Shamrock Trading Corporation Celebrates 30 Years of Success

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Exceptional culture and great people have made Shamrock a “best place to work.”

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“In our business, nothing is more important than building the right team, Our people have been the key to our success.”

One of the Kansas City area’s fastest-growing companies will celebrate a landmark anniversary next month.

June 2, 2016 officially marks 30 years for Shamrock Trading Corporation, a family-owned business that has grown into a leading service provider for the trucking and shipping industries. Founded in 1986 in a one-room Lenexa office, Shamrock employs more than 360 people at its headquarters in Overland Park and does business in over 26 countries.

Strong customer focus and a willingness to adapt to a changing marketplace have been instrumental to Shamrock’s success. The company began as a transportation brokerage and consulting firm, and has added services over the years that include finance, transportation logistics and business offerings geared toward small trucking fleets. Today, Shamrock’s family of companies—Ryan Transportation, RTS Financial, RTS Carrier Services and RTS International—are headquartered in the renovated Shamrock Towers at 95th and Metcalf in Overland Park.

Shamrock founder and CEO Bill Ryan credited the company’s people and unique culture with driving solid growth for 30 years.

“I have always believed that it’s better to have great people and a mediocre business model than to have a great business model and mediocre people,” Mr. Ryan said. “As it turns out, our business model has been pretty good and our people have been outstanding.”    

Hard Work and Resourcefulness

Growing up on a farm in western Kansas, Bill Ryan learned the value of hard work and entrepreneurship. “It was a tough environment. There were so many things that were hard to control,” Mr. Ryan said. “The weather, fluctuating commodity prices, etc. You had to be smart to survive.” After college, Mr. Ryan moved to Kansas City and started his career in the trucking industry. He later founded Ryan Transportation Service to create solutions for shippers. His Lenexa-based freight brokerage company initially served agricultural and commodity shippers. “We built the company one customer at a time,” he noted, “and worked hard every day to create value for the long term.”

As the company grew, Shamrock and its affiliated companies eventually expanded into three office buildings in Lenexa. In 2012, the company purchased and began renovating the former Glenwood Place office towers in Overland Park. Today more than 360 Shamrock employees work at the headquarters with room for expansion. The company expects to add another 600 employees over the next five years.

Best Place to Work

While well-known in the trucking industry, privately-owned Shamrock has kept a low profile in the Kansas City area for most of its 30 years. In 2015, however, the company received recognition from The Kansas City Business Journal as one of the region’s “Best Places to Work.”

Shamrock has created a culture that offers employees the intimacy of a smaller company, but with a benefits package that can compete with much larger corporations. Shamrock pays 100% of the health care, vision and dental premiums for employees and their dependents. To incent long-term employee tenure, Shamrock makes significant contributions to the company’s retirement plans after one year of service, which includes a robust 401(k) plan and an employee stock ownership plan. The company also provides its employees with AAA coverage, gym memberships, and a Fitbit Wellness program.

“People are looking for an opportunity where they can make an impact,” said Lea Nickell, Shamrock’s director of human resources and recruiting. “Our incentive-driven compensation and benefit plans enable us to attract talented candidates, but what keeps them here is the realization of personal and professional growth.”

Shamrock regularly promotes from within and 25% of the company’s workforce received promotions over the past 12 months. “It is so gratifying to watch the development of our employees,” said Ms. Nickell. “To look back and see what they have built and achieved in a short amount of time is amazing.”

One enduring legacy of Shamrock is that every employee is valued and can contribute directly to the company’s success each day. Though the company adds many new workers each month, CEO Bill Ryan still participates in the interview process for new employees.

“In our business, nothing is more important than building the right team,” Mr. Ryan said. “Our people have been the key to our success.”

For more information about Shamrock’s 30th anniversary, contact Stephen Roth at (913) 890-6654 or sroth(at)shamrocktradingcorp(dot)com.

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Stephen Roth
Shamrock Trading Corporation

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