Supply Chain Now Episode 333

“Development, hiring, and retention. You have to be excellent at all three if you really want to be truly successful.”

– Rodney Apple, Founder and Managing Partner at SCM Talent Group


Despite the global business infatuation with software and automation, talent remains in high demand at industry-leading companies. In fact, Rodney Apple, Founder and Managing Partner at SCM Talent Group, describes it as a full-fledged “war for talent” – a war that he has been on the front lines of for decades.

Every supply chain is unique, and so is the company it serves. In order to place the right talent in the right role, recruiters have to look beyond lists of desired skills and intended responsibilities. They have to ask the right questions and understand the importance of matching culture and experience.

In this interview, Rodney Apple shares the depth of his recruiting experience with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

  • How (and why) professionals from one discipline are interested in careers in supply chain
  • Which industries have enough in common that professionals can easily transition from one to the other
  • The importance of deliberate “direct sourcing” for talent as opposed to “posting and praying”

[00:00:05] 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 technology’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] All right. Good. EFT New Scott Luton. Back with you, Ivan Supply chain. Now, welcome back to the show. If you can’t tell, we’re broadcasting live. They continue our coverage from Moto X, the largest supply chain trade show in all of the Western Hemisphere, held right here in Supply chain City, Atlanta G-A. So on today’s show, we’re speaking with one of the industry leaders that is helping companies find Supply chain talent so they can grow and succeed in and smash through barriers to some big things. So stay tuned. Look to increase your supply chain talent IQ and much, much more, undoubtedly. Quick programing note. You can find our podcast wherever you get your podcast from. YouTube, Spotify. Apple podcast. I stole your line, Greg. We’re here to get your podcast from. Tune in and subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. Want to welcome in my fearless, esteemed co-host here today in an s plural. We we’ve added a co-host today, a special co-host. But to the right of me. As usual. Greg White 0 Supply chain Technical nor trusted advisor and Atlanta City Club tennis champion comes to gold plate that Greg refused to bring the motets which has broken my heart.


[00:01:37] Greg, how you doing? I’m doing great. Fritzie?


[00:01:39] Yeah. I mean, it’s great to be among all these really talented folks. You know, we did the Supply chain Awards here at Moad x ray and we’ve seen a lot of really cool technology and met a lot of really cool people doing great things.


[00:01:55] Agreed. And this is this is going to be continued hits between our additional co-host. Yes. Mr. Enrique Alvarez, managing director with Vector Global Logistics, which happens to host a studio for Supply chain now. And also, we love the guys. One of our dear friends. And if I can add to your distinguished introduction here, one of my favorite moments from Tuesday was when his company, Vector Global Logistics, recognized as one of our two world class culture award winners. Enrique, good morning.


[00:02:27] Good morning. Thank you very much for having me here. Don’t leave him hanging. It only means that I didn’t hear this right there. I thought, I know the elbow.


[00:02:36] Yeah, we got everybody’s a little bit confused. Right.


[00:02:40] But but kidding aside, you know, we’ve seen the culture at Vector Global Logistics firsthand. We’ve lived it, lived it in many ways, but we’ve stolen it a little bit. But you know what? What is absolutely unquestionable is their dedication to changing the world. Right. It’s tough to do. It sounds very cliche, but based on the things they do in the areas they serve and I mean from business to the charitable nonprofit stuff. Enrique, you’re really set and setting the bar for how businesses should be run. So congratulations. Yeah.


[00:03:12] Thank you very much. And as I said before, it’s really not me. I mean, I’m just a person like in front of the camera today and then just accepting the award. But it’s really my team. We have amazing people. The culture is great because of them. They’re the ones that are working in Cali hard to make such a crazy culture work. And I’m really excited to be here with Ronnie today. ‘Cause I’m sure he’s going to talk a bit more about talent and and people is what makes all the companies out there, so. Amy Exactly right.


[00:03:39] Hiring is the most important thing you do.


[00:03:42] So Arabize, let the cat out the bag. We’ve got him really excited to have a friend of mine. We’ve networked for years. I have admired from afar and sometimes in person in Asheville. Rodney Apple, founder of SCMP Talent Group, which has done some really big things in the town industry in general, but especially when it comes Supply chain. Rodney, any. Good morning.


[00:04:01] Good morning, Scott. Hey, doing great. Hey, Gordon and Enrique. Good morning. So great to have you here back in Atlanta. I know you’ve spent some time here early in your career, which we’ll touch on momentarily, but what an incredible week emoticon. It’s been incredible mind blowing. I’ve seen some of the coolest technology. I didn’t even know exist. So it’s just it’s pretty amazing. And you got it.


[00:04:22] You know, just when you think you’ve seen every trade show out there for your trade, for the trade show, veterans are listening. If you have MODEX. Yeah. You have seen this yet. I mean, this really takes the cake. So let’s switch gears. We’ll touch on Moto X, maybe some of your key takeaways momentarily here, Rodney. But for starters, tell us more about Rod the apple and give us a sense of where you’re from and give us a story or two about your upbringing.


[00:04:45] Sure.


[00:04:46] So I am from the bustling metropolis of Sanford, North Carolina. It’s right in the middle of the state and the smallest county out of 100. Lee County. OK, so raised in a rural area. So got the work ethic from. Early on, working in tobacco or working in the farms and so forth, and then went to u._n._c Wilmington for college. What a beauty fly campus. I applied to three schools. I wasn’t thinking of the education at the time. I was like, where’s the fun place to go? And it was you surrounded. Well, East Carolina was the other one. Yeah. And then Appalachian State was was the third once I got in. I think I got into all three and wanted to go to the beach.


[00:05:28] You decided your beach tribe. Not mountain tribe. Because I live in the mountains now. Yeah. So let’s switch gears. I’m a very diverse fifty-fifty Beach Mountain guy. Very good. OK.


[00:05:38] And the you see Wilmington mascot. I was trying to get that. Seahawks Seahawks. That’s right. Yes. Okay. So talk about it from a professional standpoint. You sheriff federal during. Clearly, we’ll talk more about SCMP tellin’ group momentarily in that entrepreneurial venture. But kind of walk us through what led to your current role.


[00:05:58] Sure. So I had an environmental science degree, which I have not really used. And a guy, one of my buddies graduated ahead of me and came down to Atlanta, joined a company called Aerotek. They had a division called Onsite Environmental Staffing. And so when I got out, was having a hard time finding a job at it. No. Anything like I know now about how to do that. So he said, hey, this company’s hiring, you’d be recruiting environmental people. And while that might be a way to learn more about the industry. Get my foot in the door.


[00:06:28] So that’s where it all started. And I stay with him for a few years. I had different offices worked out of Cincinnati. I worked out of Charlotte. I always want to get back to North Carolina. And there’s a there’s a pretty good story here in terms of how I got into Supply chain, my current business partners names, Paul Watts. He leads our recruiting team, but we work together. Aerotech and I met him back in Cincinnati. So. So the story is he left and went to back at the time was Andersen Consulting, which is now a center right and was leading recruitment. And he said, hey, you know, he’s always wanted to start my own business. And that was an entrance point there. He said we were building this supply chain practice. It was the first time that the I guess at the time Big Six consulting firms were. Yep. Well they’re all doing the same thing. Yep. Yeah. So he said I can get you a contract. And that’s where it all started. SOF formed a company called Gates Apple Executive Personnel. OK. Yep. And I thought I knew everything my parents said. Son, what are you doing? You’re 25. And as I I know what I’m doing.


[00:07:32] Yeah. And I’ve never been so smart as when you know nothing. Right. Exactly.


[00:07:36] So, you know, almost made it over the top out and have enough cash. I didn’t have enough knowledge of Supply chain. I did not have the the all important relationships, contacts. So I failed. I spent every penny I had, what little I had saved over those few years of working. And then I remember leaving, living at the beach.


[00:07:58] Girlfriend broke up with me out of money. So that’s that’s that’s three out of four bad thing. Yeah. Like if you’re out of money, you failed your business, your girlfriend. Well you lived at the bad. I lived at the Pichardo Wrightsville Beach. Incredible place.


[00:08:13] So I remember leaving. I just packed up my car like, you know, a booming driving down Atlanta. Well, my buddy Paul, my partner now, he he said, I need I need a place day. So I literally stayed on his couch and just found another job, you know, got into I.T. recruiting, couldn’t stand it.


[00:08:31] And then I just couldn’t stand it. Right. Not for you, not for me, not for me.


[00:08:37] I respect the heck out of people that do. So I guess it’s a very challenging area of recruiting. So, anyway, fast forward a little bit here, buddy. He was working as a contract recruiter at the Home Depot there, a Fortune 13 back then. They were planning to build their first Supply chain department and that did not exist. You had the traditional functional silos, Logistics and Jerai and so forth. So I got a call and they said, Hey, you know, Gosset, did you do a little bit? And Supply chain? I said, As a matter of fact, I did. Well, we can’t even find a recruiter that even knows what Supply chain is.


[00:09:09] So I in an interview got the job. It was actually a contract position. We’re in a kind of a mini recession back then was where I Miura right after 9/11. When the. So that was back in 2001 when I met with the SVP Global Logistics Ghanim wayIn Gibson, very sharp guy. And he laid out this PowerPoint, said, you know, look, look what Wal-Mart’s doing. Look what Target is doing. We need to be doing the same thing. And it back then, that was their Supply chain was 80 distribution center. They just opening up as fast as they could. They were growing at 30 percent. I think back then it was it was insane. As anyone will tell you back in those days to work in that department. So we put that first department in place. v.p.’s Supply chain, Director, Supply chain. And then eleven senior level supply chain managers to you to kind of integrate and collaborate with the eleven merchandising categories. That’s where everything started.


[00:10:00] Wow. So if I can I get Enrique’s take, you heard a very and I really appreciate your authentic telling of that story. You know that. That’s one. I think one of the things that makes Special Leader special is that ability to share those downtime. There’s rough times because that’s that’s what that’s where you learn. That’s right. That’s right. And so critical. And other people need to hear that. Right. Because you’re actually you’re a movie star now that. Not really. I’m a famous author. Yes, you’re right. We’ll talk. We’ll touch on that. But I’m a big fan. Your business is done well. And, you know, if folks say I can be Rod Apple, they can relate to that.


[00:10:38] That tough time that that, you know, the failure. Yeah. Honestly. Yeah. And a lot, I’m sure. I mean, a lot of business, successful business entrepreneurs. They say failure is really you have to learn from those mistakes. I mean, I learned a. More money in the bank. You need more contact relationships. You kind of need to understand the supply chain stuff a little bit more. I know your topic like. Right. No, no, you’re. Yeah. You know, your focus area. And that’s one. The big light bulb went off when I was a Home Depot. I’m like this. This supply chain thing that no one really knows about, not many is going to get huge. That’s right. Just huge. And so that team we put in place kind of developed a strategy for that RDC network that is in place now. And I said warmness. I mean, it sticks. Stick it out here on the corporate sites off. Finish that project. They asked me to stay on. Matter of fact, the SVP of Global Logistics said, hey, when are you? When are you leaving the recruiting department? I need you up on my floor. And so I moved up there. Gave me an office. Yeah. I’m actually having lunch and a little bit with my former H.R. partner. She’s been there twenty three years. Wow. Shannon Whitfeld is what’s her name. And so we’re gonna have lunch here right after this.


[00:11:43] So I want to Enrique’s take. So hearing some of the entrepreneurial journey there from Rodney, was it make you as a fellow entrepreneur? What what does that trigger for you?


[00:11:53] Well, I relate to what you’re saying, and you’ve got to get those failures out of the way as quickly as you can. I mean, the more you fail, the better it is, actually. The more you learn, the more you kind of can improve on the mistakes that you make of your humble enough when your ego doesn’t get in the way, which is probably some of the pitfalls of some other entrepreneurs as well. But but no, I can totally relate. It’s just a matter of working hard and then just never giving up. I think it’s there’s no secret sauce. I won’t call like I asked that question. And as I’m listening to your story, which is amazing, by the way, I reflecting upon mine, it’s just there’s no secret sauce that you don’t really want to get it, Don.


[00:12:32] You just have to work hard and grit and determination and just relentless focus on not moving the needle forward and improving and and in in the leadership and the hiring even for my company. You know, the first four years we had Gunnerson some mis hires. And, you know, now we have a rock solid team. But it just sometimes you you think you know everything about recruiting, then you do it for your own company in your life. What did I do wrong here? That’s, of course, correct. And you figured out the next time around.


[00:13:00] I think that’s very important. Just kind of like hiring the right people and then making sure that whoever your hire is better than you are. A jerai going through that and say, hey, I need you because you’re just so much better than I am. That’s right.


[00:13:11] That’s a really good point, though, because so many people hire people who are like them right now. I mean, that you find an affinity with someone. It’s almost counterintuitive that the way you need to hire, you need to find somebody that in my case might even irritate me a little bit. Correct. Because I’m not an engineer by any standard. And sometimes sometimes I find in engineers to be a bit rough around the edges, a little too frank, whatever it is, you know what went on.


[00:13:39] But when I’m looking when I’m looking for an engineer, then I know what to look for.


[00:13:44] Because if you build an organization of people who are just like you, then you all you do is coalesce those those weaknesses in the company. And you have to look for that diversity of opinion and skill and approach.


[00:13:58] That’s right. That’s a good point you brought up there. Speaking of diversity. I’m a big proponent. I got some stories there, too. I can share. But the one is what building this first supply chain department. We were looking at diversity from many different angles, obviously, you know, people with different ethnicities.


[00:14:15] Jeff, thank you and have my copy of your place of his Broward’s ever. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:14:23] So and then we were look at people with diverse industry background. So we don’t want to just pull a team of retail folks together. You have wanted folks with some CPG background and a manufacturing background. So we had a very, very diverse team and it brought with it what that did was enable to bring and we even had a guy that worked at Brad Saavy. Ali was his name and literally rocket science. They worked at NASA for a while. So we had some some very smart people in that first team. And I like to play the game where they at now, people that I regret. I can. Yeah, you got to see where these people are. Someone a lot of my chief sporting officers, CEOs, CEOs. It’s pretty amazing.


[00:14:59] Gratifying to see people like that accelerate and and elevate themselves to their career.


[00:15:04] Yeah, absolutely. Now take it take us into SC and talent group, the genesis there. And then what it does with what? Oh, sure, sure.


[00:15:13] So. So that when I left Home Depot and the guy that hired me into there, he went over to Coca-Cola to be over the executive recruiting. And one day was actually we were hosting a party and I live in the Virginia Highlands. He came over and I said, you’ve been picking off some recruiters over here at Home Depot was kind of joking. When are you gonna get me a.. Over there, Coca-Cola? Because matter of fact, I think they’re looking for somebody to that to do manufacturing, recruitment. I said, well, I haven’t really done a whole lot of that, but. So I went in there and interviewed, got the job, and I led the recruitment for their 22 factories across North America. But when I was there, it was a contract position and longest contract ever. I stayed there about six and a half years. Wow. On contract. That’s when I formed the company. And and in this time, I didn’t want to call it after my last name. Well, what do you do with Apple Computers?


[00:16:10] Yeah. So I wanted it to I literally would be Rodney Apple if you were CEO of Apple. So that would make it easier for people always asked me, are you familiar with Apple Company? Why wouldn’t that be retired on a boat somewhere? Yeah. Right. We would not we would not be sitting here today. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:16:29] So anyway, that’s when I formed the company said you need a legal entity toto to work here. And so I formed it for that purpose so I could build that. So that technically was my first client was Coca-Cola and the person that was full time left. Sheer the rest of the supply chains. I inherited the entire thing that included the sourcing, procurement, billions and spend there had kept the 22 factories, not the hourly but professional up to the executive all the planning cycles. So demand through supply.


[00:17:02] S&p Raksha recruited the V.P. of that department. And then the continuous improvement, you know, the lean Six Sigma folks. I had both the North America and the global team and then I support the Global Supply chain group as well. They basically all the roles based here that supported the different regions across the globe to other countries that they so product into.


[00:17:24] There’s a hodgepodge of other things like Prialt Logistics can’t forget about Logistics Sciarrotta Logistics functions and they won’t let you. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. I’ll try my sustainability, environment, health, safety.


[00:17:36] Everything that fell under that end to end supply chain umbrella. So that was that right there. The retail and the CPG just gave that foundation. That’s where I learned most of what I know now about Supply chain Patel. You learn stuff new every day, especially coming in this place. This is insane. I went from there to Kimberly-Clark and did the same thing there for about almost a year and then wrapped up with switching gears to come in. So the automotive holly Industrial Sheer Hurley engineered. So that was that was a lot different from where I’d come from, but it was fascinating. So so that after that I said, I’m ready to jump ship. And I wanted to do this when I was at Coke. And then 2008 came along and I said, well, people are they’re not going to stop drinking Coca-Cola products. So I just stuck it out. I was busiest. Could be I’m like, what recession? Because they don’t shut down the factories. They don’t shut down the supply chain. And right. Even with the case with this corona virus, it’s not going to shut down.


[00:18:28] So I said probably out KARK cyclical right at that point. I mean, maybe they will even buy more when.


[00:18:34] That’s right. Yeah. And it and they can shift.


[00:18:37] The only thing that you can still kind of get that will give you the right.


[00:18:41] Yes. Hope or satisfaction or. Yes. Or at some point just cause it mixes so well with Jack Daniels. Trustingly in this this episode you’ll publish in two or three weeks.


[00:18:52] But interestingly enough, as my dear wife pointed out last night, Georgia just legalized home delivery of alcohol products. And it just so happens is during this Corona virus, I got make it.


[00:19:09] But yeah, who knows? That was timing, but perfect timing. That’s right.


[00:19:13] But no kidding aside, this is an interesting time. broadneck. I like how you put it. Kind of the optimistic side. Business still has to happen if it finds a different way to happen, right? That’s right. Yeah. So what you said as you walked into that background, which is really the first time because you’re a humble guy. Are the lunches we’ve had together. You’ve never shared any of that. But did the stories you can that you could tell, especially your deep involvement with an iconic company like the Coca-Cola Company? Holy cow. No wonder you’re prepared to build the team that has now grown and become.


[00:19:48] It’s it’s really our key differentiator is having that internal knowledge. It’s up here. I’m pointing to my brain for those who are listening. It’s you know, I’ve just see a you know, when you’re immersed into such complex and diverse and enormous supply chains and you’re working with hundreds of people and partnering with I mean, literally many hundreds of people. If you just you sit in on on the leadership team meetings and you just you just learn by being there. Sheer and talking to so many people. People love to talk about themselves on recruiting. It’s just you know, it’s it’s an easy way. And so. So that’s that’s that foundational knowledge. I feel like I can sit down with anyone at any level in any company and hold a conversation about supply chain. And, you know, just working with so many companies, every supply chain is unique. And so you have to be successful. You have to get in to your clients, supply chain. And what I mean by that is, you know, the right questions to ask. I can really understand how their unique supply chain is. Is the match, in my opinion, doesn’t occur by a list of job requirements and skills. It’s always important to kind of check those off. I think it’s far more important to find candidates that have worked in a similar or what I call supply chain environment. Looking at things like the footprint saw scope, complexity, business model. You need to understand the business to Dickerson watching touches every aspect of a business. So it’s more of a you know, that general MBA kind of that is what I feel like I’ve built on top of a supply chain knowledge. So, Greg, I know you’ve got some questions about ACMD talent group, what they do.


[00:21:21] Yeah. My favorite question is, you know, because particularly in this talent environment. Right. And it’s very town type talent environment. And because this industry is growing so rapidly. And then and because there’s so many options for recruiting or or or identification and screening of talent, how does somebody if I you know, if I’ve if I’m like Enrique and I’ve got Logistics company or if I’m like a couple of my other companies where I’ve got I’m looking for technology, talent or, you know, unique skills, A.I. blockchain, whatever it is, robotics, if I’m walking down the hall and what is the what’s the pain that I’m feeling?


[00:22:08] What are the key words going through my head? What is it that I am not getting or that I might be confused about that that would cause me to come to your team and have you guys do the recruiting for me?


[00:22:20] Well, it’s pain. It’s either pain or it’s an opportunity to deploy. Something is where companies come to us for help. They may have gone through. We get this all the time. Hey, by recruiter we’ve been using forever. That does great in finance and accounting and I.T. and is this not given us the right people? So they they want a specialist that understands the stuff, that truly understands the end to end supply chain. And that’s what we bring to the table. There’s a lot of people that work in in the functional areas like Logistics. There really aren’t a lot of recruiting firms out there that do the full and and the depth and breadth of depth of the whole supply chain. So that that’s when they turned us in. There could be cases like a confidential search where they don’t want that to get out to internal employees. So that’s another reason.


[00:23:13] So you specialize in the broader supply chain as you talked about.


[00:23:17] That’s you’ve had the benefit of working in this for a long time. I won’t say forever. I wanted to say for now that seems like a longer mode, my career. But because of that, you have kind of an exceptional specialization in in the broad broader end to end.


[00:23:34] Supply chain. Yeah, I’ve been in so many factories, in so many distribution centers and I have not seen a lot of this technology. Definitely. I’ve worked with clients putting, you know, putting in robotics and things like that. Their film at centers.


[00:23:47] But yeah, I don’t know about you, Enrique, but I have experienced firsthand what Rodney just described, which is. Having used a traditional or generalist router and not being able to find that kind of talent, but very similar to what you said.


[00:24:05] Right. And I think it’s right. You need some someone that has been there has done that to kind of understand the kind of people that you’re looking for. Otherwise, you just don’t get it. And it’s not that they’re bad companies. There’s amazing companies out there that they’re doing amazing jobs. But if you don’t know the intricacies of what this industry kind of needs, then it’s really, really hard to filter through all this amazing candidates that are out there. That’s right. You have to nail down at least. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re not feeling right. What you’re looking for.


[00:24:35] Exactly. You have to nail down the profile so you can understand what type of candidate. But you gotta understand the clients are watching and you need to find people that have worked in similar environments and have accomplished similar objectives and goals and so forth. Yeah. Good point.


[00:24:48] So we’ve seen a lot of companies, a lot of individuals and just this show and then previously where it really stood out to us was in Austin when we did a show with the hefty reuters’. And we’ve seen a lot of people coming to supply chain from other industries. Are you seeing the same thing?


[00:25:04] Yes. I get a lot of calls from people that want to get into it. They see the growth every week, you know, how do I get into it? And in the book I’m writing, we cover topics like that. Yeah. How do you pivot from one area to another? Yeah.


[00:25:20] So you have the candidates kind of asking you to come into the industry. Do you also have like companies asking for candidates or not inside the industry or do you see that moral values?


[00:25:29] Usually companies, you know, they like to recruit from the same industry. So I’m going to lean on that. They are right. But I’m going to know because we’ve worked with most industries that are out there. I have a good sense of where we can go shop if we can’t get someone from your industry. Well, here’s a similar like minded. For example, food and beverage. Well, we can also go shop and pharmaceutical.


[00:25:53] You know, that’s that is a real gift. Being able to take someone from outside the industry and be and because you know so much about Supply chain chain to say they have gifts, skills, experience, whatever, that that can apply. And this is someone I would I would recommend to a company. Absolutely. That takes an incredible amount of knowledge of the industry to be able to extrapolate that skillset like that.


[00:26:20] You’re also making the case for why you’ve got to develop in and embrace the talent group you’ve got on the team, right? That’s right. Because you’ve got companies that are aggressive and are very intentional about blocking poaching. Well, that’s what we do right now. But beyond that, there are these companies, we’re World-Class companies that are determined to build a plus team. That’s right. Right. So companies that take their talent for granted, they’re bound to lose all the players, especially the key ones, right?


[00:26:49] That’s right. You have to know how to hire. You have to know how to direct source. That’s that’s critical. Posting and praying is what we call it in the recording industry is just doesn’t get you’re fishing from a pond versus the ocean. They’re not using all of your bait that you have. So you need to open that up and direct source almost. Look at it like you have you know, companies have a strategic sourcing procurement. You need to be thinking that strategically and have. And I use the term omni channel. You need to have many different sourcing channels. Sheer advertising posting can be one. Right, but you’ve got to be able to formulate. Here’s the companies that we know will have people that fit into our culture, get into our business model and you have to go after them and you have to know what you’re gonna say and the right messaging and so forth.


[00:27:34] But even with even when you hook a candidate and get him on the team or her on the team, you got to develop.


[00:27:41] You’ve got to make sure that they’re happy and loved working their Ryder percent.


[00:27:45] Development, hiring, and then it’s development and then the retention. You have to be excellent at all three if you really want to be truly successful.


[00:27:53] Excellent. Okay. So a touch on your book before we. Because we’re gonna shift gears a minute and we’ll get Charles thoughts, especially yours, Rodney, on key takeaways from codecs this week. But let’s talk about your book. Siplon. I’m hoping that the camera can here that maybe see that maybe Amanda can make sure the light is not too blinding, but it’s good. Supply chain careers. Thank you. Greg, you’ve got outstanding 20 watching the monitor, the guidebook for launching and accelerating your career in Supply chain management. So, you know, there’s very few people that would be on a short list of incredibly qualified people to write that book. And you definitely are on that short list. This book is coming out in 2020. Hopefully won’t in the business and have two small kids just finding the time to write and edit.


[00:28:37] We’re going through the edits the first round of editing. So I’m hoping that we can get this out the door here in the next few months. Definitely in 2020 is the goal. Yeah, benefit a bunch of people.


[00:28:47] I hardly had time to reading. Now you took the time to writing.


[00:28:51] Yeah, I know. But you know, we want to know where the foundation. That’s actually pretty impressive. I would. Love to hear. Why and why? And yeah, no interest.


[00:28:59] So serving as the career coach for AFSCME, formerly apic since 2014 where I developed content, we do webinars on all aspects of professional development. I have been writing with a lot of content marketing for my business, so we have Supply chain talent blog.


[00:29:16] I get asked to be interviewed and a lot of different trade journals. Even the big guys Wall Street Journal, CNBC, so contributing to articles and then one day light bulb went off another weibel. And I was looking at this and just said you gotta have several hundred pages of a way. We were running out of ideas for even for the career coach program we do going into year six. We’re just trying to think of something new. So we we’ve covered about everything under that professional VELTMAN umbrella and it takes you from the journey of what is supply chain. And I’m writing this in layman’s terms. Nothing Technical here. Good about my level.


[00:29:56] Yeah.


[00:29:57] So and then from there it’s what are the career paths look like across different industries from company sizes, from both the shipper side manufacturing, retail, wholesale distribution. It gets into the service providers, it gets into, you know, here Botox, the technology, the equipment side, and then it takes you from. How do you put your resume together? LinkedIn profile, develop a job search strategy in a linear fashion, getting your first job, your net, your networking offer, negotiation, and then the next section goes Froome. You get your first job.


[00:30:29] Well, how do you develop your leadership skills? How do you progress up the ladder and take it all the way to the top of the supply chain like chief watching officer so that from the beginning of what is this stuff to you? I’ve reached the peak of my career height.


[00:30:43] Love it. Wow. Now it’s voiceovers. I mean, as if, first of all, the war for talent or the talent shortage has recently hit the broad market. But this is a problem we’ve had for nigh on a decade in in Supply chain is to have enough talent that has the skills that are required to to undertake this industry. So that’s a that’s a really valuable tool.


[00:31:08] Getting excited about it while we’re at it. Yeah, I’m mama when I finished the first round. I can’t have pressure though. Years in the making. Pressure creates a writer’s block.


[00:31:18] It does first-run edited. You’ve got the basic manuscript. You’re going through all of it for first round and then you may or may not add additional chapters. Is that kind of work well? I’ve never written a book. I’m not having ears.


[00:31:29] It’s my first time. So I read a book on writing a book one.


[00:31:34] Can you. Can you refer that to me? Yes. Well, as a matter of fact, I was sure I did miss anything. So, yeah, last time I did have a professional editor go through it.


[00:31:42] And really, that was the challenge for me is I just stare at it and like, how do I get this to where it really connects? Then the same tone, the same flow. So we’ve got that. And as I’m going through that, I’m like, this is amazing, you know, to see it come to life. The light at the end of the tunnel. So I’m excited to get it.


[00:31:58] Thank you very much. Yeah.


[00:32:01] Ok, so let’s let’s switch gears from that exciting news to the exciting world of Moto X, which is this is day for a few hours from really wrapping up. Great. Yeah. In light of a tough week. Right. For the business community. For for the global. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Still, as we’ve said, just about every show. This has been an outstanding show for the Supply chain now team. Yeah. You know, between the 20/20 Linas Supply chain awards on Tuesday that Madox hosted that we pulled off with a variety of partners, of course, including the vector team include Metro Atlanta Business Chamber, CSC and Apex, which was just a home run second year to all the great people like Rodney and Enrique. We’ve been able to Sheer an hour of time with, right? Yeah, but I’ll get your key takeaways. I’m excited. I’m partial. I love these shows. You get out and you meet people and you still have the interpersonal connection and you’re able to benchmark and gather intel and add to your network. These are timeless advantages to building a business. So I’m partial of y’all tell. But Rodney, start with you. And I go round Legoff Rod into Enrique to George right here.


[00:33:07] To my right, sir. I’ll get your key takeaways from this week.


[00:33:13] Sheer. So I only could do two days dealing with another issue. I won’t even go into on a personal front with a rental home here that’s mold infested. So.


[00:33:23] So welcome to Georgia. Welcome back to Georgia. So anyway, that’s a whole other story.


[00:33:27] But my mind has been blown. I’m kind of, you know, kicking myself for not come into this before, especially, you know, having lived in Atlanta. But this is the future. We’re you know, if you’re a nerd, nerdy or geeky kind of person. This is a place where you can come in completely geek out big time. So just watching the plethora of robots walking around and having around was as one thing. And then, you know, from everything from what vision picking I thought that was pretty fascinating. By using some kind of form of like a Google Glasses or similar on if that was the same thing. And it just meeting and greeting the networking activities is is tremendous. But I’ve learned a whole lot. I’ve just see. You can start to see when you see it. We see things in person. You hear about all these things. And I’ve seen some of it, of course. But, you know, talking to his A.I. companies and these brilliant, brilliant people that are here. Yeah. It’s just been amazing.


[00:34:25] Yeah. Agreed. Completely agree. So moving right along. Enrique. Same question. You. And you’ve been I know everyone business doesn’t stop for four weeks like this. And weekend Vector’s is growing left and right for a little bit. You’ve seen this week. Tell us.


[00:34:40] Yeah, I’ve been here to this show before, like the things my third or fourth time that I’ve been here. And you’re right, this particular week was a lot of different things happening in the world, as people know. And so there’s been a lot of different issues that we have to take care of. But but what I’ve seen, it’s just comparing year to year and how exponentially technology’s going. It’s amazing. Like if I remember like the first show that I came to, like probably I know five, six years ago. And what you see now to what you saw then, it’s just so incredibly advanced and cool and exciting. And it’s one of those shows that even if you’re not like supply chain professional or that if you don’t really have any kind of connection to the show, similar to what I think maybe the фото some auto shows could be if you use like robots and moving parts and equipment and things like that, it’s just it’s interesting. Agreed. The other thing is from the networking opportunities, it’s it’s it’s great. This year has been limited, diminished by the virus. But what it’s been. It’s always been like a good meeting point for for for getting to know smart and very talented individuals. So it’s been fun.


[00:35:48] I bet we have identified some new targets for the Logistics with a purpose series. I agree here on supply chain. Now that vector powers for. So we’re adding to our target list, right? That is correct. All right. So, Greg, move right along to you. You know what? A week. But what’s what top your list.


[00:36:08] Two things are. It’s top of my list. One, I think we may have redefined the universal human greeting for the entire planet during this week. Which one? I really think I think I think we’re going to wind up with the L go with the foot. Yeah, I love that one. I like that. But I think we’re I think we may have or maybe in the process of redefining it, this is a this has been a watershed week. And and to this won’t be popular with our hosts. But I think we may be in the process of redefining the landscape for shows like these. Look, it’s no secret to anyone who does these shows that you’re conspicuous by your absence. And that’s the primary reason for you to be here. We’ve seen a lot of companies flocking to us to get the kind of exposure that they thought and hoped they would get at this show. But because, as you said, Enrique, because of the lessened attendance, they just aren’t going to get. And I think we’ll start to see and we’ve already started to see some shows go completely virtual.


[00:37:08] And I think there’s goodness in that. I’ve seen a lot of if you look for.


[00:37:14] Right. You can’t just assume the worst. There’s.


[00:37:17] Oh, I think there’s goodness in it because look, this is expensive. Yeah. Let’s face it, it’s expensive.


[00:37:23] And universally when you walk away. I’ve I’ve put on conferences like this and I’ve attended hundreds of conferences like this. And when you walk away from these things universally, the the answer to the question, what was the most valuable thing that, you know, that you experienced at the show? It was the networking events. It was getting people getting face to face with people. It was not that I really loved being on the Expo floor, though. It is cool. And you do get to see a lot of ideas. And and and I love that aspect of the show, but I think that I think that this could begin the reshaping of the trade show and trade organization or industry organization formats that we see out there. And I think to the goodness of everyone, because imagine if ASTM goes online and has some regional centers or whatever people are comfortable with where they can do an individual gathering. But essentially, a the ACM annual show is online all the time. Right. And you’re going, wow. I really you know what? I really need robotics. You can go and look at being an all in one place without all the travel and expense for anyone at risk, frankly, in this in this day and age. Yeah. So those are I know those are odd, as you can expect for me. Those are odd.


[00:38:49] But I mean that that’s what really stood out about the show.


[00:38:52] I don’t think they’re odd. I think this is. I mean, let’s face it, not to be dramatic, but when we talked about this last show, when the NBA suspends season, when the NCAA ballet removes attendees from the college tournament, both those things have never happened for spring court spring. College football games stayed in the realm of sports at Fortune 50 foot companies just in Atlanta. Just we have completely worked from home. We’ve suspended transit B air from Europe. These things, we are in some unique time. I don’t think it’s odd. I think it’s natural, especially with the backdrop of mutex and the size of this Supply chain circus and I mean that very, very complimentary. There’s be a huge spillover effect. There’s gonna be some huge lessons learned in the weeks and months to come. And inevitably, especially at a time when arguably or maybe in arguably the trade show landscape has already been been disrupted a bit by the digital twin of it. Yeah, who knows where we go. I think it’s an accelerant for that sort of thing. Yeah. Good point. Okay. Well, nevertheless, image of some great things. We interviewed John Paxson today who become CEO of the organization in January, love their leadership. And he shared some vision towards some virtual virtual right solutions. That’s right. All right. So move. I want to make sure, Rodney, coming back to you, that we let our listeners know where they can learn more about SCMP, talent group, about some your content, your services, how they connect, can connect with you, how they can hound you into finishing this book.


[00:40:30] You can get into this industry. Also show. Sure. Put yourself out there.


[00:40:34] Sheer. So probably the best place is just a SCMP talent dot com. There you will find a lot of the content that will be in the book. We’ve got a big tab at the top, says advice and everything is segmented by the format. So you’ve got the blog. There’s articles in there covering professional development. But we also talk about how to help, how companies, you know, things they can do to improve their ability to to source and hire supply chain talent. We’ve got some webinars that we put in there, as does the AFC and career coach. All of those are can be found, I think, on their YouTube channel. Nice. You want to go back and watch those? And then we’ve got infographics and got a YouTube channel. Been doing a little video as well lately. So we’ve got a plethora of advice there. And again, a lot of that is some of the foundation that’s going to be in the book that hopefully comes out here in a few months that I now welcome the pressure to finish the book.


[00:41:28] Sometimes that helps kick things into another gear. You heard it here first, folks. If you want if you want access to this book, get him up on LinkedIn. There you go.


[00:41:38] Rod, if you can help with that. We’re building a little forklift fleet here. Maybe you got. Yeah. Yeah. Schwag sit Dahiyeh. We will shamelessly work for swag. Oh, I’ll check my bag over here. Nick, I brought a bag of tricks. They don’t. Let’s just leave it at this. I don’t let.


[00:41:53] We were gonna do a booth, too. And I guess recruiting companies don’t fit the criteria. So is that right? I didn’t even I didn’t know anyone could be excluded. Well. Well, that’s why you’re here. That’s right. That’s right. Well, it’s my Daryl handling equipment and software and hardware and. Yeah. Abarca that we don’t hadn’t thought about any of that. So I get it. Yeah, that’s right. No harm done. Done. SCMP talent. That’s right. Right. And I’m sure rodding we could check you out on LinkedIn on other places. I live on there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Always a pleasure. I really appreciate. You know, there’s all types of different recruiting and talent acquisition and talent management approaches.


[00:42:33] And I love the values you bring to the table, especially from a been there and done that standpoint. And it’s always refreshing to kind of sit down and reconnect with Rodney Apple, founder of SCMP Talent Group. Thanks for your time. Thank you. Thank you, Scott. Great. Yeah. You very.


[00:42:49] Thank you. All right. So Enrique won. One final question for you. We have got a variety of folks teed up for the next few episodes, but already we have had drive. Oh, right. That was a great episode. Yeah. Mike, Mike, manana. Manana. What was I mean, what was that? There’s one thing for for our listeners of this episode that may not have found that series yet, especially since it’s one of our newest series. Right. Right. Logistics with a purpose. What’s the driving force there? What what why did you see a need for that series and the message that it shares?


[00:43:22] Yeah. So what we’re trying to do with that series, Logistics with Purpose is basically is highlighting companies that are giving back to the community, giving companies like ours that are really trying to change the world, making it a better place that are actually have this purpose ingrained in their DNA and it’s part of their culture and their strategy. So it’s just not more. It’s not like we have lip service. It’s not lip service. It’s not like we have this social part of our companies. Like, no, that’s what the company is all about. Have you take that then? There’s no company. So it’s ah, it’s really just an opportunity for those companies. To share their stories. A ghost, I feel like when I’m listening to your show and some other podcasts out there, like it’s inspirational. Right. So you’re usually driving or at least that’s me when I’m listening to the podcast. You’re usually driving and you want to hear interesting conversations. And if they’re inspirational and they make you feel better and they make you feel empowered to go and do things, then even better. And that’s what we’re trying to do with that series. Yep.


[00:44:18] So stay tuned. We got a ton of additional content. The first episode was a home run with Mike and throbbed doing some really neat work supporting a variety of farmers around the world and really enjoyed it. Appreciate your support of what we’re doing. But you know, our hope was always broke. Your broker, we did it.


[00:44:35] Did we try and leave it on a trend here, man? I’m trying to create a whole new kind of Jimmy Kimmel. So, Greg, what a great episode.


[00:44:45] Yeah, I think both of these these these two gentlemen, the values they have and how they do business. I mean, it sets the bar exam in different ways.


[00:44:52] Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Look, this has been a long time coming and I think it’s really valuable to our our industry and those many people coming in from the outside. All right. You know, we’re always huge admirers of what you do and how you do it.


[00:45:08] I got a vector tattoo just last month. Julie, thank you. Yeah. I did, too, but I turned it sideways. All right.


[00:45:16] So you have to love to bring Ronnie back once we can sign the book. Yeah, we did. Yes. I want to have had a signed copy of your book, for sure. Book signing ceremony. I will UPS to do that. Signing ceremony that are done. Yeah. I’ll put the place there.


[00:45:32] So big. Thanks again. Rodney Apple, founder, SCMP Talent Group. Big thanks. Enrique Alvarez. Yes. Cohosts here today, managing director with Vector Global Logistics. Working folks learn more about Victor.


[00:45:41] Thank you know well Vector Global Logistics dot com and LinkedIn as well.


[00:45:46] Greg White. Excellent episode. This pretty much caps off a week of awesome interviews. Yeah, that’s an awesome right word.


[00:45:54] It is. I mean, we met some truly met and you know, we get to see Enrique every day. But I I got to tell you, never, never ceases to surprise me. What’s what’s so great about this man’s heart?


[00:46:06] Agreed. And it’s genuine. And that that’s that’s the best part about it. So I’ll send this episode to my wife.


[00:46:11] Thank you. To our audience. Be sure to check it out. And Sciarrotta. Yeah.


[00:46:18] Visit. Check out our events and webinars tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. We’ve got a variety of in-person and virtual events with organizations around the world. If T Reuters events, the Automotive Industry Action Group of course the George Logistics summit, which is being postponed August I believe and many, many more, you could check that out at Supply Chain Now Radio BCom. There’s something you cannot find Google or otherwise you can send our CMO a note. She’s the boss, Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we’ll try to serve as a resource for you. Big thanks again to Rodney Apple and Ricky Alvarez, Gheorghe Greg White. Check us out at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com or wherever you’re podcast from. Be sure to subscribe on my half the entire team. Scott Luton. Wish you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now.

Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen?  Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Rodney Apple to the Supply Chain Now booth at MODEX 2020.

Rodney Apple has been specialized in end-to-end supply chain recruitment for 2 decades and currently leads SCM Talent Group, a national supply chain search firm headquartered in Asheville, NC. Spanning 10+ years, Rodney led supply chain recruitment for 4 corporations that made the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain list: The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company, Kimberly-Clark and Cummins. Rodney has been serving as the Career Coach for ASCM (formerly APICS) since 2014 and writes for ASCM’s SCM Now Magazine. He also authors The Supply Chain Talent Blog and plans to publish his first book later in 2020 on the topic of careers in supply chain.

Greg White serves as Principle & Host at Supply Chain Now. 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 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 & CEO of Supply Chain Now. 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 named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. 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 has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here:


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