With strong 2018 outlook, Global Rental Alliance focuses on workforce development, technology

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Strategies to promote more women and minorities in the rental industry, as well as efforts to engage young professionals, provoked a lively discussion when the Global Rental Alliance (GRA) met recently at The Rental Show in New Orleans.

Technology trends and workforce development issues are priorities for the members, they say. Technology is the one area that cuts across industry segments, geographies and cultures to improve business performance. It’s improved safety, operational efficiency and the customer experience – and will continue to reshape the industry, members agreed at their 16th annual meeting.

The meeting agenda included the latest review of the global survey initiative of the GRA, which estimates fiscal year 2016 combined rental revenue among the GRA associations of nearly $97 billion. That represents a 6-percent increase over 2015 rental revenues, as calculated by IHS Markit on behalf of the group.

Given that those figures are from 2016 – and with many in the rental industry saying they’ve seen positive indicators since then – the latest figures could well be higher once they’re tallied.

The GRA members agreed to start projecting the recent year’s rental revenue and other key figures at their summer meeting and will publish preliminary 2017 figures in August.

Discussion was held among the associations on the economic forecast for their countries through 2018, and it appears that the economies of all GRA members are healthy and that operators expect a very good year, the group says.

An international perspective on priorities helps the strategic outlook and resources of each rental member association.

“The Global Rental Alliance allows industry and association representatives from around the world to discuss common issues that impact rental/hire operators and share solutions that are having a positive impact,” says CEO Tony Conant of ARA. “We are always looking to add global members who are interested in sharing their geography’s industry data and advancing the rental industry.”

As part of the meeting, GRA welcomed back the Brazilian Rental Association as a member, joining the Canadian Rental Association; European Rental Association, Belgium; Hire Association Europe, United Kingdom; Hire Industry Association of New Zealand; Hire and Rental Industry Association Ltd., Australia; Japan Construction Rental Association, Japan; and American Rental Association.

The group discussed their objectives for 2018-2019, as well as conference dates and schedules for their respective associations. These dates are available on the GRA website, GlobalRentalAlliance.com.

A mid-year webinar meeting for GRA is planned for August 2018. The next annual meeting will be at The Rental Show 2019 in Anaheim, California, where technology will again be a major topic.

The purpose of the Global Rental Alliance is to increase the profile of equipment rental and hiring worldwide. A partnership of rental associations from around the developed world, the group that meets semi-annually and shares information on program initiatives throughout the year.