An Interview with Scott Biddle, Founder of Scotlynn Group

Scott Biddle_Exeleon Magazine

Scott Biddle is the Founder, President and CEO of Scotlynn Group, an asset-based logistics company that focuses on high-quality, time-sensitive, temperature-controlled transportation of fruits and vegetables.

Scott founded the company in 1993. Since then, Scotlynn Group has grown from a small, regional operation to a major player in the logistics industry operating on a multinational level. Recently, Scott shared some insights into how he makes it all work, along with the strategies and principles that guide his success:

What are some of the main factors in the substantial growth of Scotlynn Group since its founding?

Scott Biddle: I think our growth stems from our focus on being a value-added business. We know what we’re good at, what our specialty is and we keep at it. We’ve invested not only in our people, but our infrastructure. We have always given ourselves the right tools to be successful, so that we can offer our customers the best service.

Was a multi-national expansion part of your long-term strategy, or was it simply a normal extension of your domestic business?

Scott Biddle: In 2009, I bought a place in Florida. I’m not much of a golfer or shopper, so I ended up starting a business down there. That’s how the U.S. division started. We took what we did here in Canada and, seeing the opportunity that existed in the U.S., we began offering our services there too. There are some challenges in adapting to the differences in business culture between the U.S. and Canada. We’ve found that there really are different mindsets, but there are also differences between provinces too, so we’ve had experience with adapting and modifying our approaches. It really comes down to listening and providing what people want, whatever region or country they’re from. People are the biggest component of our business.

Can you explain, from your experience, some of the differences between produce logistics in Canada versus the U.S.?

Scott Biddle: I would say the processes are pretty much the same, other than the cross-border component; understanding if you’re hauling beef or meat, all the different quotas and things that go along with crossing the border with perishables. Other than that, the process is sort of the same I would say.

 As you know, attracting talent is one of the most important elements when it comes to any organization’s success. Can you give some insight into how you recruit and keep the best people?

Scott Biddle: We go after people who’ve shown they’re willing to do the extra work and achieve more for themselves and their company – truly motivated people.That’s really what we’re looking for in a skill set. The last thing we want to do is try to put people in a box that doesn’t fit their personality or skills, because it really brings down the overall morale and company culture. So we’ve prioritized giving our people lanes within which they can be successful.

And another one I think is just doing things for your employees, outside of the nine to five. For example, we have a gym program. I have a trainer in every office where I get everybody out of their seats for at least 30 minutes a day with the trainer. We provide a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack to every employee in all of our offices. So there are little perks that we provide to show we’re invested in them, we care about their growth, their mental and physical health. And then there’s community involvement and things that we do to make the employees proud of where they work.

We understand that you came from a hard-working, entrepreneurial family. As a business leader, can you describe how you are applying lessons you learned from your family to your leadership at Scotlynn Group?

Scott Biddle: I grew up working on a farm, helping out with whatever was needed, so I had a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age. My first job outside of that was driving a truck. So I developed an aptitude and a passion for both the transportation and the farming side of things, and I’ve been able to combine those with Scotlynn. I continue to educate myself on all aspects of the business, always trying to keep learning, including methods for better management and motivation for our people. Having been there and having done the things that I require our people to do, it really means a lot. Just having that background from an early age and having demonstrated my passion for what I do helps me be a better manager in the business.

Of your recent achievements in business, which one are you the proudest of?

Scott Biddle: I’d say that the thing that makes me the proudest today is watching the new young people that come into this business succeed and achieve those milestones and goals that they set for themselves. I see people go from couch-surfing to buying their first new home –  from getting a ride to work from mom, to buying their first new car. For me, personally, that’s the most rewarding thing.

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