Thoughts on 40 successful years in the rental industry and what the future holds from General Manager Louwrens Erasmus
The South African manufacturing and engineering industry is a well-established one, with a rich history and tradition, which has been formed and defined by the many professional companies operating within this sector.
One of these is well-known compressor and generator hire company Rand-Air, which has built a reputation for supreme professionalism and an unwavering focus on customer service excellence. This has seen the company establish itself as a leader in the rental industry, both locally and pan-Africa.
This year, Rand-Air celebrates 40 years in the industry; and General Manager Louwrens Erasmus is confident that the company can only grow from strength to strength moving forward.
“Our dedicated focus on customer service, the ability to balance our customers’ requirements with appropriate fleet utilisation, our continuous efforts to improve cost containment as well as on going emphasis on technology and staff development has helped us build our reputation. This will continue in the future, with every staff member living our values,” says Louwrens.
Since its inception in 1973, the company has achieved some major industry milestones. Louwrens reflects on some of these, highlighting, amongst others, the following: a solid recovery from the economic recessions in 1990 and 2009, Rand-Air’s acquisition by the Atlas Copco Group in 1999, the successful implementation of underground compressor rental, the company’s success in servicing refinery and industrial shutdowns, in the provision of oil-free and specialised air, and its growth in specialised markets such as oil and gas.
“Looking ahead, the future is bright for Rand-Air, and also holds several exciting new focus areas and opportunities,” Louwrens points out.
“We expect to operate in new markets, with new applications. As the market becomes more sophisticated, we will supply more technologically-advanced equipment, and will focus – as always – on continuously improving our resources, processes and products. The key resource we will also focus on, going forward, will be the same one we have always prioritised – our valued staff, or as we like to refer to ourselves, ‘the Rand-Air team’,” he adds.
Louwrens furthermore remarks that global parent company Atlas Copco are also celebrating a landmark anniversary this year, celebrating an incredible 140 years in business.
“We heartily congratulate our parent company Atlas Copco, of which we as Rand-Air are not only a part here; but with which we also have much in common, in terms of our corporate and operational ethos. These areas of commonality include aspects such as customer service excellence, a focus on building a sustainable business, which is characterised by equality and diversity.
It is a challenge to continuously invest in the renewal of fleets in a market which is price-conscious. However, growing as we have done over the past 4 decades from a small business to being part of a far larger global one, and still retaining our ‘Rand-Air team business values and ethos has served the company well in the past, and I am confident that it will continue to do so for the next 40 years and beyond. The future is definitely green – Rand-Air green,” Louwrens concludes.