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The Logistics of Logistics Podcast

Oct 14, 2019

[00:37] Please tell us a little about you and your company.

  • I’m Ron Crabtree, CEO and Founder of MetaOps, Inc. We are located in Metro Detroit.
  • We specialize in providing interim and contract to hire talent at the highest level.
  • I grew up near Kalamazoo and ended up going to night school for over seventeen years. Eventually, I emerged with an undergrad in organizational development.
  • Before starting MetaOps, I had a career of about twenty years in supply chain.

[05:18] Talk about the most common supply chain problems you encounter with MetaOps.

  • Everybody’s got common challenges at the enterprise level. There’s pressure to bring new products and services to market a lot faster. Also, there’s unrelenting pressure on price because of globalization. More and more people are grappling about what to do about the carbon footprint, too.
  • There are two major problems that I see at a tactical level day-to-day. The first isn’t about making or moving stock, it’s about information that has to be handled.
  • The second problem is that you can’t solve today’s problems using the methods as yesterday. Supply chain is getting more complex every single day, and many companies don’t even know where to start. The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is happening.

[14:23] What is the solution to most of these supply chain problems?

  • Before I get to that, let me provide a few more case study examples.
  • One challenge I’m working on now is with fresh produce. There’s an amazing supply chain behind all of that.
  • Forecasting exactly when the produce needs to be packed in the field is a massive problem. Not having packaging at the right place and the right time isn’t an option, and having mountains of packaging lying around on the field isn’t an option either.
  • 90% of the root cause of failure is not the physical movement, it’s having everything in the right place at the right time.
  • There are challenges in military hardware, medical care, etc. as well.

[19:33] The three solutions.

  • If it’s a severe enterprise challenge, you might need an internally generated top-to-bottom assessment. This would involve leveraging industry best practices.
  • The second big thing companies are doing is re-engineering their business process. If you’ve got the money for it and don’t have the skills internally, there’s nothing wrong with this.
  • The third one is infusing the knowledge and expertise at the exact point that things are broken. This is a solution that MetaOps can provide.

[24:42] MetaOps’ model is to bring in the guy who has experience and has actually done this. You guys aren’t coming from an HR or recruiting background, you’re coming from an operator background.

  • Only about 5% of the people we look at make it through our vetting process. These are people who can absolutely go do the job, not just talk about it.

[26:23] Tell us about what’s going on at MetaOps.

  • In 2011, after many years of requests, we crafted the MetaExperts brand to get away from offering traditional consulting and training. That’s been continuing to grow and is the vast majority of what we do.
  • A shift we’ve seen in the last year is that we’re getting to work with large and small consulting firms. We get to be a resource in the background that they can tap into for very specific problems.

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