The world is being transformed by digital technologies, and the rental industry is no exception. As the first article in a two-part series in the April/May issue of IRN, Clotilde Jouette from Avesco Rent in Switzerland and Omar Achment, founder of Overstory.eco consultancy, ask how rental businesses are being affected.

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Industry 4.0 is the fourth of a series of industrial revolutions

Industry 4.0 is the fourth of a series of industrial revolutions that began with water- and steam-powered machines in the 18th Century. The invention of the internet sparked Industry 4.0, and since then the physical and digital worlds have been becoming increasingly intertwined.

Disruption to business models is inevitable and consumer centricity is key to business survival. Jouette and Achment say the rental world must choose how to adapt to the change and ask themselves, what can we do with the new technology that was not possible before?

In the article, they identify four key area of impact that apply to rental.

Integration

Greater integration within the business, as well as with customers and partners, will allow data to be shared and analysed. Real-time decision-making will also become increasingly possible.

Social and environmental

There has recently been a shift in how consumers view the economy and the role of organisations in society. Industry 4.0 will lead to more social, ecological and economic equality and stability, providing greater access to education, jobs and financing.

Workforce

The new technology will require different skills, so rental companies need to prepare their workforces by creating a culture of learning, collaboration and sustainable innovation, and offering training opportunities to staff.

Strategy

Technology is an enabler, not a solution in itself. Other important factors driving innovation are strategy, leadership, culture and customer needs. The integration of new technology will be necessary for rental companies to capitalise on opportunities to create new value for stakeholders.

Jouette and Achment said a new way of thinking will thrive in the Industry 4.0 world. Such thinking will go beyond incremental planning, will foster experimentation, embrace failure and capture value.

Read the full article in the April/May issue of IRN.

In the second article, to be published in our June issue, the authors will report on ‘The rental depot of the future’.

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Clotilde Jouette, Marketing & Digital Business Transformation Director at Avesco Rent

The authors

Clotilde Jouette is the Marketing & Digital Business Transformation Director at Avesco Rent in Switzerland. Avesco Rent represents the Cat Rental Store business in Switzerland. Clotilde is a strong advocate of digital within the rental industry and a member of the Promotion Committee and the Future Group at the European Rental Association.

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Omar Achment, founder of Overstory.eco

Omar Achment is the founder of Overstory.eco, a consultancy firm focusing on business model innovation and sustainability. He previously worked at Accenture developing trading platforms and later as an advisor on the impact of digital technologies to the investment banking industry.

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