The culmination of the Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) HRIA National Convention – HIRE16 – is the presentation and delivery of the Hire Industry Excellence Awards (HIEA) which recognise outstanding achievement and industry excellence.
The HIEA will be presented Friday, 6 May, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel in Surfers Paradise on the final evening of the two day national HRIA Convention, HIRE16 to be held on the Gold Coast, 5-6 May, in front of an anticipated audience of 350 Australian hire industry peers.
With 10 categories, the HIEA focus the attention of the industry and pay tribute to the exceptional standards of service and innovation displayed throughout the sector.
The Hire Industry Excellence Awards cover the following categories:
- Rental Company of the Year – Over $5m
- Rental Company of the Year Under $5m
- Rental Company of the Year – Events
- Supplier of the Year
- Supplier of the Year – Access
- Best New Product – General
- Best New Product _ Events
- Best New Product – Access
- Best Exhibition Stand – Over 40m2
- Best Exhibition Stand – Under 40m2
The selection process for many of the award categories are managed by the industry itself; with much voting undertaken by HRIA members attending the two day annual Convention (this year on the Gold Coast). Supplier of the Year is nominated and voted on by the member companies purchasing and offering their equipment for rent.
Finalists are selected from the Rental Company of the Year nominations and judges then visit each Finalist to personally assess their operation and procedures.
Judges have always found it difficult to select the Finalists and often the selection comes down to distinct services or procedures which stand out from the rest.
Judging panel representative Ross Hogan said: “There are major benefits for every company taking the time and effort to participate in the awards.
“Finalists all say they increased their business and saw increased respect from their existing customer base for their achievement.
“Just by completing a presentation, you get to investigate your company’s Key Performance Indicators,” Mr Hogan said.
“Customer care was an area we thought was the ‘big improver’ last year. We could see more companies were focused on what they can do as a value added extra for valued customers.
“We also found more companies were taking an active role in their OH&S programs to reduce costs and improve the well-being of their staff and customers,” Mr Hogan said.
“Marketing is another area where we find a large varied attitude. We now see more and more attention paid to web site marketing. This is because web sites are contributing more enquiries and business than traditional options.
“Judging of equipment is always difficult during inspection. We realise the new items are the first to be rented and are therefore often not actually present in the Finalist hire yard, so we take into account the quality and presentation of the items on the floor on the day of inspection.
“The Finalist company team members take an active role in the judging procedure. We cover the functionality of the counter, workshop, yard and delivery staff in terms of how they handle the telephones, booking procedures, out of stock situations and so.
“Customer phone testimonials are also always interesting. As judges, we select a few small, medium and large regular customers. The company provides mobile phone numbers and must show they have knowledge of the customer. The customer is asked why they do business with the rental company. How does the equipment perform?
“We get some great stories after the last question: “What have they done for you far above the call of duty?”
“Above all else, all ‘Rental Company of the Year’ Finalists are proud of their company and their achievements.
“We find they are all great companies and are very willing to allow fellow members to contact them and visit their yards in order to compare notes on ways of doing business,” Mr Hogan said.
The hire industry in Australia covers an enormous field of industries, providing equipment for construction, mining, arborist and horticultural/landscaping, excavating and earthmoving, road construction, materials handling and working at heights and the home handyman and DIY segments as well as the events industry in Australia, among many others.