As a contractor-owned business, we know that finding the best equipment supplier for your construction project is an important decision that every project manager and construction owner has to make. From customer service, product availability, and financing options, there are lots of things to consider when developing relationships and picking the right supplier.
With the number of heavy equipment suppliers, OEMs, and rental houses across North America, researching the best ones will take a lot of time, effort, and resources that not every construction company has the time to allocate towards. Understanding the most important deliverables for your heavy equipment rental needs is the easiest way to simplify the process. Typically, we suggest that you should be looking for rental companies who:
If you look for suppliers that operate within the above parameters, it should be easier to find the right equipment and suppliers for your construction needs. Let’s get into each a little bit more.
We know that developing relationships and trust in the construction industry is vital to the success of contractors and suppliers alike. Whether it's working with locally owned small-medium sized rental houses to large, national heavy equipment rental organizations, building that foundation of trust is crucial. And that level of trust can only be built through delivering great customer experiences from that first phone call to product delivery.
When working with your suppliers, it's important to highlight upfront what trust looks like to you and your organization. Typically, people want the same four things when working with others:
Honesty - providing timelines and being honest about what you can and can't provide.
Consistency - following through on your word is important in any relationship. Working with suppliers who have this trait should be high on your list.
Accountability - remember that trust goes both ways. Mistakes happen. Whether you or the supplier own up to the mistake should be something to look out for.
Communication - all of the above fit into this component, but understanding how different suppliers communicate, and what you prefer as a contractor, can help with building those relationships.
While each of the four components is equally important, it's hard to get a proper understanding of how suppliers embody these without working with them directly or seeing them in action. However, if you don't want to take on that risk, ask other contractors or construction companies you know that have worked with the supplier at some point about their experience. Word-of-mouth is still a valuable determining factor in any relationship-building process and should be part of your evaluation process.
In construction, not every job is the same. From DIY projects in the backyard to landscaping, to road building, to large-scale construction projects that span over several years, each project and job site has different equipment needs. That's why having access to the right equipment is a critical component of the contractor-supplier relationship.
New and used equipment utilization rates are at an all-time high in the industry, especially with the supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. And as demand continues to increase, it may not always be possible to work with suppliers that you have relationships with. It's also not realistic to assume that every supplier has access to each kind of equipment and attachment in the first place. That's why it's always a good idea to create relationships with multiple suppliers who have access to a wide range of heavy equipment inventory and specialized inventory.
As mentioned above, it takes time to build and develop those relationships and it’s always a risk to try new suppliers, but it might be necessary. One of the best ways to establish that trust is to work with suppliers that provide you with the right equipment for the right job when you need it.
As any contractor working with suppliers knows, not all equipment prices are the same. While the industry is starting to get more online, many suppliers still have their pricing behind phone lines, in printed brochures or in-shop only. While there are many justifications for this, one of the biggest challenges for a contractor is to remain within budget on their project. That’s why many contractors need to get quotes from any rental company they work with before making a decision.
However, many times, these quotes are still received over the phone or in person. While this can still be a convenient option for people on the go, providing prices online can go a long way in creating trust and favor with contractors. Also, as the world continually moves to a more mobile way of working, having the ability to view prices online on supplier websites would be just as convenient. It would also provide the ability to compare prices in real-time without having to wait on the phone or wait for those call-backs when you needed an answer immediately.