Canadian Rental Association
CRA President’s Message September 2015
By David Mintenko
It is hard to believe once again that summer is in its twilight stages. Don’t blink too quick or it will be gone completely. I have always found September to be a great time to start action plans and following through on the – wait for it – winter season.
By David Mintenko
It is not just time to go through the annual heater inspections, inventory and servicing. If you live in my neck of the woods, it also means filling out and submitting heater permit forms. It is also a time to look at the rest of the accessories that go with heater rentals: tarps, regulators, ducts, extension cords, thermostats, etc. Another issue to consider: are all your people trained and certified where necessary? Fall is a great opportunity to review, revise and update your company training matrix.
If you do not have a matrix in place, now is a great time to start one. It enables you to track your employee’s training records and due dates much more efficiently. If employees are due for refreshers you can tie their re-training in with training workshops that you can open up to your customers. These are great promotional and networking tools, and not just for employees and customers. Getting your suppliers involved in either helping to run them or having them do the training just strengthens relationships.
The fall season is just not about tuning up the heaters; your place of business should also be given a thorough inspection. Furnaces, yard, plug-ins, building doors, windows and roofs are all items that are much easier to attend to when the temperatures are in the low- to mid-teens and not 40-below. You also have to look back to personnel. Do they have or need heavier winter gear (parkas, headwear ,boots, gloves)? Is there any specific winter-based PPE they may require? Another imperative item is winter servicing of company vehicles: tires, winter fluids, wipers and winter emergency survival kits being the vital items. It never hurts to have a seasonal business orientation plan in place, something I have to admit needs working on within my branch. If you are unsure of some of the items to address, consult your suppliers and fellow rental store owners through the CRA. They are all there to support you.
Fall is also time for many locals to re-connect with fellow members, catch up on everyone’s summer activities and set up the schedules for fall and winter meetings. A few, if not most, of the locals will be holding elections. It is a great time for recruitment as most individuals will be back at work or in their offices now that vacation time is over. It is also a good time to plan for the 2016 trade show season. Are you planning on joining your Canadian counterparts in Atlanta for the 50th anniversary of the ARA’s Rental Show? What about all the local trade shows?
On the recruitment side, I would encourage all CRA members to get out there and bang on any new doors in your communities. Or re-visit old ones that may be looking for a resurgence. Now is the time to put on your marketing hat. Lean on the national CRA office for support. They are there to help and promote your local. If you are a member and have never entertained the thought of serving as a board member, now is the time to seriously put consideration into doing so. Fresh faces and ideas are always a welcome sight to existing boards.
September is also meeting time for the CRA national board. This year the B.C. members get to host. I am looking forward to getting your feedback on items discussed and implemented at these meetings. I am also excited to be welcoming several new and energetic faces to the board in Vancouver.
I wish all of you a great and productive fall season. Let’s hope for more sunny hot weather until December 24.
In closing I need to pay a tribute to a long time colleague and very special person who passed away after a lengthy illness at the age of 62 on July 19. Garry Martens worked in the rental industry for more than 30 years with Wyatt Rentals and Hertz Equipment Rental. He was a dedicated individual whose work ethic was an example to all that met and worked with him. My heartfelt condolences to his family. I will miss him very much.
Dave Mintenko is senior branch manager of Hertz Equipment Rentals in Winnipeg and national president of the Canadian Rental Association. He has been in the rental business for 35 years.