So far, demand for equipment has remained stable for Boels Rental, despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to the company’s CEO Pierre Boels.
“In most branches, our customers remain fully operational for now, which keeps the demand stable,” says Boels.
“But we also see an increase in demand by so-called vital pillars of our society, for example governments, supermarkets, hospitals and other care institutions. They have a strong demand for mobile units, sanitation, power, crowd management and fencing, climate control, and traffic services, etc.
“Providing help and service to these crucial pillars of our society is our highest priority.”
Although financially healthy, Boels says the company must do everything it can to ensure this remains so in the long-run; “We monitor developments on a daily basis and prepare for different scenarios. World economics are fragile at the moment, the impact of Corona is evident.”
Boels and Cramo – the Finnish rental company recently acquired by Boels – together have in excess of 700 depots across 17 European countries, so conditions vary across those geographies. However, in most Central European countries the majority of construction sites remain open and operational, according to Boels.
“But that situation seems to change almost by the hour. In the Nordic and Baltic countries and the UK, we haven’t experienced a lot of change in construction so far,” Boels adds.
At the moment, Boels’ depots are fully operational, delivering services and rental equipment to customers, in line with government rules and guidelines.
Also, there is said to be no major disruption to the logistics of equipment delivery and collection since the company operates locally through its large network of depots, which can supply equipment within short distances and without crossing borders.
However, some branches have shifted to a more virtual ordering process via the website and phone.
Boels emphasises that the well-being of its staff is of the utmost importance, saying, “As CEO of Boels Rental, I feel personally responsible for that.”
To this end, the company is strictly following government guidelines, as well as taking further precautionary measures.
“We can only reduce the effects of Corona together,” Boels says. “It is therefore very important that everyone takes responsibility, that we adhere to the guidelines and that we remain calm. It means taking good care of yourself, but also looking out for one another.”