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About the Podcast
My guest today is Ben Cook, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Spreetail, a next-generation 3PL company headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska.
We start the conversation with Ben sharing his early years. His father was an Army Officer who resigned soon after Ben was born to have a more stable family life. But that didn’t mean they set roots and became grounded, quite the opposite, as his father became a high-school football coach who moved through several high-schools in the Southeastern United States; and also did some time in Spain and in Africa on volunteer work. So Ben struggles with where “home” is, except that it’s the United States.
Ben then shares some details of his military career. Being in the Special Forces, the assignments were not the most comfortable (including stints above the arctic circle). But it was pre-9/11, so the assignments were (perhaps) a bit easier than afterwards.
After the military, he became interested in Supply Chain. Perhaps recognizing the importance of supply chains during his military career somehow influenced his gravitation to the discipline which, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, was in its infancy.
We walk though the various roles he had; including one in China soon after China’s assentation to being a member of the World Trade Organization. And Ben shares some of the lessons learned along the way, some by design, some by accident, including a lesson-learned about culture eating strategy for breakfast.
These experiences led him to develop his personal approach to leadership which he calls “One Team”, and I am sure you will find his thoughts on this quite interesting; perhaps even adoptable.
About Ben Cook
With over 20 years of leadership experience with a focus on leading startups, driving turnaround efforts, scaling revenue, invest to grow and global expansion, Ben Cook is a hands-on, people-focused, leader and board member. He has had senior leadership roles at six Fortune 150 companies including; Apple, The Home Depot, Kimberly-Clark and two startup ventures and is currently the Chief Supply Chain Officer for Spreetail.
His passion is on people and helping to shape strong values-based cultures where high-performing teams master change and execute the vision for the next phase of the company’s life.
Ben has served on the Board of Advisors for several startup companies, the Auburn University College of Business and the University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Institute.
He is also a US Army Special Operations veteran and is an avid outdoorsman and adventurer who can be frequently found hiking and camping the in Colorado wilderness.
Ben is an lifelong learner who holds a BS in International Business from Auburn University, an MBA with a focus on Supply Chain Management from the University of Tennessee and multiple leadership and coaching certifications from The Wharton School, Harvard Business School, and the Center for Creative Leadership.
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cookben/
Company: Spreetail, LLC
Title: Chief Supply Chain Officer
Headquarters: Lincoln, Nebraska
Year Founded: 2006
Company Type: Privately held
Company Size: Approximately $500 Million Annual Sales
Industry: Spreetail is a next-generation third-party logistics (3PL) company. In addition to traditional 3PL services, Spreetail also offers sales channel management, internet marketing services, eCommerce, end-user customer service, and software applications to support all your business fulfillment needs.