The Global Rental Alliance (GRA) held its 12th annual meeting last week at The Rental Show 2014 in Orlando, Fla.
All GRA member associations were present, including: Associação De Locadoras, Brazil; Canadian Rental Association; European Rental Association, Belgium; Hire Association Europe, U.K.; Hire & Rental Industry Association Ltd., Australia; Hire Industry Association of New Zealand; and American Rental Association. Representatives included the association officers and/or chief executives/staff.
Agenda items discussed during the full day meeting focused on advancing the success of members of the individual associations and promoting the equipment rental industry throughout the world. Current member priorities within the associations were shared. Topics addressed included technological trends in the industry and status of implementation in the associations, safety and regulatory matters, and the GRA International Rental Business Leadership Program.
Key areas of focus between the associations were discussed, as well as program differences, particularly among legislative and regulatory initiatives. Always of great interest among the associations are the educational initiatives being undertaken and the basis of the education and how it is made available to their membership. Discussion was held on the trends and industry developments within each country that are impacting the rental business owners or suppliers.
A discussion on membership trends and growth included the recruitment and involvement of young professionals within the associations, or the next generation of rental owners, with each association describing their focus on this segment of membership. A number of issues were brought forward related to the marketplace activity of rental owners and suppliers regarding rental equipment technology, performance measures and safety. An update was provided on the GRA International Rental Business Leadership Program, administered for GRA by the ARA Foundation. Two program participants are anticipated for 2014.
The agenda also included a review of the global survey initiative of the GRA, with release of a 2012 combined rental revenue figure among the GRA associations representing $73 billion. This figure represents a 6.6 percent increase over 2011 rental revenues, as calculated by IHS Global Insight, one of the world’s most respected economic forecasting firms. Discussion was held among the associations on the economic forecast for their countries through 2014 and the level of rental penetration they determine for their respective country. All associations are committed to increasing rental penetration on behalf of their membership through their program work.
Marketing the value of equipment rental to the general public is important to each association. Information and materials were shared that can be adapted within the respective associations to supplement current programs. The Hire & Rental Industry Association Ltd.- Australia and the Hire Industry Association of New Zealand provided the group with a preview of their respective association. Conference dates and schedules were reviewed and are available on the GRA website. A mid-year webinar meeting will be held in August 2014. The next annual meeting will be held at The Rental Show scheduled for Feb. 22 to 25, 2015 in New Orleans.