Canadian Rental Service

CRA President’s Message: December 2011

By Wayne Beckett CRA president   

Canadian Rental Association

To stay on track, just go in a circle.

To stay on track, just go in a circle.

It really is quite simple, isn’t it? You buy some stuff, find somebody who needs to use it, give it to him to get his job done and then charge him for the use of it. Then the process starts all over again. What could be easier? Maybe winning the lottery. We know it is really not quite that simple but it is not rocket science either. It is called the rental circle.

If you start off with good-quality equipment, well-trained staff, a good service department and repair facility, and keep your tools and equipment clean and well maintained, then you have it figured out. If you take shortcuts or fail at any one of these steps in the circle, that is where the problems begin. As owners and managers, you have to make sure the policies and procedures are in place to keep the circle strong, valued and understood by your staff. There have been many, many articles written about this, but if you just think of it as this circle that you cannot get to the end of unless you go all the way around you will avoid many mistakes that can cause you to lose customers and money.

Our company recently conducted an in-house customer satisfaction survey by telephone to about 300 of our rental customers. Although the results were not very surprising, it does reinforce what I was talking about earlier. We did break the rental circle with some of our customers and now we know for sure it had an impact. It may not show up immediately but it will sooner or later. The telephone survey may be an old-fashioned way of getting information from your customers but it may also be the best. I think people like personal contact when it comes to surveys, especially if it is a local company where they know their opinions matter.


Now the trick is to do something with this newfound information. We need to make sure it gets to those who make decisions and that it is followed through. Many companies use the Internet to conduct their surveys because it is quick, simple and inexpensive. The Canadian Rental Association is looking at doing just this. We want to find out your views or concerns so we can see what we can do better or what we can offer to make you feel better about your membership. When you see it, please take the time to fill it out and make your views known.

After being in the rental business for 25 years, I have often thought I should write a book titled Wayne’s World, the Rental School of Hard Knocks. I did seem to learn my lessons the hard and expensive way, but those are the ones that tend to stick with you better, especially when it is your time and money that you are wasting. I have tried to take in every meeting I could, stop at every rental store I came across, and read every one of the rental magazines that came to me. It is a never-ending education, I guess. If you have a passion for what you do, you will always want to learn more and be better at it. You can spot those people who have a passion for the rental industry, and you can also rest assured that we have many of them on our board representing you at the top level.

This is my final report for Canadian Rental Service magazine and I have enjoyed writing these articles each month. Even though Patrick’s deadlines got stretched most months I hope I have written something of interest in each issue and even stirred up some controversy on occasion. I have even thought about writing something really controversial just to see if anyone reads the columns, but, alas, I held back. I have always said that this magazine is one of the best values for your membership dollars in the CRA. Patrick and Ed do a great job of representing our industry in this publication and it is always worth your time to read it.

[Editor’s note: Cheque is in the mail, Wayne.]

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