20 March 2008
• To represent Eastern Europe rental companies. We will have to help them create national associations, as announced last year.
• To back up committees by encouraging them to pursue their work, by financing the external resources they need and by creating, if necessary, sub committees.
• A profession like ours, having a revenue of .22 billion and employing more than 150000 people, needs data about the industry, the market size, the market competition and the rental penetration. ERA has to be the key provider of this data and analysis on the European rental industry. The Board has commissioned a study from an independent body, Global Insight, to collect confidential information from its members.
• Relations with CECE (the European construction equipment manufacturers association). Manufacturers realise that rental companies have specific requirements as far as equipment and service are concerned. ERA and CECE have a common interest to work on specifications to best match rental companies' demand.
• Relations with ECED (European distributors association). Both competitors and partners, rental companies and dealers have uneasy relations. However rental companies have to choose between internal equipment maintenance and outsourcing. A clarification of our relations could, on the one hand, improve the quality of services for rental operators and, on the other hand, improve the turnover of dealers by supplying spare parts or by repairing the machines. In fact, a rental company is not so much a competitor as a potential customer. ERA and ECED have to trigger and fuel this dialogue.
• We should think, without delay, about sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Sustainability issues include such matters as health and safety, environmental aspects, community development and labour rights. We will have to draw up codes of conduct for sustainability adapted to the rental industry.
• Finally, ERA could use its influence to promote the rental business. ERA suggests officially sponsoring a European equipment exhibition for rental companies. (See News this issue).