Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Five members.
My name is Gary Booms. I am president of Booms Rent-All in Bad Axe, Mich., and was recently named ARA of Michigan president. Spring is here, and our uptick in business shows that customers are ready to get started on projects and kick off their events.
We are grateful to have had a good 2023 so far. This time of year just accelerates everything for us. I am sure it is the same for your operation. We have found that to be prepared we need to focus on employee training and make sure our equipment is rental-ready.
On the training end, we just took part in the free ARA of Michigan Basic Small Engine Maintenance class. It was great. Both my service technician and I got a lot out of it.
We also use ARA’s RentalU educational resources. This platform offers us so much, everything from driver education and customer service to the short Prioritize Safety Series videos. No matter what your training needs are, you can probably find it there. I would highly recommend you check it out because you want to make sure your staff is well-trained so they can effectively take care of your customers and stay safe while doing so.
I know that many rental operations continue to have difficulty finding employees. I am grateful that I have been able to find the help I need. If this is a pain point for you, check out ARA’s Workforce Development Solutions, including the ARA Job Portal. These resources can help you attract and onboard the talent you need so you will be ready to handle the influx of customers.
During this and any other time of year, I find the connections and networking I have with other rental operators is so important. That is one of the reasons I have been so active on the ARA of Michigan board. Our board consists of a group of rental operators who are dedicated to finding educational and social events that can benefit our members from around the state.
Besides the small engine training, we just offered a fun Detroit Red Wings hockey game social on April 8. We also offer a spring and fall online auction. And every January we have the Winter Conference that is full of educational seminars, vendor connections and offers just a great time. At the conference we also have our ARA of Michigan Rental Hall of Fame ceremony. I always pick up valuable tips at the Winter Conference. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to reconnect with my Michigan colleagues and is a great way to prepare for The ARA Show™. If you operate in Michigan and haven’t been before, I highly suggest you take part. Look for emails on both the fall auction and Winter Conference.
We are lucky in that all the state chapters in our region provide valuable events for members. If you haven’t been to an event your state chapter offers, please do so. I know we are all busy, but you learn and gain so much from these offerings. And if you are looking for training in a certain area, please reach out to your state chapter president. All of us wish to provide the training and social events our members want and need, so give those on your state chapter board your feedback. We need your input and participation.
I am eager to see what this spring and summer rental season has in store for us. I hope your busy season is a productive and safe one.
Gary Booms, ARA of Michigan president
Bad Axe, Mich.