Kimps Ace Rental Place was founded in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1940 as Kimps Hardware and Propane Service. It’s continued in the Kimps family through the generations since. In 1989, they added rental and power equipment to their services, and in 2001, doubled the size of their business to accommodate their growing market. Now run by Craig and Clint Kimps, the third and fourth generations of the family, they have one of the largest rental operations in the Ace Hardware co-op.
Because they’re focused on two businesses – a hardware store and a rental businesses, it was difficult to focus on both equally. The rental side of the business had grown quickly in recent years, and Craig and Clint decided they needed to reset, have someone from the rental industry come in, and work with them to optimize their processes.
While attending Point of Rental’s International Conference in late 2022, they heard about the company’s plans to start a business consulting department, leveraging the company’s deep rental roots. Clint signed up and Kimps Ace Rental Place became one of Point of Rental’s first business consulting customers.
On a couple of qualifying calls, the Point of Rental consulting team worked with Clint and Craig to determine what they were hoping to achieve, what they felt their problems were, and to establish whether or not consulting was a good fit for Kimps. Then they arranged a site visit so the consultant could engage with staff on-site, hear their challenges, and observe processes.
At the end of the visit, Clint and Craig got a personalized, prioritized “laundry list” of notes and action items that the team at Kimps Ace Rental Place could implement, both immediately and over time.
Even before the on-site visit, Point of Rental consultants identified parts of the software that the Kimpses were paying for but not using. Then they worked with Clint and Craig to identify which could be removed, which should be used more and how to best get value out of them.
On-site, the consultant made some changes to their computer system to make things more efficient, but the biggest value was gained outside of the software, using the consultant’s experience working with hundreds of rental businesses of all sizes.
“He said, ‘You guys need to start getting a mechanic in training; your mechanic is a little bit older – he’s phenomenal, one of the best I’ve ever seen – but what happens when he retires? What are you going to do? How are you going to attack it?’,” said Clint. “That’s not something that someone who just walks in knowing computers is going to be able to tell you.”
From software tips to personnel advice, the Kimps team found it valuable just to have that extra set of eyes on their business. The written list of priorities that Point of Rental provided has helped set the team in the right direction moving forward.
“Now we’re dialed in, we know where we’re going, y’know…we know the future of our rental department and how to get there,” Clint said.
Clint would recommend Point of Rental’s business consulting to anyone, but think it’s especially beneficial for small businesses like Kimps Ace Rental Place:
“Don’t think you’re too small for it, because you’re not,” said Clint. “The smaller you are, the more you’re probably going to get out of it because you don’t use everything now as you should.”