Full marks for Rand-Air’s campus contract!

Recently, leading equipment rental company Rand-Air ‘passed the test’ with flying colours, delivering a 24-hour turnaround hire to a tertiary education college in Gauteng. Since 1973, Rand-Air – a part of the global Atlas Copco Group – has developed a reputation as the recognised leader in supplying portable air, flow, lighting and power equipment to the local rental market.

The company is driven by an ethos of people development; and also of exceeding expectations, and delivering customer-centric, excellent service.

Rand-Air recently supplied generators to certain of the college’s campuses, as part of a repeat hire contract agreement with this customer. “This is a long-standing, loyal customer from way back in 2008, when Rand-Air developed a relationship with a college which has several campuses located throughout the province – and they have been a pleasure to service since 2014,” says Benita Oosthuizen, Sales Consultant for Rand-Air Gauteng. Oosthuizen explains that the college’s campuses require standby power to be available during the bi-annual examinations which take place throughout the country: “With students working on laptops, the last thing one needs is a power shortage,” she observes, adding that until recently, Rand-Air supplied generators to each of the campuses, twice a year.

“This was dependent on the customer’s requirements, and there have been occasions when they have hired equipment from us three times during the year,” she elaborates. The bi-annual rentals usually last approximately a month — June/July and November — to prevent power loss in the event of load-shedding, cable theft or other unforeseen occurrences.
For the most recent hire, three generators were supplied, namely two 300kVA and one 500kVA, as Oosthuizen explains that, during the recent national lockdown, some of the campuses – depending on their proximity to each other – merged. “The largest campus, home to our customer’s head office, required the 500kVA generator,” Oosthuizen advises. “We are supplying the 300kVA generators to two others as well, this time around,” she adds.

“The lockdown also entailed the hire being postponed to September, as everything was closed before then, in June and July,” she notes. “The hire was finally placed on the 4th September, a Friday, for delivery on that Saturday, 5th September, finishing on the 25th September.” This 24-hour turn-around required logistical juggling which was met with the trademark smooth delivery and expectation-exceeding service for which Rand-Air is so well-known. “This tight deadline meant securing and delivering three generators, all with their associated cabling and COCs (certificate of compliance) – including dispatching an electrician to install them – at the various relevant campuses. The aim was to ensure that the generators were installed and functioning in time for the examinations to commence on that Monday,” she says, adding that this objective was of course achieved.

Oosthuizen comments that finding solutions is part of Rand-Air’s every-day customer service; and explains that while the lockdown constrained travel and severely limited face-to-face customer interaction, it motivated her – and all her fellow sales consultants – to ensure that contact was maintained, that queries were resolved and that solutions were indeed found. “It was a challenge, as we usually visit a customer’s premises or the site and can assess physically what their needs are. During the lockdown, the Rand-Air sales team put a huge emphasis on telephonic contact, but not even that would suffice at times, as it was challenging to understand the exact situation on-site without actually being there. “We therefore had to be innovative and creative, requesting customers to send us photographs, voice notes, sms’s and emails – as well as to use Teams and WhatsApp – to communicate what it was that they required!” she says.

“However, what always stands us in good stead is that – in true Rand-Air fashion – we know our customers’ requirements even before they do, so we are typically well-equipped to handle queries and orders expeditiously,” she adds enthusiastically. In this case, through Rand-Air’s renowned hands-on approach and understanding of the customer’s requirements, Oosthuizen says that she was able to meet the institutions’ tight deadline. “The deep understanding of our customers’ requirements meant that Rand-Air was able to meet the strict delivery deadline of the generators to the various campuses, in time for their examinations to commence on the Monday. In fact, I think we passed the test with flying colours — and no crib notes needed!” she concludes.