Keystone Automotive Operations is celebrating the success of its Rotational Leadership Program, the company shared.
Instituted in 2017, the Rotational Leadership Program was designed to attract future company leaders and high-performing associates by providing recent college graduates the opportunity to join the company and obtain first-hand experience in multiple facets of the business, Keystone representatives said. During their terms, the program immerses candidates into rotational positions in roles consisting of sales, category and inventory management, marketing, operations, and logistics. In addition to their activities within these departments, each is tasked with presenting at reviews and delivering on process improvement projects that are tailored to enact meaningful change in each area of emphasis, the company said.
The first of these candidates to join the program was Steven “Powers” McLean. While his education focused on environmental science, McLean had made the determination that his prior chosen career path would require significantly more education to pursue, he said.
At the time, Keystone was developing the program, and after an extensive interview process, company President Bill Rogers presented the opportunity to McLean that would ultimately expose him to various elements throughout the business. Throughout his participation in the program, his rotation included stints in customer care, sales, marketing, operations, and delivery. As McLean’s term in the program progressed, additional details were refined by Keystone Automotive Operations Corporate Training Leader Rebecca Tanner, who would guide the program into the future, the company said.
“From the distribution centers to sales and customer service departments, category management, marketing and delivery roles, there are many unique and specialized aspects to the business,” said Tanner. “We developed the Rotational Leadership Program to provide candidates with an all-encompassing view of the varied roles along with their responsibilities as they contribute to Keystone’s overall success. From loading trucks to taking customer calls and performing a wide variety of functions, all of our multiple candidates have a fully immersive experience from which they gain a fantastic perspective to advance in their careers with us.”
“Beginning with my first role in customer support, I learned the value of proper training and how the emphasis on associate education affects the entire company,” said McLean. “This direct customer engagement provided me with a greater understanding of addressing the challenges of meeting our customers’ specific needs, making the customer happy, and the importance of the customer to the overall business.”
He also developed first-hand insight into how the company operates, McLean said. “Everything one department does has an effect on each other department and the entire organization,” he added. “From marketing programs to sales, pricing and the distribution centers, there is a connection with each step in the process that requires a network of communication and preparation.”
While his experience has taken him from the Keystone corporate office in Exeter, Pennsylvania, to warehouse operations in Texas, Michigan and Georgia, McLean, now the operations manager in Austell, Georgia says that a significant benefit of the program has been the valuable interactions he initiated with leaders throughout the company who now comprise the network of relationships he engages with on a regular basis.
“Being able to pick up the phone and find a solution directly with the appropriate leader is incredibly important,” he said. “As a Rotational Leader I have had the opportunity to connect with each business leader across the company and this experience and insight from so many different perspectives has provided the know-how and understanding to make informed decisions today. This is a great program for the company.”