US lessons

28 February 2008

Steve Shaughnessy, managing director of APlant's specialty businesses division, drew on his extensive experience of the US access rental sector to highlight some of the key differences in approach from Europe. These included:

• There are many graduates in the US rental sector. In the US, the access rental sector has become a separate industry in its own right, with opportunities for a real career.”

• It is common for US rental sales staff to receive 60% to 100% of their salary in the form of commission. “The best sales staff typically earn more than a branch manager.”

Mr Shaughnessy said US best practices for access rental included:

• Guarantees on delivery and own delivery fleet

• 6.00am to 6.00pm standard service hours

• True 24/7 coverage and multi–shift operation in some urban branches

• Modern painting and 'rebuilding' facilities

• Product modifications for unique applications (eg, tunnels, ship repair)

Mr Shaughnessy concluded that access had evolved into “the most important family in the US rental market”, with growth driven mainly by productivity rather than legislation. It was also, he said, “still a profitable and growing place for independents.”

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