Wisconsin fleet in the ‘mutual success’ business

From supplying vehicles to meeting its fleet’s service needs, the focus at Kriete Leasing & Rental is on collaboration with suppliers and customers.

“We can do things differently because being part of the Kriete Group’s dealership network has provided proven pathways,” said Mike Blimling, operations and fleet maintenance manager.

“We have experienced sales professionals who know what solutions are available and what will work best, especially for specialized operations,” Blimling added. “Our ability in niche areas is helpful for a wide array of businesses that need trucks for different applications.”

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Headquartered in Milwaukee, Kriete Leasing & Rental operates from 10 locations across the state. The company provides 1,238 Classes 5-8 Mack, Volvo, and Hino trucks and tractors, including box and reefer units, and day cab and sleeper tractors. Its lease customers are primarily companies with an average of 10 to 12 trucks, while it also meets seasonal and rental needs for a range of businesses.

“We have customers who operate specialized units such as dump bodies, roll-off containers, auto haulers, and food-grade tankers,” Blimling said. “We’re also deeply involved in the specification and upfitting of liftgates, PTOs, and hydraulic systems. By working with our partners, we have more to offer.”

Collaboration with suppliers is also critical for meeting maintenance needs. “We can’t always be experts on all vehicles, but we are responsible for their service,” I explained. “Keeping lines of communication open and having those relationships is necessary.”

The complexities of providing service for many specialized and customized units can be formidable. There are 10 scheduled services for trucks at different intervals and several triggers for when service is required. There are basic to full contract service programs for standard, heavy-duty, and severe-duty vehicles that can be based on days, hours, or mileage.

About two-thirds of the service needs for the Kriete Leasing & Rental fleet are met by Kriete Group dealers. The remainder, mostly tire and road services, are overseen by preferred vendors, while major outside providers also include other dealers and truck stop chains.

“We aren’t the service provider; we’re the middleman,” Blimling said. “Our service expertise remains in the Kriete dealerships, so we partner with their service departments. By working with our corporate partners, we have more to offer, and that enables all parts of the organization to focus on playing to their strengths.”

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“Speed ​​of repair is our main concern, so Kriete locations are always our first choice,” he said. “That has value to the Kriete Group as a whole, but our primary obligation is to our customers, so we’re always focused on finding the fastest route to keeping their vehicles serviced without any unnecessary downtime.”

To communicate with internal and external service departments, Kriete Leasing & Rental is using web-based management platforms developed by Decisiv for OEM dealer networks such as ASIST from Mack and Volvo and Hino Case Management. Behind the scenes, Kriete is using SRM Sentinel, Decisiv’s fleet asset-management and service provider managed-care application.

“SRM Sentinel for managing all scheduled maintenance for every asset in our fleet allows us to work with all of our service intervals, and it makes tracking easier,” Blimling said. “With the application, maintenance advisers in different operating territories receive notifications about units that are due for service that can immediately be turned into appointment requests and schedules.”

Telematics integrations that provide mileage updates and active fault code notifications through SRM Sentinel allow it to respond in real-time as well. The platform also serves as a means of tracking contacts with customers about upcoming service needs and setting up times and locations for service.

“Data and analytics through SRM Sentinel are also beneficial,” Blimling said. “We’ve used it to build customized dashboards and track metrics on PM currency and even aging, and it gives us the ability to produce uptime availability reports for customers.”

Beyond providing vehicles and maintenance services, Kriete collaborates with customers in other areas, such as holding safety seminars and helping analyze fuel use and operating strategies, he said.

“The majority of our lease and rental customers aren’t in the transportation business, so we try to provide as much support as possible,” Blimling added. “It’s all part of a relationship that drives their success and ours.”

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