Canadian Rental Association
CRA President’s Message: The keys to change
By Mike Maltby
Change. If you’re not familiar with that word, I’m sure a quick Google search should give you plenty of funny memes (or inspirational quotes, if that’s your thing), so I won’t bother adding one here.
By Mike Maltby
Change is coming for this industry on many fronts in the coming year, and your association is positioning itself to help you adapt to all of them.
The coming year promises to be a challenging time for compliance with regulations. Adapting to legal use of marijuana across the country, changes in employment standards legislation in Alberta and Ontario, changes to minimum wages in most of Canada – rental businesses will have their hands full. Of course, companies will have continued challenges complying with rules for fuels handling, heat and fire/building codes along with the unknowns of whatever election year promises materialize as Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick residents go to the polls.
Those changes come from outside, but change seems to be accelerating inside our industry, as well. The digital world continues to take over. Connecting with your market online seems to get more important every year and new online rental businesses that don’t have counters or showrooms are popping up all the time. You can already buy many kinds of construction equipment that can be operated remotely, and fully autonomous models look to be right around the corner with self-driving trucks and other vehicles. There was a video online recently of a device like a big 3D printer building an entire house out of concrete with no human labour. Will these changes present challenges or opportunities or both?
Canadian Rental Association members are well positioned to share experiences with each other and collectively adapt to whatever the reality will be for business in the future. To that end members should get involved. Attend your local meetings and network with others in the industry. In addition, your provincial directors, association staff and the executive team are available to answer any rental-related question you may have.
Members should also be filling their calendars and planning to attend the regional trade shows in Surrey, B.C., (Jan. 19 and 20), Moncton, N.B., (Feb. 10), Edmonton (March 10), and Drummondville, Que., (March 27 and 28), as well as the Ontario Awards Banquet (March 6) held in conjunction with the Canadian Rental Mart (March 6 and 7). All of these events will allow plenty of time for members to interact with other members. The association staff, executive team and provincial directors will be on hand at all of these events as well and we’d love to talk with you about how your association can better support your business.
If you are not currently a member or know someone who isn’t, we’ve got another great reason to join now. Through our partnership with the American Rental Association, any rental business that becomes a member of the Canadian Rental Association before February 21 will receive one free full registration (a US$399 value) to The Rental Show 2018 in New Orleans. Just make sure that if you take advantage of the offer you take some time to attend the Canadian Hospitality Event at Generation Hall.
Until next time, happy renting and I hope to see you at the shows!
Mike Maltby is vice-president of Ingersoll Rent-All in Ingersoll, Ont. He’s been in the rental industry all his life. Mike has been a fixture at CRA Ontario events since beginning his time with the association in 2006, and looks forward to connecting with CRA members nationally in the coming years.