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Relentless focus on customer service drives expeditious growth for Integrated Air Solutions’ Rental Division

The Rental Division of Integrated Air Solutions, which was only established just over a year ago, is seeing exceptional growth, with many sizable long-term contracts that call for large capacity machines having been secured.

“While there are a number of contributing factors, including the supply of top quality, reliable rental machines, our success is first and foremost thanks to our dedicated rental team,” affirms Integrated Air Solutions Managing Director, Wayne Jacobs. “It’s a new division and a new team, with most of the members only having started their journey with us a few months ago. However, their years of experience in the sales, rental and air compression space, combined with their commitment and passion, present a formidable team that drives the Rental Division ever forward and upward.”

Pivotal to the Rental Division’s success is the sustainable delivery of next level customer service. Enter the cohesive, close-knit rental team – Rudi Denton, Rental Sales Manager; Johan Barnard, Rental Technical Support; Rene Smith, Rental Sales Representative and Zenda Kleu-Pedersen, Rental Administrator, who walk the customer service talk.

Rudi, who joined in June 2022 when the Rental Division was formed, adds his close on 12 years in the compressor game to 28 years of experience in the rental sector. “Integrated Air Solutions is throwing its full weight behind growing its rental business with the objective of becoming one of the biggest rental companies and it’s paying dividends,” states Rudi. “It was not long before we expanded our original fleet of three or four second-hand machines to 50 units, 46 of which are brand new, putting us on track to achieve our target of a 50% growth by Q4 2024.” 

According to Rudi, the Rental Division’s success is forged on the foundation of Integrated Air Solutions’ well-earned reputation as a well-established organisation that supports its premium quality products with exemplary service. “These days it has regrettably become more about chasing that quick buck and less about building long-term relationships with customers. This is where we add our unique value by offering what many businesses have forgotten about – service of such quality that customers not only come back i.e. repeat business, they also recommend us. Our ethical approach when going to market also plays a role in our success.”

“Our work,” says Rudi, “only really begins once we have delivered the rental machine because we have to ensure that we support the customer throughout the rental agreement. It’s about providing a rental solution that meets the customer’s needs. High quality rental machines are only one part of the solution with customer service making up the lion’s share.” The rental team is passionate about looking after customers, communicating regularly and paying courtesy visits to make sure that customers are satisfied.

Leveraging 25 years of experience in the construction industry, René, who has only been part of the Rental team for seven months, has already successfully secured numerous rental contracts in construction and civils. René says they are encouraged by the good movement observed in the construction sector which makes up a substantial portion of their rental business. Speciality rental i.e. large oil-free diesel-driven machines for applications in the processing industry as well as lateral support and geo-drilling applications are also gaining traction.

René’s growth strategy hinges on pursuing both new and existing rental business. “While there are opportunities aplenty in Gauteng, my focus is much wider. I show up where ever an opportunity presents itself, inside or outside South Africa!” Although their primary focus is on long-term (30 days to 12 months plus) rentals, René says they never turn short-term rental business away. “And for good reason because the quality and reliability of our machines, coupled with our great service not only generates repeat business but often amplifies an existing contract agreement. Point in question – a prominent beauty product company based in Midrand originally wanted a diesel compressor rental for seven days. Six months later the customer is still operating our compressor and they don’t want to return it because the unit, which we supplied with a dryer to enhance air quality, is running seamlessly round-the-clock!”

The Rental Division is on call 24/7, with a response time of approximately 60 minutes in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and 24 hours in neighbouring countries. If on-site repairs are not possible, customers are provided with a replacement unit. The responsibility of keeping the machines out on site in tip-top condition falls to Johan. “Johan is an extremely important member of the team because he is at ground zero,” states Rudi. “He pays regular visits, twice-monthly for long-term rental customers, to make sure that all is in good order. Due to his good relationships with the site foremen, Johan is the first person they call direct if there is a problem. He then reports back to the team and we put our collective minds together to come up with the best solution for our customer.” 

Johan’s 15 years’ experience in the rental industry has taught him that customer training is key to a successful rental model. “Knowing how to use the machine correctly and following the right operating procedures are imperative in driving machine overall performance, reliability and efficiency,” explains Johan, who is close to reaching his one-year anniversary in the Rental Division. “Even something as basic as correct start-up will minimise the risk of breakdowns. We do everything possible to keep our customers’ downtime to the absolute minimum. If we’re not able to assist telephonically, often using a video call to try and visually and audibly trouble shoot, I’m off to site with a replacement unit.“

It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of securing rental sales, forgetting about the admin side of the business. This is where Zenda steps in. Having spent seven years in the compressor industry, Zenda is responsible for all things admin – from logistics to contracts and invoicing. Zenda is the proverbial glue that binds the rental team. Equally important to the sales employees who close the rental deals is ensuring that the contract is signed and sealed. Zenda also draws from her extensive workshop experience and ensures that when the machines come back from site, they are serviced and ready to go out to meet the next customer’s rental air requirement.

Wayne concludes: “Our success has not made us complacent but rather even hungrier for more business. The team will continue our rental service success recipe by pulling out all the stops to uncover the countless opportunities that are out there so that we can continue to grow and corner the rental business.”

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