Editorial: December 2010
By Mike Davey
Things might be looking up for the rental business
By Mike Davey
Things might be looking up for the rental business. I’m basing this on my horseback analysis of press releases coming out from a lot of the major suppliers, and some of the bigger national chains, both here and in the United States.
In a nutshell, profits appear to be up for the third quarter of 2010. Although some companies did post a loss, it was less than the loss posted for the third quarter of 2009.
This matches up quite well with a report prepared for the American Rental Association (ARA) by IHS Global Insight, an economic forecasting firm. Although it focuses specifically on the U.S. market, much of what is said can also be applied to Canada.
“The Outlook report indicates that the worst may be over for the equipment rental industry,” said Christine Wehrman, CEO, American Rental Association. “The U.S. economy is proving its resilience with growth returning to many sectors. However, construction spending con-tinues to lag behind the rest of the economy. While construction spending is weak, spending on rental is beginning to grow and is leading the way in the construction space. We see the equipment rental industry gaining momentum in 2010 and 2011, with significant growth moving into 2012. These are positive signs for the entire economy as manufacturers, service providers and other vendors begin their budget planning for 2011 in the coming weeks and months.
“Although nonresidential construction, state and local spending remain down, other areas of the U.S. construction market have begun to rebuild. With business equipment investments surging, stimulus money flowing into the economy in 2010 and consumer confidence driving increased demand, the equipment rental industry is poised to gain strength in Q3 and Q4, with improvement in all categories forecasted for 2011.”
While this speaks well for the industry as a whole, it does not necessarily give us information on what’s going on at the level of individual operators and small chains. For that, we need to put down the reports, get out of the office, and talk to other rental professionals.
Wayne Beckett is a big believer in this. He is the owner of Wayne’s Rental Centre and the incoming president of the Canadian Rental Association. You can read more about his philosophy on page 8.
It’s clear to me that one of the best ways to network with other rental pros is to go to where they are, and we’ve got a special surprise in this issue that will help you do just that. Included is our annual calendar. It’s chock full of important dates for the rental community.
The dates listed go beyond trade shows and regional meetings, and list every opportunity we could think of for members of the rental industry to network and expand their knowledge base.
Don’t just look at it and forget it. Take a few minutes to hang it up on the wall. That way, you’ll have a constant reminder of what’s coming up.
If you haven’t taken the time lately to go to a CRA members meeting, or your regional trade show, it might be time to check them out. I’m betting you’ll be glad you did.
– Editor, Mike Davey