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Utah rental operator focuses on spring preparedness

By Paul Phelon

May 16, 2023

Paul Phelon

Paul Phelon

Hi, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Seven members! My name is Paul Phelon, president of Timp Rental Center, with locations in Saratoga Springs, Orem and American Fork, Utah.

I appreciate this opportunity to be able to connect in this way with all of you from the region. I haven’t really done that since I served as president of the ARA Board of Directors from 2014-2015.

If your operation is like mine, you have seen an uptick in business that began as soon as the spring weather came in. With spring here and summer soon upon us, now is the time to make sure your employees are trained, your equipment is serviced and you have your operation ready for the increase in customers.

Yes, you need to make sure your employees are well-trained on the equipment and are following safety protocols, but that is not enough. You also need to make sure they are steeped in excellent customer service skills.

That is hard when we are all struggling to get good employees, but you need to focus on that area. We are an independent rental operation. We have been in business for many years. Many of our customers keep coming back not only because we offer well-maintained equipment but also because of the relationships we have developed with them over the years. Our customers know that when they come in, they will be listened to, taken care of and respected. They know they can count us to have their backs. In today’s tech-heavy world, it is nice that we can offer some much-needed human interaction. And that first impression is a big deal for customers. It can distinguish us and put us at a competitive advantage.

I have found that when you get a new employee, it is important to help them stay motivated by providing the training they need and then empowering them to make decisions so they feel validated in your operation. That can help with your overall company morale, too.

If you are struggling to find good employees, 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.

We feel that training is so important. It can be challenging to keep up with the training, the certifications and everything we are required to do, but it is vital for the success of our operations. Helping us in this effort is ARA’s RentalU. We continue to use the training resources offered through this educational platform. We send out training videos every payroll period.

It also can help us keep track of where everyone is at in their training, which is great. If you haven’t looked into it, I highly recommend you do so. From the driver education and customer service offerings to the short Prioritize Safety Series videos, RentalU has a wide variety of valuable training tools for you and your staff. You will be surprised at what is there.

Another way you have to stay prepared, especially in today’s world with inflation and the high cost of operating, is to keep up your cash flow. We are not taking on a lot of account customers. Most of our account customers end up paying by credit card, so we are asking a lot of them to pay as they go with a credit card.

Around this time, my ARA Insurance premium is due. I know a lot of ARA members are renewing their insurance around this time. Before you decide on a plan, talk to ARA Insurance and see whether this might be a better option.

The other insurance issue is health care coverage. ARA members have a customized health care option with the ARA Healthcare Solution, a self-funded program through Allstate Benefits. It could just offer you the cost savings and flexibility you need while providing quality health benefits for your team that comply with the Affordable Care Act. For more information, click here.

By being prepared in all areas of your business, you will be better able to handle the uptick this spring and summer. Yes, there will be glitches, but you want to make sure you can traverse those with ease. That will benefit your operation, your employees and your customers.

Here’s to a great spring and summer.

Paul Phelon, president
Timp Rental Center
Saratoga Springs, Orem and American Fork, Utah