If you stretch your imagination just a bit, you might envision an office at Kissick Construction headquarters that looks a bit like an air traffic control center. Multiple, large screen monitors on the walls. Hundreds of electronic, color-coded graphics displayed with grids of detailed information. Live security feeds of footage from numerous locations throughout the company. But it’s not airplanes that are being tracked here. It’s a fleet of construction equipment all carefully monitored and tracked by one very talented person.

Meet Rick White. White is the “equipment traffic controller” at Kissick Construction. His actual title is equipment manager and he is responsible for the planning, coordination, and maintenance of every piece of equipment used by Kissick Construction. This multifaceted role includes the overseeing of equipment repair schedules, logistics and field schedules, and the tracking of inventory, materials and parts. He also advises the company on the acquisition and/or leasing of equipment needed for every project site.

What makes White special in this role, though, is his incredible attention to detail and his respect for the industry as a whole. As a valued partner for Kissick Construction, his position fulfills a critical aspect of the company’s profitability and growth. Working together with the leadership team, White contributes valuable and timely information required to determine project costs, capital budgeting and strategic planning.

Team Lead

Rick White

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RICK WHITE | Equipment Manager


About

Rick White brings over 20 years of fleet management experience to the task of maintaining Kissick’s fleet of over 300 pieces of equipment both in our 24,000 square foot maintenance building and in the field. His organizational skills and attention to detail keep our fleet as one of the most respected in the region.

Fun Fact

I love the outdoors and travel.

Watching over every piece of equipment is not an easy task at Kissick Construction. The Kissick fleet is generous for its market size, and includes nearly 500 pieces of equipment, 300 of which are large assets, with many valued in the six-figure range. With each passing year, Kissick continues to add to the ever expanding fleet, with over 90% of the equipment owned by the company.

The supervision and mentorship of his team adds yet another aspect to White’s role. Both the service and maintenance managers, who are his left and right hands, help oversee the fleet on a daily basis. They assist with taking repair calls from the field and manage the fueling, greasing, and oil changes that are required to keep the equipment running 24/7.

Growing into the Role

White began his career at Kissick Construction fifteen years ago as a mechanic, but was quickly recognized for his organizational and supervisory skills as well. Within five years, as he continued to “fill holes that needed to be filled,” his work evolved into becoming Kissick Construction’s full-time equipment manager. At that time, White would track the Kissick fleet using magnetic white boards. Each board contained magnets that represented individual pieces of equipment that he would manually move from board to board to show where the asset was being utilized. One white board quickly grew to three. And on Fridays, he would take pictures of the boards to show management where the equipment was located in order to better calculate the overall cost of each project.

Contrast that to today. With the help of sophisticated, state-of-the-art software, White is able to monitor and track all of the equipment and machinery that Kissick owns and/or leases in real time. His daily reports show where assets are located, the costs and rental fees associated with those assets, and their availability for future projects.

“Although our tracking software is truly amazing, there was something satisfying about moving magnets from one white board to another,” says White smiling. “But today’s electronic version provides me with exceptional attention to detail that covers multiple layers of variables.”

Knowledge of all types of equipment and machinery is a necessity for White in order to advise leadership on what new assets need to be purchased and or leased. Kissick Construction’s President, Pete Browne, and the late Jim Kissick were fiercely loyal to the vendors who helped them get started, and White feels that same passion. He chooses to honor the relationships that Browne and Kissick developed, while at the same time, vetting financial numbers and grooming relationships for the long run. “Loyalty pays dividends on the backside when help is needed at a moment’s notice,” says White. “Providers have only a certain amount of equipment to provide, which necessitates using multiple vendors when timely help is needed.”

Kissick Proud

White takes pride in the reputation that Browne and Kissick built over the years at Kissick Construction. “Contractors call on us because they know we will do what we say, even if it is last minute.” It’s exciting for White to tackle the daily challenges inherent in his role, which may involve maneuvering drivers and equipment at a moment’s notice. “I enjoy the pace we run at, and enjoy that the pace is increasing all the time,” says White. It’s not uncommon to move people and equipment to new locations even before it’s made official in the office.

“Contractors in our area know that we will arrive on time, do the job well and to a very high standard. Maybe that’s what attributes to my short hair,” says White smiling. White has learned a lot about himself over the years as equipment manager, and believes he is a much better person and better at his job because he’s confident in knowing he can be “thrown into the fire” to find last minute solutions to challenging situations. A predictable work week is definitely not in his cards.

White will tell you he enjoys coming to work each day. And when asked what was his favorite part of the job, the answer came after a slight pause: “the unknown of each day.” That’s one thing Kissick Construction can guarantee him as the company continues to grow in the role as one of Kansas City’s leading construction firms. And thanks to White, the field teams know that the right equipment will be available when and wherever the need arises.