Two-day conference provides strategies and insights.
On September 17-18, used equipment and rental managers from all over the country converged on Chicago, IL, for MHEDA’s Making Money in the Rental & Used Equipment Business conference. The goal of the conference, which was led by a panel of dealership executives, was to give the tools to maximize profits and effectively manage rental and used equipment businesses during difficult times.
The conference was kicked off by Fred Oram, president of Oram Material Handling Systems. His presentation centered on a short-term rental financial model, including financing strategies for a tight credit market and new stimulus package aid for equipment distributors. Next came a dual presentation by Morrison Industrial Equipment Company Vice President Greg Morrison and Vice President of Rental Operations Bob Veldkamp. They continued the short-term rental theme, focusing on best practices. Topics included controlling maintenance and damage expenses, as well as proper equipment inspection procedures. After a short break, John Ousset, president of The Ousset Agency, spoke on creative connectivity in rental and used marketing. Ousset focused largely on Internet marketing opportunities such as SEO and social media. Lunch presented a networking opportunity for attendees, who did much more talking than eating. The networking lunch was followed immediately by two more presentations. One was by Naumann/Hobbs Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Hobbs, who focused on marketing and selling rental equipment. The other was by Gregory Poole Equipment Company Executive Vice President Richard Donnelly, who offered insights on risk management in short-term rentals. The day concluded with a tour of Atlas Lift Truck in neighboring Schiller Park, IL, and a dinner at the dealership.
Day two featured two more presentations. The first, by Sunbelt Industrial Trucks President Bill Rowan, centered on creating a used equipment business model. Discussion points included organizing benchmarks, setting objectives and recording effective measurements. Fred Oram and Richard Donnelly wrapped up the conference with a presentation on marketing and selling used equipment. They discussed strategies such as promoting “as is” sales, warranty programs and performance-driving compensation plans.
Edgers in Attendance
The MHEDA Edge readership was well represented at the conference. The consensus among the younger attendees was that the conference was interesting and provided lots of takehome information. Apex Material Handling Corporation Director of Administration Tracy Stark credited the conference with reigniting an excitement about used and rental equipment that she hadn’t felt in quite a while. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get back to the office is review my rental contract and use information from this conference to make it better,” says Stark.
Being new to rental equipment sales, Universal Forklift Supply Rental Manager/Sales Coordinator Cathrine Lovejoy is ready to implement new strategies right away. “I’m going to ramp up direct marketing for rental equipment by sending out more mailers via standard and e-mail,” she explains.
Because of what he learned at this conference, Chris Marquard, rental and used equipment manager at Pengate Handling Systems, is looking at restructuring the company’s rental equipment billing cycle. “After listening to the speakers this week, I’m seriously considering changing from a four-week billing cycle to a monthly one,” he says. “I think it presents us with a potential competitive advantage.”