Kenco Group Develops Profit-Driving Talent

Designing Performance

Leading 3PL cultivates world-class performance through leadership development

Business Challenge

Founded in 1950, Kenco is one of the world’s largest family-owned and privately held third party logistics providers. With over 100 facilities and approximately 5,000 employees, the organization has evolved from a single warehouse in Chattanooga Tennessee to an organization whose core competencies include logistics, transportation management, and materials handling.

Scott Mayfield, Kenco President, credits the organization’s success to their evolution from a physical assets industry to a knowledge industry. “We don’t sell tangible products, we sell the services and knowledge our employees provide,” says Mayfield. “In other words, we sell talent.”

Kenco’s continuing growth relies on its ability to attract, develop, and retain the industry’s top talent. While the organization had always been strong in these areas, Mayfield wanted to focus more attention on development of internal leadership.

Mayfield knew Chip Scholz from his work as Mayfield’s executive coach. He saw an opportunity to tap Scholz as an outside resource to support the development of high potential individuals and high performing leaders within Kenco. Scholz’s personality and passion, combined with his deliberate alignment with the industry, made him an ideal partner to assist with internal talent development.

The Solution

Together, Mayfield and Scholz identified the following areas for Scholz and Associates to support Kenco’s talent development:

  • Executive 360s and coaching
  • Leadership development workshops
  • Assessments, evaluations, and candidate recommendations
  • Challenged leader support

Executive 360s and Coaching

“Everything goes back to clarity, intention, attitude, and congruence,” says Scholz about his work with Kenco. “I start each executive relationship with a behavioral assessment, and talk with them about how they approach work, life, and communication. Then we really dig in to the idea of clarity.”

Clarity is a key to charting a course toward achievement. “If you don’t know what you want, you get whatever comes,” says Scholz. He works with clients on developing a clarity diagram, and then applying it to every new challenge.

Scholz then helps clients to set their intentions and attitudes toward those goals. Finally, he supports them in achieving congruence in their personal and professional lives, all of which contributes to higher performance within the organization.

Leadership Development

“Chip’s a big part of developing the future leaders of our company,” says Mayfield. He supports Kenco’s internal leadership development program (LDP) with a two-day workshop that consistently garners the highest rankings from participants. Scholz performs an assessment for each participant. The workshop then challenges and empowers them to align personal, professional, and organizational goals to achieve higher performance.

Thanks in part to the LDP program, sixty-three percent of participants are promoted at least once within ten years of completion.

Assessments and Evaluations

Scholz conducts TriMetrix HD assessments on developing leaders, evaluates high potential candidates, and performs pre-hiring assessments. His work helps Kenco place the right people in the right seats within the organization. He also assists in evaluating candidates for high-level positions, including both a CEO and CIO. Scholz’s input provides clarity to the decision making process.

Challenged Leader Support

Scholz’s success with top level and developing leaders inspired Mayfield to seek his assistance as well with “challenged leaders.” These are leadership employees whose “rough edges” inhibit their ability to succeed in their current roles. Some of the formerly challenged leaders have since grown into high level roles within the company.

Big Results

Kenco is regularly acknowledged for excellence in its field, including an Alliance Award, from SMC3 and World Trade 100 magazine. The award recognizes performance excellence resulting from close cooperation and collaboration of supply chain partners—exactly the type of work that is only possible with highly developed talent.

Mayfield credits Kenco’s strong focus on talent development for a large portion of its success as a company, and says that Scholz has played a significant role in that development.

“It’s helpful to have a third party in here working with our leaders, and it’s a benefit to Kenco to have him on our board. He knows the challenges we face and that’s a big deal,” he says. “I’m a fan of Chip.”

About Kenco

Kenco is one of the largest family-owned and privately held third party logistics providers in the world, with over 100 facilities and more than 30 million square feet of warehouse space in 25 states and Canada. Kenco’s core competencies include not only logistics services and transportation, but also real estate management and material handling equipment. The Kenco Family of Companies consists of Kenco Logistic Services, Kenco Transportation, Kenco Toyota-Lift, Kenco Management Services, and JDK Real Estate.

About Scholz and Associates

Scholz and Associates is an executive coaching and leadership development partner serving large and mid-sized privately held organizations across North America. Chip Scholz, the company’s principal, is a well-respected speaker, author, and coach. His two books Do Eagles Just Wing It? and Masterminds Unleashed: Selling for Geniuses provide business leaders with thought-provoking insights and tools for achieving more. Chip has dedicated his career to helping leaders achieve clarity and focus on what matters most to them with programs customized to each unique situation. Scholz and Associates offers complete solutions from strategic planning and organizational assessment to help hiring the right people and developing them to their full potential.

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