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Helping a Growing Startup Build Their Supply Chain Function

February 27, 2023

When you’re hiring in supply chain and procurement—especially for the first time—you might not know how to position your role in the marketplace. But we do. Here’s a case study about how we’re helping a growing company find supply chain success.

Here’s a recent story from Argentus’ recruiting practice. We had a new client reach out to us a few weeks ago. They’re a specialty food company experiencing major growth during the past few years. They’ve recently secured a major brand partnership with a private label customer that’s bringing massive business. But they’re still a small team.

Their President and CEO is still managing all the front-line supply chain duties, from inventory management, to forecasting, purchasing, and inbound logistics for finished goods—tracking inbound ship dates, negotiating with carriers, and arranging customs clearance. As business has ramped up, the supply chain considerations—that is, getting the product to the company’s growing customer base—are becoming more complicated. As supply chains tend to do.

Clearly, the time has come for them to bring on someone dedicated to supply chain management.

All of these tasks take a considerable amount of bandwidth for a CEO of a burgeoning company. Not to mention, this CEO has some supply chain chops, but he’s not a true supply chain specialist. There’s tremendous value in building concrete, data-driven supply chain processes while a company is growing. Those processes will scale with a business, and they’re easier to implement now rather than after the company—and supply chain—have already grown. Better to build good habits now than try to fix bad habits later.

We love working with these kinds of clients. When a startup is ready to take the next step into a dedicated supply chain function, it’s a chance for us to spread our wings and show them the breadth of our network of candidates. The roles are also often tremendously exciting for the high-potential candidates we love to represent.

The Challenge:

This CEO knew what he needed—someone who can manage planning, logistics, inventory and purchasing, while also taking on customer supply chain duties for their large private label customer. Ideally, this person would also be able to help build out those processes, find efficiencies, and implement systems that would help them scale. Ideally, this individual has a few years of experience under their belt and is looking to grow their career—but is also looking to work in a start-up environment where they’ll have to wear many different hats.

But beyond that, there was a lot he didn’t know and didn’t want to assume. What’s the job title that will attract the most appropriate candidates? What’s the salary level? How does he position the opportunity in the market?

Here’s where we stepped in.

Rather than guessing by posting to a job board, only to wade through hundreds of applications that might not be right, he left it to the experts. He reached out to Argentus, and told us the company’s story, mission, and the above tasks he needed done.

Using our knowledge of the market, we helped suggest a salary band (with some wiggle room for fantastic high-performers who can be more “builders,” as well as even more junior contributors who can focus on the front line duties). We helped him identify the proper market for talent. We even wrote the job description for him, and shared it with our network.

By working with a specialist, this client is learning a lot about the supply chain talent market that he wouldn’t have learned by posting on job boards. He’s able to see where his role fits not just into his company, but into the larger career picture for burgeoning supply chain professionals—the people who will be doing the job—and position it accordingly. What’s more, he doesn’t even pay us a fee until we successfully place a candidate in the role.

As recruiters deeply specialized in a particular discipline (supply chain management), we often talk about taking a consultative approach. But that’s not just talk. It’s one of our favourite aspects of recruitment. We thrive when we can help our clients see what they’ve been missing in the market, and in their own hiring efforts. Then, when we can show our candidates a client—and role—that they wouldn’t have known about, and identify individuals who will thrive in their culture.

And as for that search? Within a week, we had four qualified candidates sent along, and the search continues.

So why do we tell this story? Are you a growing startup with supply chain needs that are expanding beyond your reach—or your bandwidth?

Argentus’ approach can help you identify who you need to step in and take charge of day-to-day supply chain duties, while also building for the future—depending on your specific industry and supply chain makeup. So if you’re in that position, reach out today for a chat! Call 416 364 9919 or send an email to


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