The Importance of Educating Employees on All of Your Equipment Inventory

Customers enjoy doing business with companies that have employees who know what they're talking about

Why Rental Companies Should Educate All Employees on All of Rental Equipment Inventory
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One of the primary indicators of the strength of an equipment rental company is the degree that its employees are truly educated on its inventory. The fact is that customers like doing business with rental companies that have employees who know what they are talking about. So, having a better equipment-educated staff leads to more repeat customers, more income and more profits.

One of the most important keys to having a successful equipment education program is that it must be structured. Remember, the “learn as they go” program is not a system – it’s a recipe for employees being unprepared to maximize daily opportunities to make the company much more income and profits.

It's vitally important to ensure your employees are educated on all the various types of equipment in your inventory. (It's also important that your veteran staff members are re-educated.) Here are just a few of the many benefits of providing this type of education to your staff:

  • It helps them to become better solutions providers. Under-educated employees are not likely to ask the appropriate questions to match the customer’s need with the correct piece or pieces of equipment. Under-educated employees are not going to have the knowledge to advise customers on the proper “dos and don’ts” when operating the equipment.
  • It helps to reduce damage to your equipment. Again, properly educated employees will be able to know the correct applications of each item and will be able to advise customers accordingly. This reduces the chances that the equipment will be used for projects that would damage the equipment. Also, this knowledge is useful in helping to prevent potential injuries to your customers as well.
  • It makes the employee’s job more interesting and satisfying, which helps with your staff retention efforts. If employees feel confident and strong in the performance of their duties (and are continuously learning new things) they tend to stay longer. All equipment rental companies should have a structured system to get their employees educated on the company’s inventory. And even though the benefits of having a structured way to bring a new employee up to speed and keeping them up to speed have always been there, the need is more acute now. The growing rental industry needs more employees, and there is a shrinking pool of qualified candidates from which to choose. In today’s economy there is immense competition for employees and the challenge to obtain and retain the best people for our industry is bound to become even tougher.

I believe even those who believe they already have an inventory educational system would be wise to have a comprehensive system and a clearer, expedited path to educating employees.

I also have observed that far too many employees in rental companies only know the names of the rental items and are in dire need of more education dealing with proper job applications, proper use, accessories and all of the other valuable information that customers desperately need. So, it isn’t surprising that some rental companies are not achieving the degree of success that the huge investment in equipment, location, infrastructure, etc. would otherwise indicate.  

With all of the compelling benefits of educating employees (and keeping them educated) on the vast array of equipment in your inventory, make this one of your company’s priorities. Regardless of what the fickle winds of the economy blow into your individual market area, be prepared. Fortify your company with staff who are well educated in each and every piece of rental equipment you stock. This will not only help you to withstand the economic headwinds but also will help you to capitalize on the tailwinds.  Developing and implementing this educational system is well worth the time and financial investment.