IPAF Summit Calls on Access Industry to "Sell Safety"

More than 200 delegates gathered in Amsterdam last week to talk about how to succeed in today's business environment

The IPAF Summit on the theme of "Selling Safety" attracted an audience of more than 200 delegates on 14 April 2011 in Amsterdam.

Gérard Deprez, CEO of Loxam and president of the European Rental Association, delivered the keynote presentation. He examined the differences between generalist and specialist rental companies, noting that the rental industry needs to do better to anticipate business cycles. Steve Shaughnessy presented a proposal for a new campaign "PowerUP" to promote the use of powered access equipment across more trades and industry sectors.

Jennifer Mathis of Ducker Research revealed findings from the soon-to-be-published IPAF Powered Access Rental Reports covering Europe and the US. The US market is seen to be more mature, more generalist, more concentrated and is expected to recover more rapidly than Europe. In the European market, specialists (such as in Germany, UK, Benelux and Italy) have been less affected by the crisis and resumed faster growth. The reports which include analysis of fleet composition can be ordered at www.ipaf.org/reports.

Chris Wraith of the Lavendon Group gave an excellent presentation on management responsibilities for the correct use of outriggers and spreader pads. He called for manufacturers to develop a standard unit to measure ground pressure and for the provision of such information in a uniform way.

Andrew Fishburn, managing director of Spirit Network and Bravi, closed the conference by highlighting the importance of professional selling in the rental sector. His message to management was: Don't just sell on price. Train your sales force to sell safety and productivity to grow the business in the long run.

Presentations from the IPAF Summit are available at the members only section of www.ipaf.org.

The next IPAF Summit will be held together with the International Awards for Powered Access on 29 March 2012 in Rome, Italy. Watch for event details at www.iapa-summit.info.