Seasoned Leadership in Action™! An Interview with Grant Chapman, President at Kroeger!

Grant Chapman
Unchaining Change Leadership

At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe.  As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action™” Interview series. This interview is with Grant Chapman, President at Kroeger Inc.

Kroeger is a wholesale distributor of toy, games, puzzles, gift and hobby servicing the Canadian retail and e-tail retailers. Kroeger has exclusive distribution of such brands as Rubik’s Cube, Toy State, Winning Moves Games, Endless Games, Ceaco Puzzles, WoodWick Candles, , Silly String, and other spectacular brands.

I first met Grant at Indigo. We both started with the company on the same day, forging a unique, memorable and lifelong connection. It was great to work with Grant and as we were both new to the company we brought our own perspectives and experiences to our jobs. Grant showed me the first 3D printed toy that I had seen, introducing me to that technology.

His background and expertise was a great point of learning for me. Grant has also worked at SpinMaster and Mattel. His career progression has naturally evolved to his latest venture as Owner and President of Kroeger.

Here is our interview with a great industry leader, Grant Chapman!

Tell our readers a little about your background and experience.

I have been in the full-time workforce for over 30 yrs, mainly employed in the Marketing/advertising/brand management space for fortune 500 companies. In 2015, I bought a Canadian distribution company focused on the toy/gift retail space.  

What are some of your greatest achievements in Business?

Most recently it has been exponentially growing the distribution company I purchased 6 yrs ago through modernization; portfolio management; growth into other categories; and expansion into the US market.

Prior to company ownership, my greatest work achievements were focused on national and global product launches as well as the facilitation of retail/brand partnerships (eg. bringing American Girl partnership to Indigo).

How has Business and Supply Chain changed over the course of your career?

Supply chain has an immense influence on my distribution business. In fact, without efficiencies driven into that portion of the business, there would be no profit or need to own a distribution company. Therefore, my focus is constantly on supply chain to ensure my team and I minimize or eliminate pinch points.

We attempt to influence whatever and wherever possible, including working with our vendor partners (the brands/products we distribute and sell) to improve their supply chain to ensure efficiency and ultimate profitability for all.

What are some of the lessons you learned in your career that you would like to share for others to learn from?

Don’t be afraid to offer to help. If the people/company you are dealing with appreciate external insights, they will welcome yours. Also, do something you love, and you will be successful. It’s not a cliché, it should be a mantra.

What challenges facing the world are important to you?

Personally, climate change. Pollution and lack of responsibilities from those in power are killing our world. The only world we have. So, we can plan for a trip to Mars, but I’d rather us all become a bit more educated and protect the house we have right here at home.

Professionally, respect and leadership. Similar to my personal call out above, we need to respect things like intellectual property, creativity, and disrupting the status quo. A true leader listens, protects and evolves. Like humans and protecting our planet, business leaders need to protect the most important asset in their business.

What is the role of Business, Supply Chain, and Change Leadership in addressing these challenges?

Efficiencies increase output, profitability, but also reduce waste. It’s amazing how those three can overflow into our personal and human lives and bring success and achievement of all goals outlined above.

Darwin never rested; evolution never rests; a rolling stone gathers no moss…… Whatever analogy you want to use:  constant improvement, through evolution or revolution will make business and life better.

What are you working on these days?

Making the world I influence (business; family; health) better than where I started. And wake surfing……

What advice would you give to people who have a career in, or who are considering joining, Business and/or Supply Chain?

If you are curious/passionate about how you can observe and influence the way ‘things’ get from A to B, find yourself a career in a company or business that relies on a strong and robust supply chain. But don’t just plan to be an observer, try to be a change agent. That will lead you, and hopefully the company you represent to a successful future.

How can people contact Grant Chapman?

Grant Chapman can be reached on LinkedIn.

Originally published on July 20, 2021.

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