Published on Nov. 13, 2018
Get to know our team: Scott Rowland
Scott Rowland’s day is never “normal”...
On Monday he might be landing in Sioux Falls on his way to check on progress at the new hatchery in South Dakota. The next day, he could be on a call with the operations team in France, forming a plan to manage a particular quality approach. But it’s this interesting mix of problem solving for different situations, areas of the world, and groups of people that has kept him with Hybrid for over 25 years. Scott is someone who enjoys looking at the bigger picture, and it’s this view of the system as a whole that makes him well suited for his role as Director of Operational Excellence.
Can you tell me a little about your background?
Before coming to Hybrid, I worked for P&H Foods in Canada and was responsible for their breeder and hatchery operations in Stratford. In 1990, I joined Hybrid to add some technical and managerial strength to their incubation side of the business. In 1995. I assumed responsibility for all of Hybrid’s operational side.
What do you enjoy most about working in this business?
It’s interesting to work in an organization that includes a good mix of business, science, and agriculture. Because we are in the breeding business, our team is made up of people with different backgrounds…business, veterinarians, geneticists, physiologists, IT specialists and others. We have the benefit of working with a group that has diversity of thought, skills, and solutions.
I also enjoy that as a primary breeder, we enter the value chain as a small supplier who, in fact, has a big impact on our client’s performance. We have a significant impact on their business, which means we need to build close relationships and develop a partnership and vision together. It’s great to work with all levels of a customer, from the executive level right through to the farms and hatcheries.
It’s also unique to be a part of a global business. This aspect has its challenges, but it also allows us to bring in a broader perspective for our customers.
What has been the most important project you helped drive at Hybrid?
I think it probably goes back to the late 90s when, for us, it was a major accomplishment to eradicate salmonella in our system and provide salmonella-free breeding stock. We were ahead of the curve on that. From pedigree through to parent stock, it was a 5 year mission. I can remember when popular opinion was that we would always live with 10-15% positive salmonella in grandparent flocks. By today’s standards, this seems unthinkable, but it shows just how far the industry has moved to improve the products we offer. It is also a great example of how important it is to keep an eye out for the future in our business. At the time, this distinction didn’t pay dividends. But it was our belief that one day, salmonella-free health status would be not just a benefit for one or two customers, but an industry expectation. We were right.
As Director of Operational Excellence, what are your main areas of focus?
My area of focus will be to make sure our global business is aligned with excellence all the way through the system. We want to make sure that we have all the pieces in place from breeding, assets, quality, efficiency, and logistics to deliver excellence. It’s crucial that customers, globally, all receive Hybrid genetics that have the same potential for superior performance, no matter the source.
The Operations team knows how to execute their tasks, but it's important that we continue to be a learning organization. From an Operational Excellence perspective, it's not just about quality. Its about continually considering how we can bring more value to our clients. Quality is an essential piece, but reliability and trust are also important traits of a good partner.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the turkey industry? How do you think Hybrid contributes to addressing it?
We are in a competitive market to deliver protein, offering a choice besides beef, pork, chicken, or fish. So I think the biggest challenge is that we have to continue to make sure our protein level is at a competitive cost and provides the value consumers are looking for. At the end of the day, people make decisions based on feeding your family with good protein for good value. For Hybrid, we will continue to improve on our product for the needs of the market and continue anticipating the future needs, much like we did during salmonella eradication.