Business View Magazine November-December 2018

62 63 was select our technology partners and implement software, so the company was state-of-the-art as far as systems and data manage- ment, and we could more efficiently operate the business.” Two more acquisitions (Interide and Sunco) followed in 2016 and, by then, KJM Capital had over 400 trucks and 700 reefers (refriger- ated trailers). They continued to invest, and last year switched focus to integration of the three companies under one name, Cold Carriers, getting them all on the same tech platform, improving operations, and building the team. Having the best talent from a management perspective led to the hiring of Randy Savoy in Oct. 2017 as COO of Cold Carriers. “Putting the right management structure in place is crucial, so we can more effectively run the business, grow it, and hire more people,” says Meister. “We always continue to use the same employees in businesses we acquire and grow from there. This is not a reduced-cost strategy.” Investors and lenders like to see less volatile business models for private equity firms. Of refrigerated, dry freight, and flatbed truck companies, refrigerated carriers are the most resistant to recession because food and beverages tend to be less impacted by a slowing economy than construction, real estate, and other markets. Hence, KJM chose reefers as the better investment. Customer service is a key factor in temperature-controlled refrigerated trucking, because the product has a limited life span and you have to be punctual with de- livery. Meister explains, “We are in a cycle where there are less sales and more selection, that means there’s a lot of freight and not much capacity in the market. The critical thing is that the shippers and the carriers match themselves up, so the right freight is hauled to the right location, effectively.” When it comes to company culture, Savoy reports, “We’re a fairly large trucking company, but we’re really family-oriented. Right now, we’re three families hoping to grow to five. In my opinion, what sets us apart is that our focus has been on growing relationships built on trust. It’s all about service. For example, if we’re able to deliver com- pany XYZ’s refrigerated product from point A to point B on time, every time, they’ll be more apt to continue offering us freight. Over time, that trust will continue to grow as long as we do what we promise. Everyone in our organization understands how important that is.” With almost 450 employees, that family atmosphere becomes even more important. At KJM, each member of the senior team reaches out to five drivers every week and has a conversation with them while