EQUIPMENT rental company Rand-Air Rand-Air recently supplied generators to a tertiary education college in Gauteng, achieving a 24-hour turnaround time on the hire.
“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,” said Benita Oosthuizen, Sales Consultant for Rand-Air Gauteng.
She 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 said, 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.” 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, two 300kVA and one 500kVA, as 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. We are supplying the 300kVA generators to two others as well, this time around.
“The lockdown also entailed the hire being postponed to September, as everything was closed before then, in June and July.”
The hire was finally placed on 4 September, a Friday, for delivery on that Saturday, 5 September, finishing on 25 September. This 24-hour turn-around required logistical juggling.
“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 said, adding that this objective was achieved.
Oosthuizen said that while the lockdown had 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.”