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With nine branches across the country, Krinkels is one of the biggest landscape contractors in the Netherlands. Every day, some 600 employees of Krinkels are out and about to keep town and country liveable. Boels has been the leasing partner of Krinkels since 2019; before that, the company had always purchased its machines. This all changed last month, when a major equipment changeover took place at three branches. This entailed replacing no fewer than 1,500 machines and parts with brand new products after the renewal of the lease contract. Time to take a closer look at one of the bigger leasing contracts of Boels Lease.
Our appointment is at the Avantis Business Park that crosses the Dutch-German border, where the team of contractor Theo Roodink is on the job. The outdoor space that the Krinkels branch in Heerlen maintains is huge. Standing in this part of the business park, with its beautiful clean water encircled by neatly mown grass and landscaped trees and plants, you hardly notice that you’re on an industrial estate. The team is busy with pruning the greenery. At the centre of the job is the sustainable solar-powered site hut, from where all the work is done.
The full product range
The new three-year lease contract with Krinkels is mostly made up of hand tools. These include brush cutters, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, battery packs and harnesses. But Krinkels also uses the complete Boels rental range of aerial work platforms, mini excavators and wheel loaders. Jeron Boellaard, regional director of Krinkels, is very pleased with this partnership.
“Yes, absolutely. We’ve been working together for years and are really happy. Especially the nationwide coverage, the knowledge and service, complete care, the accessibility and the pleasant contact we have with Boels, both with the people at the Boels Lease Desk and at the depots, are deciding factors for us to keep this partnership going“
The main priority of Boels Lease is providing complete care, which is the key added value compared to buying these products. “Whether you buy or lease doesn’t make a huge difference, but the real benefit for us is the total care package that Boels gives afterwards. We don’t have to carry out inspections and do major maintenance. Boels takes care of servicing, informing our staff and processing any damage claims. And, just like us, they have national coverage and lots of in-house knowledge, particularly in electric power. And if something doesn’t work or we quickly need a standard rental item, for example an aerial platform after storm damage, they are very fast in solving it for us. Now that’s a partner we like doing business with.”
Swapping tools where the old machines are replaced by new ones is a massive job in terms of logistics, says Natascha Zaad of the Boels Lease & Tender desk. “A changeover on this scale isn’t your everyday job. In fact, this swap at Krinkels has been the biggest for us so far.” How does a project like this work?
This specific contract covered three of Krinkels’ nine branches: in Alkmaar, Wouw and Heerlen. Preparations start just under a year before the end of the three-year contract. Natascha and her team then sit down with the people at Krinkels to discuss a new three-year contract and its specific requirements. “Together with the client, we look at what they want, what worked and what didn’t. Where heavier machines need to go, for instance, or new models or upgrades. Based on these talks we decide on the product range, agree on the pricing and get to work to deliver all the equipment on time.”
And that last point was immediately one of the biggest challenges. “We want to ensure continuity for our clients. After all, they need to be sure they can keep working as usual. This means delivering all the new equipment to every branch in one day, and picking up all old machines in that same week. It’s honestly a huge logistical feat by our people in Purchasing, the Central Warehouse and the Boels depots who, in the end, are the ones who deliver and collect.”
Ready for immediate use
The new machines are ready for operation on delivery. The regional branch makes sure all batteries are fully charged and that the Krinkels stickers are correctly placed, so that the machines are ready to go. A definite advantage is the nationwide coverage of Boels. “Our depots that serve a Krinkels branch are set up so that we can ensure the best possible service and knowledge. The Krinkels and Boels staff in that region know each other well, which creates a bond and brings nothing but advantages”, according to Natascha.
Other challenges are related to changing to a new brand and further electrifying the equipment. It had been decided that the range, which is mostly electric, would consist only of Husqvarna machines. “It did take some getting used to for our staff, but I’m pretty sure the men are convinced now. Certainly because of the manufacturer’s and Boels Lease’s excellent after-sales service. We can always call the Boels Lease desk, who work together with Husqvarna to provide periodic toolbox sessions on site. That results in fewer cases of damage and higher acceptance, a real win-win situation”, Jeron says.
Appreciation on the job
This viewpoint is confirmed by the foreman, Theo, while we sit down for a sandwich in the Boels site hut. “Those instructions on the use and maintenance are very useful. Our staff are informed in a clear and pleasant way on the proper and most ergonomic way to work with the tools. That’s really good and we feel very appreciated by Boels Lease and the brand.” In the new lease contract, most of the machines are electric. While speaking with Theo, it becomes clear that 80-90% of employees have accepted electrification. “That’s definitely