FASTVend? Wow! Check out this newfangled vending machine!

FASTVendBy Kip Phillips, National Integration Manager for Kenton Brothers Systems for Security

We’re in the service and installation business—designing, installing and repairing commercial security systems. Our security technicians needed a quick and efficient way to get products and tools to help them do their work in a timely manner instead of spending wasted hours at a big box store searching for supplies.

After trying various methods to have in-house access to many common installation materials for our technicians to use during installations, we’ve implemented the Fastenal Vending Solution. Our installations require various materials from electrical tape, screws, conduit, boxes, drill bits, hole saws, tie-wraps and many more types of items and tools.

The FASTVend System

FASTVendThe FASTVend system provides access-controlled cabinets, lockers and vending machines to hold the exact parts we need for our installations. By having the parts available via access control, we can track the quantity of each item being used and which truck or project the parts are being used for.

Our technicians appreciate having the convenience of picking up their installation materials at the same time they are picking up system equipment at the KB office. This saves them so much time when compared to how we used to do things. (Traveling to supply houses to get parts and specialty tools.) This is a win/win because it also saves KB some of our labor costs. It also saves our project managers and staff in purchasing time because they don’t have to preorder basic install consumables for each project.

FASTVend includes weekly restocking of the material we use.

Fastenal receives automated reports of each item consumed.

Initially, as a group, the technicians listed the standard items they prefer for installations. After refining and consolidating the list of standard materials, Fastenal set up the machines in our warehouse. User codes were programmed into the system for each technician.

The initial list wasn’t an exhaustive list. Now that the system has been in place for a few weeks, the technicians have had a chance to add items they would like to see included in the vending machines. Building a complete inventory of items, and organizing them in an efficient manner, takes time and a collaborative effort.

Keeping the Trucks Stocked

FASTVendOur technicians use the vending machine system to keep their trucks stocked with basic consumable tools and installation materials as well as materials specific to ongoing projects. In the future, we’ll be able to use the locker system to receive drop offs of new tools. And we will place broken tools and dull drill bits in the locker system for pick up and repair by Fastenal employees.

This new system has significantly cut down on the amount of receipts and paid invoices we had to keep track of as new projects were started. (We aren’t in the business of storing paper…)

We still have room for improvement in utilizing this vending machine concept. But the FASTVend system is a game changer that’s already proving its value to our organization!


Bar K – It’s Like Top Golf for Dogs!

Bar K Bar K

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers.

Kenton Brother’s offices are dog friendly, so we’re used to being surrounded by our canine kids. And we love to have company events outside the office. So we decided to join the two… Kenton Brothers latest investment in fun took us to the hot new dog/human social club positioned on a two acre tract of ground on the shore of the Missouri River at 501 Berkley Parkway.

Kenton Brothers: Bar K Team Outing

It’s called Bar K. (Bar for humans, Bark for dogs, get it?)

Bar K brings community minded people and their dogs together to share connections in a joyful and creative space.

Many of our peeps brought their significant pups… of all shapes and sizes. Some of our clan included Maggie, Hershey, Vespa, Boomer and Piper. In addition to great food and drinks, there were ice water stations, agility courses, puppy play spaces, adoption events in their Petfinder Park, and lots of room to run and wrestle with the other doggy guests.

Bar K is touted as the happiest place on earth. And we agree! Our team had a fantastic evening together surrounded by dogs. Thanks for a great event venue!

Kenton Brothers: Bar K Team Outing

Motion Detection + Video Surveillance = Frederick the Racoon Being Caught

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager at Kenton Brothers.

Having an intrusion system is critical to protecting your property. At Kenton Brothers, we’ve recently found the importance of making sure there’s a video feed that is compatible with your intrusion system. By having motion detection utilizing your video system, you can catch intruders much more quickly.

Fun with FrederickLate one night in August, our CEO, Gina Stuelke, got an alert that there was movement in one of our warehouses. We took a look at our cameras that are tied to our motion detection intrusion system, and sure enough we had an intruder… of the four legged variety! A cute, snuggly little raccoon, (which we later adopted and named Frederick) had started to make a home in our warehouse.

We called in the boys in blue from Blue Beetle Pest Control to set up a couple of humane traps, and sure enough we caught him overnight. As we came to work that morning, nearly the whole office staff looked in on our little furry friend. Later that day, we released him in a nearby wooded area so he could resume a happy and healthy lifestyle outside of the KB Pickle Ball Court.

It was only through our intrusion system that we were able to catch Frederick so quickly and get him to a more appropriate home and minimizing damage to our facility. But we’re going to miss his cute face!

Kenton Brothers Systems for Security Product Brochure Wins a 2019 Fountain Award

Can We Pick Our Partners or Can We Pick Them?

2019 Fountain Award for Kenton Brothers Security BrochureSpring is awards season. The Oscars… The Grammies… And, Kansas City has its own versions, especially in the advertising and marketing world. For any award, the winning work usually is a collaboration between partners who toil, sweat and go back and forth as they work toward their vision.

We didn’t make a blockbuster movie or record a top ten song with our advertising agency partner, but we did create a pretty slick marketing brochure that won a fancy advertising award.

The Kenton Brothers Security Product Brochure

Our security product brochure received a 2019 Fountain Award at the ANA Business Marketing and AMA of Kansas City (AMAKC) annual Fountain Awards ceremony held on March 7th at 2016 Main Event Space.

EAG Advertising & Marketing, our agency, submitted the brochure and was in attendance to accept the award. Fountain Award submissions are judged equally on creative, production, objective/strategy and results. Submission categories include advertising, brand identity, sales enablement, event marketing, public relations, internal marketing, integrated program, content, video and all forms of digital marketing.

To match the custom nature of our security solutions, we wanted a brochure that would stand out as well. Our brochure serves as a sales leave-behind for our team to share with clients. It communicates our overall brand value, leading with the concept that our solutions protect your people, property and possessions.

Design, Message and History

Design-wise, the brochure is a custom creation. The way it’s designed is to have two sections open at the front, symbolizing our ability to protect what’s inside.

Message-wise, it focuses on our primary security solutions, while the back of the brochure features a nostalgic nod to our 4th generation family-owned business history, along with the evolution to today’s technology and the consistency of the person-to-person service.

Our award-winning brochure perfectly reflects who we are and what we do. It’s an honor that top marketing associations in Kansas City think so, too.

EAG Design our Security Products Brochure and it won a 2019 Fountain Award

Thelma’s Kitchen – the first ‘donate what you can’ café in Kansas City.

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

Restoration ServicesPart of the KB team went on a field trip this week to visit Father Justin Mathews, Executive Director of Reconciliation Services at 31st and Troost.

Reconciliation Services

Since Kenton Brothers’ move from the Crossroads to the East side of Kansas City, we’ve been seeking an organization to partner with to develop our community relationships. We found Reconciliation Services to be an incredible organization doing powerful work in the heart of Kansas City. We learned about the racial and economic division that Troost Avenue symbolizes in our city’s history.

Restoration ServicesAccording to Fr. Justin, in order to be the city we aspire to be, we have to get Troost right. It’s going to take more than poverty programs to heal this division in Kansas City. Fr. Justin is adamant, “It’s not enough to address the blight of the buildings only. We must also address the blight of the heart. It’s going to take true reconciliation.”

Their website reports that Kansas City is one of the top five most economically and racially segregated cities in America according to a recent study. In Kansas City, 23% of African Americans live below the poverty line compared to only 6% of whites. While these disparities have been persistent, they need not be permanent.

Last year, RS staff and hundreds of volunteers worked together to build relationships and care for 5,150 men, women, and children living in poverty, mostly on the east side of our city. Since the 1980’s Reconciliation Services’ goal has been to transform Troost from a dividing line into a gathering place, a place of healing and comfort. A place where guests, volunteers, and staff can come and find their strength.

Thelma’s Kitchen

Thelma's KitchenWe enjoyed lunch at Thelma’s Kitchen – the first ‘donate what you can’ café in Kansas City. Thelma’s Kitchen was created to meet the need for affordable, high quality, nutritious food access and to bring people together as a community gathering place. Thelma’s Kitchen is an alternative lunch spot for every category of people, working, non-working, students, and families to enjoy a great meal in a caring atmosphere and donate whatever payment your heart directs you.

I’ll be returning to Thelma’s to host some of my business lunches – and in lieu of paying a national chain for a lunch meal, I’ll donate that money to Thelma’s Kitchen, a community organization to help be a part of the change for good in our neighborhood. What a great concept!

There are a variety of ways, we as business leaders can collaborate with Reconciliation Services to affect positive change in Kansas City. In addition, they offer an entire continuum of care including social services, mental health services and economic building services to build social and financial community capital.

I encourage you to check them out, reach out to Fr. Justin and schedule a visit and a meal at Thelma’s Kitchen—it’s good for the soul. #kbway #donatewhatyoucan

Thelma's Kitchen Thelma's Kitchen Thelma's Kitchen Thelma's Kitchen