, you don’t just toss them aside. I mean, be practical. You know, this in this day and age, you got to be practical. There’s gotta be some tradeoffs. And especially as I believe, just my opinion here as a positive veteran community, you know, I think a lot of folks will, you know, if they don’t understand something, they’ll kind of disengage. Right. Right. Man, dig in. There’s so much that veterans can offer. So some of the points you were making earlier and yeah, maybe it doesn’t perfectly fit the box because it’s it’s veterans siplon, our military supply chain versus in some cases military supply chain versus private sector. But lean in. Engage. There’s so much value for your team if you’re willing to not take the first miss community missed. You know, answer you don’t. Or stand. Right. Clarify, you know. But let’s stick with education for a second, because one of the things I want to wrap up on today is getting your take on associations. Obviously, you and I met as part of the Apex Atlanta community, which is right here to the right. The huge 45000 global members. Right. HCM community now, which is remarkable. I think when you not first met the around 30, maybe just just under. And I think a well, that speaks to how much more interest there is in this global age of supply chain management. But what what’s your take on the value, whether it’s you know, of course, we’re partial a picture is a lot of different associations out there. What is the value of getting plugged into trade groups or interest associations?


[00:59:00] Well, I tell you what, it does it taste. It demystifies learning about the Supply chain world. That’s what it does. So you get into the organizations, right. And you get to be hands on by doing some of the things we go. We visit other companies and you observe just had a party perform the daily work practices that make them successful daily. The other thing, too, is that you’re talking to peers and you’re talking to and you have access to seniors that if you build the right relationships, they can become as the mentors for you. Right. So and then, of course, I mean, if you decide to do some formal training, some of it is always future forward. Right. But it is always evolving. But again, it provides some it provides a formal platform, training platform for you that everybody that is recruited and a picks certify graduate can’t can come a center on courses. There is common language. There’s a common language, a commonality there that they’re probably you didn’t have the advantage of that prior to taking that apex course or series of courses to get the certification. And then, of course, Apex always provides the avenue for you to recertify and do continuation training things of that nature. So I’m always a proponent of that.


[01:00:17] Mm hmm. And continuous learning. Always continuous learning.


[01:00:20] I’m always a proponent of continuous learning. I mean, you know, I I. And then somebody other acronyms that, you know, first it just kind of turned me off early in my career when I hear people throughout. Oh, yeah. Lane black belt not be like. Yeah, right. You know. You know, that’s kind of what I thought. Right. Because I just kind of felt like that.


[01:00:39] Tell us how you feel.


[01:00:41] What this president is doing is, you know, they impress well, you know, with the buzz words that do impress the nigga. And I think he’s in a room that my high lip service. Right. Yeah. As opposed to really getting in and digging and really apply on some of the principles me and talked about. So. So I’m a real fan of continuous education. And then it. And then the last thing it does is that it really kind of makes sense for those people in the Supply chain world to have some type of formal way of presented to the people. They. I am a professional in this industry here. Take taking more series. Mm hmm. Some people don’t like to hear that. But but you know, in most technical career orientations, there’s always some type of certification that’s performed. Mm hmm. So, I mean, Apex affords that to you.


[01:01:29] Agreed. You know, I would add, if you remember way back when being kind on the biz dev and the sell side thing right outside the oddball and then the apex chapter, you know what? A lot of us and although I’m a masterly generalize here, but it seems like outgoing skill sets, people skill sets are more prevalent in today’s supply chain man’s practiced community than than way back when still. And with that more prevalence there is. A more natural propensity that the network would write wasn’t exactly the case 20 years ago, right. But even with all that said, networking and content and building a network is one of the best things that these industry associations do provide. Right. Because we all know is despite how that the globe is changing, their business landscape is evolving. One of the strengths you have is a people you know. Right. Those folks to lean on.


[01:02:31] All right. Those are your resources. Yeah. Those are your resources. I mean, I’m always stuck with problems. And if I’ve exhausted my supply, I can always reach out to people and within my network and they can at least if they don’t know the answer, they can guide me to the right area to finance are out for myself.


[01:02:46] And, you know, in today’s military environment, where we have long standing deployments and folks that are getting out, they don’t have a lot. You know, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback, direct feedback. So Jerai social media that they don’t have time to leave the base or wherever they’re deployed to go plug into the associations. And I get that we can all we can relate to that. Right. Right. When we’re in uniform, however, the opportunity that still exists, though, is to join his associations and at least networked digitally. Right. Every little bit counts as she is. You get ready that transition. And those are things that avenues that these associations can help with to. Keith. This has been outstanding.


[01:03:27] Yeah, really how I’ve really it just seems like we just sit around a table talk and really. Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully that’s what we’re after. Yeah. I mean that’s the best part of it. Wow. I hope I met expectations.


[01:03:38] Well, I think you shared a lot. That’s really helpful for sure. I mean, look, this. I mean, this is what the listeners they want practical knowledge, practical expertise, things they want experiences like you’ve had. What are the practice to show them the way? Like you were shown, right. Or you’ve experienced. Yeah. I mean, that’s that’s the magic of this thing right now.


[01:04:01] You know, my hunch was when we arranged this to happen, I thought we could probably go three or four hour episode. And that is that rings true. Because I think we could keep chatting about some of these things that we’re all passionate about special with you. But we’re gonna we’re gonna kind of move to a close here and we’ll hang out and grab a cup of coffee after we’re done. But so how can folks eating if they. My hunch is that a lot of things that you shared is gonna resonate with our audience. Right. So how can folks reach out to you, Keith? And if they want to pick your brain or compare notes with you, what’s the best way? Do that for me.


[01:04:38] I mean, probably that you can reach me by email. My personal e-mail is fine. And it’s Katie seeing one Gmail dot com. I’d probably probably respond quicker that way. And then after I got to know who or whoever that person is. I mean, if we need a chat.


[01:04:53] I don’t have a problem doing that. Yeah. Got a bit. All those bots hugging me reaching out. Yeah. But that’s the common email that I know that I did.


[01:05:03] I give out to people. You can always reach me there, but I’m here. Met them here in Atlanta. Love Atlanta. Not going nowhere.


[01:05:10] Passionate. Passionate about both Atlanta, but also passion about industry. Absolutely. Of course, our veteran community. A pleasure to have you back.


[01:05:18] Keith Singleton Keith Singleton, senior operations manager at Gates Corporation. Great. Reconnect.


[01:05:24] We’re


[01:05:24] Gonna be back on the show to follow up on some of these these big nuggets or red meat you put on and take. Well, thank you very much. I enjoyed it. You bet. All right. So stick around for a second. Keith will wrap up on some final announcements here today. So, Greg, as with each of our episodes, we want to invite our audience to come check us out in person. All right. Today, we’re here at the global or the Vector Global Logistics studio where we have been what turned out about 200 episodes.


[01:05:49] Seems like a waste. Yes. Wow.


[01:05:52] The beautiful King Plow Art Center. Yes. And, you know, we didn’t touch on this as much in this episode as we did earlier today. But, you know, when you think of sustainability and you see these places like King Plow that had been repurposed into vibrant organizations for business incubation or incubators, co-workers, you have centers for the arts. You got restaurants.


[01:06:14] I mean, what we’ve got a dance studio here, man. We want to learn how to samba. We can just walk down the hall and do some pretty it’s a pretty amazing facility. It really is. Cool concert venue. Yes.


[01:06:24] And, you know, and the scale of the character of, you know, the buildings of its age. So anyway, beyond all that, we’re gonna be out in the market quite a bit in the next few months, especially as the summer doldrums come to a close and we in the trade show industry heats back up. So our next conference, we’re going to be in North Charleston, September 12th and 13th for what Greg White, the AIG SC AC, the heart of our football conference.


[01:06:50] Yeah, that’s right. SCA C Sterman the AIG is the Automotive Industry Action Group. And the South Carolina Automotive Council. You got it right. A division of the South Carolina Manufacturing Association and headed by our good friend and I will continue to promote her as next governor of South Carolina. Amy Tinsley was on the show. Yeah, I was on the show a couple weeks ago. When? A great time. Yeah.


[01:07:17] Amy and and we’re gonna be out there and we’re gonna have folks from Bosch and Volvo and IBM on the show. Oh, wow. And a lot of the producers, the the manufacturers OEMs that that operate in in South Carolina. BMW. Yeah.


[01:07:38] And their suppliers say these brands and their suppliers are all all gonna be participating.


[01:07:44] I wonder, does Gates provide any any, uh, belts or hoses to those providers?


[01:07:49] You must. I salespeople probably do. I don’t know.


[01:07:51] Yeah, they’ll be there. So I actually I think we did hear their name mentioned. I think maybe Amy mentioned anyway. But, uh, we’re gonna be there.


[01:07:59] Daryl 13th September. Yeah. Or Charleston, South Carolina. That’s important to know, too, isn’t it? It’s gonna be beautiful, but it’s gonna be a little bit warm, I imagine. But we’re gonna be there broadcasting all about the world of automotive sponsor by our friends over at the. The effective syndicate an equal or not more informational in these events we’re gonna talk about at our website Supply Chain Now Radio dot com under the events tab. So the 2019, right. A GSE. AC Supply chain in Quality Conference. And then we’re back here in Atlanta in October for the Georgia Manufacturing Summit.


[01:08:31] We’re at Greg White at the Cobb Galleria. Yep.


[01:08:34] And they’re gonna fit all 10000 manufacturers. Early we have 10000 Georgia manufacturers. I can’t wait to see how they’re gonna fit em all. Wow. And growing. And if anyone can, Jason Moss can know when that happened. But he’s got great.


[01:08:46] The GM a the Georgia manufacturing alliance got two great keynotes. One is a is a PDG executive down from the Albany, Georgia area. Part mispronounced Albini, Albany, Albany, Albany.


[01:08:58] Okay. I think we could all mispronounce it now.


[01:09:01] A lot of mail from self itself. Door is coming in. Yeah, but love that area down there.


[01:09:08] And this the speaker p the G leader is a darn dynamo. We saw him at the Georgia Manufacturing Awards. That happens each year here in Georgia. Were they. They named large, medium and small manufacturers. Yea, I know you’ve been to that. We were. We were


[01:09:26] A candidate for planet a year. OK, but there we go to your recent low. Okay, cool. Well, PSG and Keith, one of the local key leaders that are churning out cars, a lot of cars on a West Point, Georgia will both be keynoting that October night. The Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com. For more information. Which where you can find the Georgia Manufacturing Summit. OK. So then Keith, we are heading to Texas. Austin, Texas. Yeah, OK. Where they are. I had never been. You can’t help Keith and. OK. Yeah. So we’re gonna be there for the 2019 Logistics forum.


[01:10:02] You lefty Logistics CIO forum? Yes. November 7th and 8th. Yeah, right. So about 300 C level executives and various of their business partners meet up there and talk strategy and solutions. A bunch of great speakers and they’re some of our friends from Time Hub and some of the other Google at Google. Yeah. Some some of other companies that we’ve had on the show.


[01:10:29] And if you think about it. We spend a lot of our conversation day talking technology and supply chain and, you know, Logistics CIO that Logistics tech. That freight tech. Supply chain tech. I mean, that’s that’s, you know, the pulse of industry in many ways. Although, you know, we talk people process technology. Right. So we’re looking forward to that November 7th through the 8th. And my hunch is Greg’s got a shameless plug for this as well.


[01:10:53] So first off, we’re gonna have about twelve episodes that we produced somewhere in the neighborhood of ten to twelve up to episodes that we produced because we’re basically just taking this beautiful extravaganza on the road. Okay. To Austin. And so first of all, if you are gonna be there anyway and you have an amazing and interesting story, we’d love to hear from you. To be great to get you on the air. And if also you would like for our listening audience to hear about you during the hefty conference. Yeah, reach out to us. Connect right. Connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. And yeah, let us know if you’d like to sponsor. Sounds good. I would like to be with you. Thank you. Thank you.


[01:11:35] I’m going to be entirely. All right. So on a Scott Luton logo. Yes. Up the five dollar. Yes. Good. All right.


[01:11:44] So flip the calendar, then you get past holidays and then reverse legit. We’ll be at the reverse Logistics Association conference and expo. Let me see. Yes. Yeah. Ladies, baby. February 20 20. Yes. New partnership we have with the RLA. Not only do we have a monthly podcast related to reverse Logistics and returns, but it’s gonna this this first season. The series will culminate in our live broadcast there in Vegas, as with our great friends at early who are on the move. By the way, that interest debt component of the Supply chain Lu issue is growing dramatically.


[01:12:16] E-commerce has created. Not not that it wasn’t an issue before, but e-commerce has created even greater issue. Yeah. So there’s a lot to learn.


[01:12:23] A man. And then finally, Moto X 2020, which I’m sure all of us have been to before. Absolutely. Be back here in March. OK. Thirty five thousand people is what they’re projecting when a large supply chain trade shows in North America. So not only is this pretty cool. Not only are we gonna be broadcasting live throughout the four days of Mode X, but the second year Atlanta Supply chain Awards, which we kicked off last year. Moto X is going to host all right there at the Georgia World Congress Center. So we’re really excited about that. We’re just probably couple weeks away from releasing sponsorship and all the category information. You know, last year, U.P.S. was our presenting sponsor for that. We had a lot of support in year one. So we’re looking forward to growing that just a smidge. Right.


[01:13:06] We’re not we’re not we’re not going to have it open to all 35000 Moto X attendees.


[01:13:11] We’re happy something. But maybe next year we think we’d need some bigger than the World Congress and maybe a Mercedes Benz. Yes. I like your vision. I like that will win it. But for but for now, let’s let’s try to keep. Around three or four hundred words.


[01:13:25] We are thrilled about that partnership with Moto X, they’ve been great friends. They’ve got some outstanding keynotes that they’re going to be publishing here soon. But you can learn more and it’s free to attend. So free networking, free best practices. The Exhibition Hall, Moto X Show dot com and Modi X Show dot com. To learn all more about one of the largest supply chain trade shows in North America. All right. So we now that we’ve paid the bills. We can thank Keith Singleton Senior One more time operations manager at Gates Corporation Keith. It has been an absolute pleasure to reconnect.


[01:14:00] Oh no. We can thank you enough. Yeah. It’s actually been really good.


[01:14:04] Well, you know, I think it’s it’s we love all of our guests that come on and share their stories, especially when it kind of comes from the heartland. I’m no Keith for a long time. And so I think that makes those conversations a little more special because I know why I gravitate towards people like Keith. But now we have an opportunity to share that with our listeners. And that’s what makes this special for me at least. So, yeah, great to reconnect. Thank you so much. We’ll talk more soon to our listeners. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources as Supply Chain Now Radio. Com and YouTube and YouTube. Big thanks to Greg White, our esteemed co-host here.


[01:14:40] We’ve had a great and esteemed credit to have broadcasting get very uncreative. Yeah. That’s okay.


[01:14:45] If you’re a listener, you can find some Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, all of leading sites, sites where podcasts can be found. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead. And we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.

Upcoming Events & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

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Connect with Keith on LinkedIn:
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2019 AIAG/SCAC Supply Chain & Quality Conference:
Georgia Manufacturing Summit on October 9th:
eft Logistics CIO Forum in Austin, TX:
Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo:
SCNR to Broadcast Live at MODEX 2020:
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