Canadian Rental Association
CRA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: October 2014
By Marc Mandin
Every one of us has different reasons for being part of the Canadian Rental Association as our needs vary as much as the weather across our great country.
By Marc Mandin
Every one of us has different reasons for being part of the Canadian Rental Association as our needs vary as much as the weather across our great country. For some, the driving force is saving money on insurance. For others, it is access to the trade shows for the season’s best pricing on equipment. Whatever your reasons for signing up originally, there are some hidden benefits that a few of us get to experience first-hand.
When we join the association, we all get the experience of being part of something larger than our store. When you attend a trade show, particularly one the size of the ARA’s Rental Show, you become part of an event sure to provide insights into new trends in your industry. You gain the opportunity to ask questions about new products that can grow your business and, on occasion, even swap your favorite rental-gone-wrong story with a fellow rental person. If you have ever attended a show where you did not walk away more knowledgeable than when you walked in, I would venture to say you were not trying hard enough that day.
A more obscure benefit you will not find on any list is that you belong to a very unique group of people who are by their very nature primed to help you, if and when needed. Unless you are a very obnoxious individual, you will find almost all rental people will offer a helping hand if you just ask. Not only have I experienced this willingness to answer queries first hand, but I am also always taken aback when people from outside the rental industry are shocked at the co-operative nature of almost everyone in the business. Suppliers and members within this industry — not only when dealing vendor-to-store-owner, but also between competitors — have relationships truly unique to rentals. I long ago lost track of the number of people who have commented, “You would never see that kind of interaction and sharing of ideas in my industry.”
Think of how many times you have seen people within this industry reach out to fellow rental operators stricken by floods, fire or other natural disasters. I have met people who loaned portions of their fleet to fellow operators to help get them back on their feet with no expectations in return. Vendors have been known to bend the rules on occasion as well to help a family recover their livelihood. Most of this is done behind the scenes, without any fanfare, because it is what we as rental people do. We help others on a daily basis.
As your rental association, while we may not have the financial resources on hand to swoop in on a white horse, cheque in hand, when these situations arise, we can be called upon to rally the troops and help co-ordinate recovery efforts. Some of this took place on a small scale last year in Alberta after the big floods and after the disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Que. If you ever encounter or become aware of a fellow rental operator who falls upon hard times, please contact head office or a member of your local. Together, we can accomplish much more than you might imagine.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone that both Jenna and Nathalie are settled into our new Head Office location in Stoney Creek, Ont., and available to help you in any way they can. Say you need details on our latest CRA Video Contest, for example. The new direct phone line is 905-643-2333, the toll free number is 844-643-2333 and the fax number is 905-643-3999. If you are in the neighbourhood, you may even be able to pop by and say hello. For those members close by, please plan to attend the open house slated for October 15. You can now get up-to-date information on all the latest and upcoming CRA happenings on our website at crarental.org .
Marc Mandin is COO of 4-Way Equipment Rentals in Edmonton and national president for the Canadian Rental Association.