Anticipate says Saubot at Europlatform
By Maria Hadlow13 September 2011
The key to preparing for changes in circumstance is anticipating that a downturn will happen said Alexandre Saubot, chief operating officer of Haulotte, in his keynote speech to the Europlatform Conference, today in Maastricht.
Although Mr Saubot offered a number of sources to help manufacturers and rental companies predict future market conditions he was very pragmatic and often amusing in his analyisis of their accuracy especially in the years preceding the most recent recession.
Mr Saubot encouraged the120 strong audience to prepare during the good times, to watch the market and their competition and most importantly stay close to customers.
He recommended that businesses should cut costs but never reduce customer service nor stop product or business development. A strong balance sheet and a flexible business model are also key. However, Mr Saubot admitted that currently market conditions, high and lows can change in just a few months as indicated by slowing in business over the Summer period after a very promising start to the year.
Despite this, Mr Saubot, was confident the market would grow in 2012.
The rest of the conference was equally compelling: Bruce Williams, managing director of EAME JLG Finance spoke in detail about the opportunities for companies to finance new equipment. the pros and cons of the various avenues of finance and how best to present your company in order to attract that finance.
Peter Davis the E2E technical manager at Coates Hire described Austraila's practice of carrying out major inspections on powered access equipment every ten years and the way this impact's Australia's rental industry.
Kevin Appleton former CEO of Lavendon looked at generating sustainable returns in access looking at ROCE (return on capital investment).
Maeg Videau, director of Financing and M&A (mergers and acquisitions) at Loxam took the audience on a step by step journey through the M&A process from both the acquiring and the disposing companies points of view.
Chris Wraith, technical officer of IPAF, advised rental companies to take special measures of care over their higher reach pieces of access quipment and Charles Miller of CL Miller Consulting gave the audience food for thought on motivating the sales force.
The conference concluded with a lively panel discussion where, Wayne Lawson president of IPAF and managing director of JLG EAME and Pierre Boels CEO of Dutch rental company, Boels Verhuur joined some of the day's speakers on stage to take questions from the floor.
Read more about the individual speaches in the October issue of Access International.