Bercon Rentals was founded in 2016 by the Beraldo family, who had been in the equipment rental industry since 1975 before selling their original business. Bercon, short for Beraldo Construction, has two locations in Ontario, Canada, providing aerial equipment and other equipment rentals in the region.
The Bercon team had a standing on-site annual training appointment with Point of Rental’s software experts, but when COVID hit and there were challenges with international travel and meetings in enclosed areas, those were put on hold. The company was continuing to grow, but they were looking for an opportunity to bring the team together and get them all going the same direction moving forward.
When Controller Sandra Carreiro spoke with Sean, the Pointer who they’d been working with since 2016, she discovered that Point of Rental had created a business consulting service. She and the Bercon Rentals team tried it out.
In short, the Bercon Rentals team loved the consulting experience. Here’s the transcript of the above video interview with Sandra:
You guys decided to try out our consulting services recently…why?
Sandra: Well, normally we always have the pleasure of doing an annual training for our team, just as a refresher, and also to get all the new tips and tricks, and the best practices of using the program. Obviously, with COVID, that kind of went by the wayside, and when we reached out to POR, specifically Sean Konys, he was – has been with us since implementation, he advised us that they now have this new advisory platform where they come out and actually do a consultancy plan about the gap analysis, they analyze your operations, and can make note of any deficiencies. You know, gaps and how and what can be fixed and the teams involved and dependencies that are related from that. So we thought that was a fantastic tool; we are always looking for continuous Improvement, and so I worked with Sean directly in organizing, you know, when it would be convenient for him to come out, how long it would take, what he would need, and we went from there.
Yeah it, sounds like you are already a step ahead of most people just in having the annual training and bringing people out and making sure you’re getting everyone on the same page. So what was the process like for this business consulting? All I’ve been told is Sean came to visit, he took a bunch of notes and gave those to you, but I feel like you would have a much better perspective – so what was it like from your perspective?
Sandra: From my perspective, it was very hands-off for me, which was very unusual. So from what I understand and from whenever I was down in operations, Sean was very hands-on and I just wanted to add quick feedback from the team that they really enjoyed this format, where he was literally sitting with them, watching what they do, asking them why they did it, you know, what did it – how did it benefit them? And then, from there, it could give rise to a concern that they had or a question or something they didn’t realize that the system did. So he was right there to answer those questions and tackle any small fixes and also, like you said, jot down his notes where he sees that there could be some process improvements. And that’s what, at the end of the day, that’s what he came with, so we developed a schedule with him, and he was very courteous as to developing it around our timeline for each department. And then, at the end of all that, we kind of did a little regroup, just like this with myself and we met with our ownership team to kind of give them an overall summary of where he thought things were going. We touched base at the end of every day, which worked really really well. And then, we actually just received earlier this week, his final report.
Awesome, so when you say earlier this week you received his final report how long ago did he visit you guys?
Sandra: Oh my goodness, it was just a couple weeks ago – OK, it was early… actually, I lied – it was early March, so he was here first week of March. So you figure he’s had maybe 2-3 weeks to put this together. He first presented it to myself and my colleague in kind of a summary, in a Google Meet, and then he provided us with the final report and all the action items. And that, we could use now to sort, and do with, and he also, of course, offered us to – y’know, we could reach out to him if we had any questions on his report and if we needed any clarification.
So now that you have that final report, do you feel like the whole experience was worth your while, and what makes you feel that way?
Sandra: 100% worth our while. There wasn’t any – for us, there wasn’t any surprises, but it really gives myself, as kind of the super user for POR, a good starting point, of ‘Where are my areas of high priority? What should I tackle first?’ rather than running around like a chicken with my head cut off and just saying I’m just going to start here, there, and start bugging people. This way I know this is where I need to focus my attention on first, these are the people that I can use to help me, and then you can go from there.
Yeah, I know that’s something that I personally could use a lot of help on, because I definitely do the running around with the chicken-head-cut-off thing. So what – has anything changed in your business as a result of the consulting visit? I know that it was relatively recent, but were there any quick changes?
Sandra: Definitely. I know from various staff members, even from speaking with Sean, there were a lot of quick fixes that were implemented throughout. You know, ‘Stop doing this. Tick here. Tick that. You know, you can use this.’ and they’re like ‘Oh, wow, great!’ There was also just some, you know, quick takeaways that were ‘OK, how do we use this in POR? OK, it requires this registration, that registration, quick call, a little bit of training, boom, it’s done.’
And now it’s just, you know, we’ve got some people testing it. For example, our single sign-on, which enables instant messaging, as a perfect example. We’ve always wanted to use it – again, as a growing business, also being able to have the people to devote the time to all of this is key – so having that single sign-on, now we have remote staff that can now talk to each other. That’s now also opened the door to our applying for POR One licenses, which will enhance our logistics team. So these are quick things that actually are moving quite quickly now.
Awesome. I was going to say, do you have any – this one’s not on the list, but do you have any like measurable increases in efficiency or any numbers that I can – that we can pretend are set in stone or anything?
Sandra: I wish I could say yes to that, just because it’s – I sat on this information for about a week or so as well; I haven’t met with our ownership team to present the findings to them. They’re kind of waiting for me to do this and our monthly meeting is next week. So that’s when things will kind of ‘go live’. I can tell you that the number of – I don’t know that complaints would be the right word – but the number of bellyaches I hear about ‘Oh, every time I do this in POR it does this.’ ‘Oh I can’t see this in POR.’ ‘Oh, it doesn’t give me this.’ Sean cleared up a ton of those little pain points and I haven’t heard ‘boo’ from anybody, so that’s good.
All right, I like that, a reduction in hearing ‘boo.’
Sandra: Now, that’s business-speak, you know.
Yeah, I like those technical terms. What was the best part of the process for you, particularly in your role?
Sandra: For me, it was solidifying some of my assumptions. Things that I, you know, may not have been and am not directly involved with, but you can hear the grumblings in the back, like in the background, you know, ‘This department takes so long to do this,’ and ‘How come you’re not using this?’ and I’m kinda like, ‘Well, OK, let’s find out why,’ you know, let’s – I don’t want to be in their face. Let me get all the facts first. So it really helped. This is really going to help me sort of solidify my approach with the ownership team.
Awesome, OK, we would like to expand our offerings to include more of this type of consulting to businesses that are using Point of Rental in the future – what would you say to someone that was considering having a Point of Rental consultant come out?
Sandra: Do it. Do I wish that this was something that they had offered? Probably it would have been a good tool to have along with the one-on-one training that they used to offer – the on-site training.
Just because, as – especially for a growing company and companies in their baby stages, like we are, six years young – so when you’re that young and experiencing exponential growth, it’s nice to have an objective view from someone who’s looking at the outside into your operations, and being able to say ‘Hey, you’re doing great, but here’s some little tweaks that you need to do. And some of them are small, and some of them are large, but it really sets you on the right path.