XTRA Lease, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, offers trailers for rent and lease to for-hire and private motor carriers as well as logistics providers through more than 85 U.S., Canadian and Mexican branch locations. The company fields nearly 125,000 over-the-road and storage trailers for daily rentals, term leases, leases with purchase options, and sales of pre-owned equipment. Equipment includes vans, reefers, flatbeds, storage trailers and specialty trailer models.
XTRA Lease’s primary objective was to focus on new customer requirements at each of its company locations, according to Steve Zaborowski, Senior Vice President at XTRA Lease. The company sought technology that would enable it to get closer to its customers and meet its supply chain needs more effectively by supporting real-time electronic inventory information. Goals of the project also included reducing transaction costs and gaining the ability to support more customers.
“We developed a system that would drive process improvements throughout our branch operations,” Zaborowski said. “XTRA Xpress service, a mobility solution, was designed to deliver significant improvements to operational efficiency and improved service to our customers. We needed to save time internally by completing the core tasks performed thousands of times at our branches each day more efficiently. And we needed to deliver new services to our customers, making it faster and easier for them to do business with XTRA Lease.”
To enable these improvements, XTRA Lease developed an application for handheld computers, allowing the company to complete all customer transactions and trailer inventories electronically. The next challenge was installing and implementing it, “and it had to be done in a cost-effective manner,” Zaborowski added. The application required wireless network installations in each of the U.S. and Canadian branches so the handheld computers could communicate with XTRA Lease’s legacy system.
To meet its mobility rollout project management and technology deployment needs, XTRA Lease turned to industry leader Velociti, Inc.
For the XTRA Xpress rollout, Velociti helped XTRA Lease develop specifications for wireless hardware and was responsible for setting up the wireless 802.11b infrastructure needed for mobility computing in all U.S. and Canadian XTRA Lease branches. Over an eight-month rollout schedule, Velociti ensured that the wireless network antenna systems were installed in the proper location at each branch, including custom configured installations for every facility.
“Velociti’s work affected 80 branches and helped set us up for the successful rollout of the service in each location,” Zaborowski said. “Velociti showed great flexibility in meeting the requirements of the installation. During the course of the project as well, Velociti discovered other technical improvements we could make. For example, two locations weren’t grounded, so they provided the appropriate recommendations. “Velociti delivered the installations on schedule and they effectively readied the branches for 802.11b communications so that our XTRA Xpress service could be introduced on time,” Zaborowski added. “Each branch met its scheduled rollout date, thanks, in large part, to a quality installation of the wireless network.”
For XTRA Lease, according to Zaborowski, Velociti delivered what it promised at a very competitive cost. The company provided a quality installation of the wireless infrastructure, enabling XTRA Lease to launch each branch rollout of the XTRA Xpress service on time. Velociti also provided detailed reports of the completed installations, including specifics for each branch.
“Velociti communicated extremely well about any issues needing attention,” Zaborowski noted, “plus they offered great access should there be any problem. A lot of companies can produce a network, but in this case, we were looking at a project that extended over a longer timeline, involving dozens of branches with installations based in highly industrial areas. We had to make sure we had the appropriate expertise to handle the job. We had that with Velociti.”