Greenway Best of the Industry: KC Cann Transport, Best Security Company
Transportation and security are two of the most vital parts of legal cannabis operations in the industry. In Missouri, KC Cann Transport has become one of the leaders in the field and has been recognized multiple times by Greenway readers as such. This year KCCT was selected as both Best Security Company and Best Transportation Company for Best of the Industry.
Greenway recently asked Kevin Schnell, President of KC Cann Transport about what 2021 meant for his company.
Tell me about 2021 for your company?
2021 has been a challenging year in many ways. Supply chain shortages has made getting vehicles and equipment difficult and slow. Logistics has been difficult because business is either extremely
demanding or in a lull. Hiring and retaining quality employees is challenging in part due to the availability of applicants who meet our qualifications of required training and experience, temperament, attention to detail and empathy for the patients, and in part due to the lengthy routes and long workdays.
On the other hand, 2021 has been good to us. We completed over 500 transports, with over 2000 stops. We’ve seen new clients come online and have tripled the number of employees we had at the beginning of 2021. We have been blessed with the knowledge and experience we have gained by being the first commenced transportation company in the state and we thoroughly enjoy being able to utilize this to assist companies as they begin moving their products throughout the state.
What about your company differentiates you from others in Missouri, and generally speaking?
Though there are several good logistical companies in the industry, we have always tried to set ourselves apart from others and lead by example. We believe there is a significant need for safe and
secure transport. Burglaries of facilities have already occurred. Robberies are inevitable. We work hard to ensure the safety and security of our clients’ personnel, their facilities and their products, and we do this as efficiently as possible. If you’ve ever spoken to me personally, you’ve probably heard me say the two most important things for an organization to have are communication and leadership.
We have built our company on this principle, and we expect these attributes from every single employee. Not only do we aim to provide the best customer service in the industry, but we also help
and guide new facilities as they come online. We provide suggestions and recommendations to our clients and others in the industry without saying “you MUST do this”. We want the companies in the industry to see that we understand the big picture and we are here for them.
What makes KCCT unique in the industry?
In addition to what was listed in the previous question, KCCT has many other unique characteristics. As an employee of KCCT, we don’t believe in saying “that’s not my job” and ignoring a problem. As the President of the company, I do so much more than sit behind a desk, make phone calls and shake hands.
I have personally worked the positions of the company that are now filled by other employees. I maintain the vehicles and the facility, order equipment, shovel snow, conduct audits of facilities and keep in contact with our clients as well as their clients to ensure that we are meeting or exceeding their expectations.
Our Facility Protection Agents and Transportation Protection Agents are not just “security guards” and “drivers”. They are navigators, maintenance personnel, protection specialists, problem solvers, mediators, observers, and sales representatives. We escort patients to their vehicles after their purchases.
When delivering, we don’t just “drop and run”, we stick around to make sure that everything is received properly. These are just SOME of the many services they provide to the company, our clients, and our clients’ clients.
We all wear multiple hats so that we can afford to truly give back to our employees and veterans.
Our starting salary for our Facility Protection Agents and Transportation Protection Agents is over twice the average starting salary for a security guard in Missouri and almost twice the average starting salary for a delivery driver or courier in Missouri. We do this because we require so much out of our employees and only hire the best, so we want to pay them what they are worth and retain them. We won’t get rich running a business like this, but we can certainly make the lives of many veterans and their families much more pleasant.
How do you intend to stay competitive as the Missouri market continues to grow?
Remaining competitive is probably our biggest challenge. There are several companies coming in and undercutting our cost. Transporting medicine purely logistically is far cheaper to do than
doing it logistically AND safely/securely. Insurance alone is astronomically higher when firearms, currency, and medical marijuana are involved. We constantly work to save our clients
money. If we can combine routes to save them money, we do so. We plan the routes logistically to be the quickest and most efficient possible in order to save them money. However, we cannot
in good faith cut safety and security to save a dollar. We joined the industry with the commitment to doing it properly, according to the rules and regulations, and safely and securely.
Unarmed transport is allowed in Missouri, but what keeps the product from being taken? From our experience, it is command presence. It is not just the presence of a weapon, but the presence
of a confident, well-trained, well-experienced protections specialist that tells would-be criminals, they want to think twice.
Our clients must fully understand what they are paying for in order to utilize our services. By hiring KCCT, not only are you giving back to the veteran community, but you receive A+
customer service and all the things we mentioned above that we do to go above and beyond for our clients. Not only that, but you are also hiring a company full of extremely capable
employees who are ready to handle any bad situation that could come their way and get the medicine to the patients. This is an investment. There is not necessarily a wrong way to
transport, but good, safe, reliable transport is like an insurance policy. You don’t need it….until you do.
Can you tell me about some of the employees or leadership that help push your success?
I could go on and on about our employees and the leadership and experience they bring to the table. We have an amazing combination of combat veterans, SWAT operators, military and law
enforcement veterans, State Department government contractors coming from many different ranks from Mid-grade Non-Commissioned Officers to retired Command Sergeant Majors. Our employees have provided protection for multi-million dollar assets, Fortune 500 executives, celebrities, and private families. True leaders lead from the front, putting the welfare of others before their own, providing purpose, direction, and motivation. They exhibit loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. These are the things we look for when hiring new employees. Not everyone is a good fit for our business model.
Within our All-Star line-up, we also have a handful that stand out from the others. These are the employees who go above and beyond even the highest of KCCT standards. They arrive early and
leave last. They volunteer on a regular basis to ensure the mission is accomplished. They clean up after themselves and others, so the company presentation/appearance is always top notch. These
exceptional employees never ask for anything extra and never complain. They are just happy to be a part of the team and part of the success of the mission.
What obstacles or struggles have you faced over the last two years, and how have those challenges changed the way you operate?
As you can imagine, we have faced many challenges over the past two years, as I’m sure everyone in the industry has. We built this company from the ground up. We thought, “who better to provide protection in Missouri’s newest industry than people who have provided protection for people and assets their entire careers?” We had a dream and we made it happen. We put our entire life savings into making it happen. We didn’t have investors or financial supporters, we just had hard work and a vision. We did as much of the work ourselves as we possibly could. We put everything on the line for a chance to produce a better life for ourselves and our family, as well as for local veterans. The support of our community, the performance of our employees, and the trust from our clients has made us successful.
Another challenge has been planning. Good communication is required for good planning, but that is not a strength of everyone. We often have to nudge and ask clarifying questions in order to get the information we need. The trick is to do so without being annoying and hope that they realize that the questions we ask are to be able to plan the routes and prevent errors from occurring. Doing something right the first time is far easier than correcting a preventable error. One mistake on a route can cause a domino effect of problems that can affect numerous clients. We believe if you are going to do it, do it right, the first time.
Our biggest challenge is trying to ensure we are prepared for anything. We are often used in the interim while the client is getting their own transport up and running. It is challenging to ensure you have the appropriate number of employees and vehicles in place to fulfill the company’s contractual obligations while still being able to handle the short-term obligations, all while knowing you have a few clients who will be coming online at any moment and also needing your services. With the industry still growing, transportation needs are still sometimes very sporadic which makes planning difficult. We want to be ready at a moment’s notice, but we also don’t want to waste resources, which in turn wastes money. The longer we operate, the better understanding we have of the industry as a whole and how each client operates. This knowledge alone allows us to be able to tweak operations, sometimes differently for each client, to be as efficient as possible. Failure is not and will never be an option for us. Each and every challenge that we face forces us to address any issues, adapt, overcome, make necessary changes, and just keep working to improve and be better than the day before.
What plans are on the horizon for the company?
We have already outgrown our facility. We have four new vehicles. For every work van, we typically have 2 employee vehicles (POVs) parked at our facility. Our plans for the near future would be to build a facility that is designed specifically to accommodate a growing transportation company. We would like a more efficient facility with more parking that will house the transport vehicles internally to reduce chance of vandalism and extend the life of the vehicles and generally be safer for the employees to come and go while not inconveniencing the local community. We
don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but this is definitely on the radar for the future.
One of our dreams has always been to give back to the community by building a facility that can be used for local teen and tween athletes to train in. A fitness center and basketball/volleyball court that we can open for athletes and teams to use to better themselves. We are big believers in health and fitness, family, and self-improvement. Not everyone has the income to pay for facilities or personal trainers. These kids that have the natural talent and/or the drive to do more, to do better, to improve themselves and pave the road to a promising future can succeed if someone is willing to help. We want to help.