Prior to investing in new equipment, decision makers in tent rental companies should evaluate each task that needs to be done, measuring the costs of doing each task and looking for ways to eliminate or reduce those costs. Equipment investments should add efficiency and durability to the equation and outperform old technologies dramatically. Often, a small capital outlay can eliminate large operating expenses.
Nick Deninno, owner of Block and Roll® Tent Ballast Solutions®, recommends asking and answering the following questions before investing in new equipment.
- How will this item help us to be more efficient? It could be a simple hand truck designed to move more chairs per trip, or simply changing tires on a hand truck to make it work on grass or soft surfaces.
- Will this equipment help increase safety? For example, adding a hydraulic lift gate on a truck, while a big expense, can help increase safety tremendously. Traditional ramps can become slippery in rainy weather and are unsafe when moving heavy loads up and down the ramp. “Many companies use round cement ballasts because they can be tipped and rolled,” Deninno says. “While that sounds easy, getting one up and down a ramp can be tricky, and I certainly don’t want to be on the bottom of the ramp pushing a 500-pound round ballast.”
- Will this equipment save me money? Increasing efficiency and having employees work safer always has an effect on the bottom line. “Payroll gets reduced, workers’ compensation claims reduce and employee morale usually gets a boost from not having to work so hard,” Deninno says. “Tent life is hard enough.”
Scott Woodruff, owner of TentOX™, adds that tent rental operators need to evaluate if they are buying equipment to perform a single function, or if they need a multifunctional piece of equipment.
“It makes no sense to invest in single tools that are not part of a system-level approach to putting up and taking down tents,” Woodruff says. “A multiple-function system designed from the ground up just for commercial tent installations can automate or mechanize several tasks traditionally done mostly by hand, and pay for itself very quickly, often in just a couple of seasons.”
Tent rental operators also need to ask if they—and their crews—are willing to change the system with which they install jobs. The tent industry tends to carry on a tradition of “doing stuff the old-fashioned way,” Woodruff says. “If crews can be taught to adapt to the labor-savings potential that a multifunction machine such as TentOX offers, they can work smarter, rather than harder, and drive a company toward a more robust bottom line.”