January 2010 | Case Studies | Reader Profile

Scott Kingsley: The Personal Connection

Tags: Education & Careers

Photo of Scott Kingsley

NAME: Scott Kingsley

TITLE: Logistics manager

COMPANY: The Food Source International, Frazer, Penn., since 2009

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Philadelphia Flyers archives intern, Comcast-Spectacor; account services representative, production planner, Transcontinental Direct; logistics planner/international freight management, Penske Logistics

EDUCATION: B.S., business management and marketing, Pennsylvania State University, 2002

Scott Kingsley is as tech-savvy as any young logistics professional. But ask him what technology he couldn't live without, and the answer might surprise you. It's not a logistics management system, or a clever iPhone app. It's the telephone itself.

Personal connection is a basic business value for Kingsley, logistics manager at The Food Source International in Frazer, Penn., and he believes there's nothing like old-fashioned conversation to keep those connections strong.

Sure, you can share data across a computer network, and you can get to know carriers and customers via e-mail. "But it's not the same as chatting for a few minutes about their family or last night's game. That's how you develop great relationships," Kingsley says.

Many of Kingsley's conversations at The Food Source involve transportation from domestic and international suppliers to the company's third-party warehouses, and from the warehouses to customers. The Food Source distributes flavorings and other ingredients, mainly to food manufacturers and processors.

Third-party logistics (3PL) service providers book loads with carriers, but Kingsley negotiates transportation contracts, coordinates the movements, tracks and reports on shipments, and audits freight charges. He's also responsible for maintaining inventory levels.

He does it all on his own, which wasn't the case in his previous job at Penske Logistics, a 3PL based in Reading, Penn. With support staff there to back him up, it was easier to concentrate on problems when they arose. "I could delegate some responsibilities and focus on investigating the issue," he says. At The Food Source, Kingsley keeps all the balls in the air himself, even when he has to juggle something extra.

To help simplify that juggling act, Kingsley hopes to devise an easier system for retrieving historical data on specific transportation lanes. That data helps him compare past and current transportation charges while allowing for fluctuations in fuel surcharges and seasonal demand.

"For example, arranging reefer truck service out of the south during produce season is more expensive than in non-produce season, when equipment is more readily available," he says.

Kingsley also hopes to continue forging close, productive ties with his service partners, suppliers, and customers. He relishes connections like the one he made when his contact at a supplier asked about his plans for the weekend. Kingsley said he'd be cycling in an event to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.

"She said, 'Wow, that's amazing! I have MS,'" Kingsley says. "I was glad to have someone specific to ride for."

Encounters like those make Kingsley's job especially satisfying. "I meet so many people and hear their stories," he says. "Sometimes I'm able to touch people's lives, whether it's through a charity event, or just letting them know a shipment they need will arrive on time."

The Big Questions

What do you do when you're not at work?

I love cycling. I ride in charity races and to stay in shape and push myself. I've gotten my wife into cycling, and she's getting me into running. I also play ice hockey once a week.

Ideal dinner companion?

Eddy Marckx, a Belgian cyclist from the 1970s who may have been more dominant than Lance Armstrong in his prime. I'd love to hear his stories of riding on the Champs Elysèe in the Tour de France.

What's in your messenger bag?

My iPhone, Bluetooth, a notebook, industry magazines, a cycling magazine, and some paperwork.

First Web site you look at in the morning?

Weather.com, to see if the weather will affect customer deliveries.

If you didn't work in supply chain management, what would be your dream job?

To open a bike shop or be a professional cyclist.