In November 2015, Stuart and Raelene King acquired Swan Hill Hire and Nifty’s Auto Rentals in Australia. In May 2017, they were named the Hire and Rental Industry Association’s Rental Company of the Year (under $5 million). Both Kings credit Syrinx, Point of Rental’s UK/AU-centred hire software, for helping them take off so quickly.
Seated in Swan Hill, a city of about 10,000 people in the north of Victoria, Swan Hill Hire and Nifty’s Auto Rentals are geographically separated from Victoria’s major population hub, Melbourne, by 350 kilometres. Their isolation from the metropolis gives them an opportunity to serve a large area – roughly a 150km radius, providing equipment for sites in many nearby regional centers.
The Kings are the third owners of Swan Hill Hire, which started as Peter Kerr’s “one-man show” in a small tin shed in 1986. They didn’t have to start from scratch, but they did have a plan to maximise efficiency, bringing their experience in the farming, engineering, construction, and transport industries. But with lots of work to do and not as much time to do it, they leaned heavily on Syrinx, the hire software they inherited.
“The previous owners mostly used Syrinx for preparing hire contracts and invoices,” said Stuart. “Now we’re using it for all of our workshop service jobs, purchase orders, and tracking costs of our hire fleet equipment. It’s easy to tell how profitable specific items are and when they’re starting to be less profitable. We’ve started to unlock the potential of the CRM features for marketing purposes, and we’re working to employ Syrinx in managing all of our bookings and availability.”
The implementation of Syrinx’s full suite of features will complement Swan Hill Hire’s commitment to their community, fueling their success.
Stuart is a board member of Swan Hill Inc., the elected body representing the business community of Swan Hill, and Raelene works part-time as a Registered Nurse and aged care trainer. Swan Hill Hire also provides equipment, money, or time to dozens of local clubs, earning not only business connections, but friends throughout the region.
“Our customers are literally our teammates, our friends and our community. When they come to us, we get to focus on providing the right tools for their job or problem,” Raelene added. “Customer satisfaction is generated through solutions for their needs.”
“Given we are in a rural environment servicing many varied markets, we have found it is extremely important to stay relevant and to have a wide range of well maintained, presentable and up-to-date equipment. Customers appreciate our efforts to invest in new equipment and new technology.”
It’s that commitment to community, growth, and expansion that helped earn them Australian Rental Company of the Year honors. As they look toward the future, they set their sights on bigger things for their business and for the world.
With Swan Hill Hire and Nifty’s Auto Rentals, they’re exploring additional depots in some of the surrounding regional communities. The Kings are also developing the ability to secure long-term projects in the region, and provide project management and training.
Beyond that, Stuart is a founding member and Director on the Board of Changing Nations, which helps provide specialist skills to regions that have massive needs. He and Raelene hope to take a longer-term trip to Pader, in the north of Uganda, to help that area recover from war by training the local population in farming, mechanics, and construction.
For now, however, the Kings are celebrating their award with their four daughters and working (with Syrinx!) to make work a little easier each day for the people and businesses in Northern Victoria.