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  • 05 Jan 2016 10:04 PM | Anonymous

    By Nathan Kallen

    We all strive to effectively manage our costs of doing business. One of the easiest components to manage is finding ways to diminish our shipping costs. In order to help drive down these prices and ship the most efficient way possible we talked to Brady Tinkham of Champion Logistics, a fellow ITRA member. Brady has offered the following suggestions of things to consider when engaging a transportation and logistics partner:

    1. Allow enough time for ground transit. The standard times would be 5 – 7 days coast to coast, 3 – 5 days for Midwest to East/West coast and 2 – 3 days for regional shipping.
    2. Keep your case/crate/pallet dimensions in mind as these contribute to freight costs. Pack items in to the most efficient container possible as to limit the amount of extra space. A 48x48x48 pallet that only weighs 150 lbs. will be shipped and priced out at a 450 lbs “dimensional weight.”
    3. Provide all shipping details up front to eliminate driver wait time or additional pickup/delivery charges. These details should include:
    a. Arrival time, event name, venue/business name, loading dock and on site contact
    b. Trade show shipments require: show name, exhibitor name, booth number, general contractor and specific delivery and pickup times
    4. Keep freight claims to a minimum by packing electronics in a crate/case rather than on a pallet. This will reduce both theft and damages while providing your equipment with the most efficient form of transit.
    5. Be sure to use a carrier that has experience with your kind of business. Get to know your freight rep and ask questions about your specific needs. Using a direct carrier will provide a much better level of service than a freight broker. Don’t simply go to a carrier that may be slightly cheaper without doing your research because this can lead to late deliveries and damaged goods, which ultimately increase your costs.

    When auditing freight costs, be sure to analyze shipping invoices as well as all related over-expenditures. Did a late shipment cause your labor crew to work an extra 4 hours? Did you have to air freight items because of damage or lost equipment? These costs are related to the performance of your shipping partner.

    By following these simple steps you will be able to ensure your company is maximizing revenue by cutting down on costs that are potentially not needed or come from poor planning. For further information please contact Brandy Tinkham at Champion Logistics. Brady can be reached at: 312.888.6888.

  • 14 Dec 2015 3:10 PM | Anonymous

    By Nathan Kallen

    In order for your company to rent gear to a customer it is important that you first be sure the client is trustworthy and are who they say they are.  This is to ensure any sort of attempted fraud is identified prior to shipment.  Once an act of fraud is perpetrated, the odds of ever getting paid or getting your equipment back are very slim.  There are a few stand procedures that rental companies can employ with prospective customers to ensure creditworthiness and good business standing.

    1. Address Verification.  A very simple aspect of lending out equipmet can be where the shipping to address is physically located.  A simple rule of thumb is to always check the delivery address in a tool such as Google Maps.  Does the address look like a business or a residence?  Is it going to an office or a warehouse?  Are you familiar with the general location?  Does the delivery address match the billing address?
    2. Verify Credit Card Information. Have the customer send over various forms of identification in order to accept payment.  For instance, it is common practice to have to show your driver’s license when paying via credit card.  Why not ask for a photocopy of the DL and credit card to make sure that the names match up.  Having a couple of forms of ID on file from a customer is also a good backup method to help you have additional customer information on file should there be an issue.
    3. License Plate Number. It is always a good idea to take a picture of the license plate if a customer is picking up equipment from your warehouse.
    4. Look Up The Company. Looking at a company’s website and their employees LinkedIn accounts is an excellent way to determine if the individuals you are talking to actually work at the company.  Most legitimate companies now have employees fill out LinkedIn profiles.  This will give you a better understanding of who you are dealing with and where they fall on organizational chart.
    5. Ask the company that you are planning on doing business with for a list of references.  Often you may not need to call a reference up, but simply do some research to ensure that all of the information is true.  With reliable references comes a greater chance of legitimacy.
    6. Notify your fellow ITRA members if you suspect or have been a victim of fraud.

    By doing these simple tasks for new customers, you are both ensuring that they will be able to pay you and that you are more likely to get your equipment back.  It only takes a few minutes to increase your level of security.

    Nathan Kallen

    Interested in joining the International Technology Rental Association? Click Here.

    6 Great Reasons to Join the ITRA!

    1) Network with members from across the country and around the world who want to partner with you!

    2) Access products and services outside your current core rental business.

    3) Partner and Joint Venture to manage large, complex, and out-of-geography rental projects.

    4) Get preferred status and purchasing power with national distributors and manufacturers.

    5) ROI. The return on your $595 membership investment should come back to you on your first partner-based rental order.

    6) Receive the latest technology rental industry news, continuing education, manufacturer & installation information, and warnings so that you can keep on top of our dynamic industry.

    Apply for Membership Now!

  • 01 Dec 2015 3:07 PM | Anonymous

    By Nathan Kallen

    Over time, each and every rental company, be they copiers, AV or computers, will face equipment shortages and geographical restrictions. These are two of the most common reasons that companies cite when joining the ITRA.

    The ITRA was formed specifically to help member companies increase their rental revenue during times of equipment constraints and in parts of the country where they did not have a physical office. In other words, it literally pays for your to join the ITRA and to get to know your fellow members. Where do they work? What kind of inventory do they have? How can you work together.

    GEOGRAPHY – Most member companies only have one or two offices at most. This geographic constraint can also be looked at as a way to enhance your ITRA relationships. Let’s say you are located on the east coast and have an event on the west coast. Does it make sense to ship your equipment across the country, figure out a tech and then still be able to make some money? Or would a better solution be to partner with a west coast company and crossrent what you need from a fellow member who you know personally that you can count on? And the best part is, you don’t ever have to worry about a fellow member poaching your customers.

    INVENTORY – None of us has everything that we need all of the time. It’s just not possible. Technology changes. And sometimes we all have to rent equipment. This is another great opportunity to get to know a fellow member. When you face inventory constraints you can count on fellow ITRA members to give you fair pricing, terrific service and be a trusted business partner.

    By increasing your awareness of geographical and inventory issues you can actually increase your margins. And best of all, the member companies of the ITRA will also learn to call you and your company…which will also increase your bottom line.

    Author: Nathan Kallen of Kallen Media LLC

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