The recession has had a negative effect on many companies, irrespective of their size. The ability to concentrate on core business functions and eliminate unnecessary overheads is a leading factor in future sustainability. Rand-Air’s Industrial Plant Rental (IPR) Programme offers an alternative to tying up business funds in capital equipment.
“IPR was introduced by Rand-Air nine years ago with nine compressors. The concept has proven so popular that today we have over one hundred and fifity machines out on permanent, long-term rental,” says Byrone Thorne, Marketing Manager for Rand-Air.
Kim Coetzee, Sales Manager at Rand-Air, who was jointly responsible for establishing IPR in the company, says that the benefits of using IPR are evident in the amount of repeat business that Rand-Air is awarded. “We have a number of customers in various sectors, but the bulk of our footprint resides in the mining sector.”
IPR is a customised product and service offering that allows companies to outsource the responsibility for the supply of air and power. “We provide negotiated contracts that cover the cost of machine delivery and installation, standby service, scheduled inspections, the use of standby machines when necessary, operators when needed, and all maintenance, parts and labour, including travelling costs,” Kim explains.
Kim and Byrone have a sales team dedicated to this specialised service. “With our joint efforts we are currently making inroads into the food and beverage, chemical and petrochemical industries. We believe in supplying at the point of need. A good example of this is the use of our nitrogen application, which is suitable for preservation purposes in the winemaking industry. In addition, we are seeing a higher demand for underground mining applications,” Byrone points out.
“We have already procured a long-term contract for a well-known underground mining operation. Our ability to flexibly adjust our offerings to this particular client resulted in our supporting local branch being awarded a supplier recognition achievement late last year,” says Kim. According to Byrone, all the Atlas Copco machines Rand-Air is supplying to the mine have been adapted to suit the harsh working conditions experienced in the underground mining scenario.
Byrone explains that finding the right match between a customer’s application and the Atlas Copco equipment available from Rand-Air is determined using a sophisticated formulaic procedure. “Our decision-making in terms of machine selection is based on a number of calculations including the cost of the machine, as well as the maintenance rate applied to the number of hours the machine will be working. Technical expertise and knowledge is very important in order to ensure that the machine is capable of performing the required tasks.”
Kim adds that an awareness of energy efficiency and fuel consumption plays a large role in the decision-making process and is linked to cost-effectiveness. “Rand-Air has always promoted the use of variable speed drives as an energy-saving option on mines. This is underpinned by our unequivocal emphasis on adhering to safety requirements. We comply with all ISO and occupational health and safety (OHS) standards as required by our clients.”
“By introducing IPR to all of Rand-Air’s branches we provide a greater level of sustainability for each region. While there will always be a need for short-term hire of compressors and generators, IPR affords the company a guaranteed revenue even when times are tough,” says Byrone.
“In addition to the financial benefits we reap from IPR, we are further rewarded with the opportunity to acquire an intimate knowledge of our customers’ operations. In this way, we are able to provide them with optimal solutions for a sustainable, long-term relationship,” Kim concludes.