September 24, 2017

Business as usual for Renttech SA with renewed focus

Managing Director, Duncan Whitehead

Renttech South Africa has a proud 20-year track record of providing a combination of high-quality local and international branded equipment for rental or purchase, allied to superb customer service and business integrity. After two decades, a new Managing Director, Duncan Whitehead, has taken up leadership of this well-known business.

Renttech SA is the preferred supplier of welding, power generation, lifting and rigging equipment for rental or purchase to the engineering, industrial, construction, pulp and paper, petrochemical, power generation, agricultural – and many other sectors – across Southern and sub-Saharan Africa.

Whitehead, who took over as Managing Director in March this year, brings 3 decades of senior management experience in the aviation, industrial and mining sectors, to bear in his new role.

“Our strategy moving forward, in a nutshell, is one of ‘business as usual’ – with a renewed focus,” Whitehead states.

He emphasises that a pivotal aspect of this renewed focus pertains to Renttech’s valued customer relationships; and that, as such, the company will strive to improve its service both to new and existing customers.

“From our side, we greatly appreciate the continued strong support that we have had from our customer base,” he comments.

Regarding the acquisition of Renttech SA by the Bidvest Group, Whitehead is very positive. “With all its acquisitions, Bidvest adopts a decentralised, entrepreneurial approach. This allows the businesses within the Group the flexibility to develop and grow their own brands, while being responsible for their own success,” he explains.

“While there are no plans to change the successful business model which has seen Renttech grow into a robust and sustainable company, we will continue to investigate innovative ways in which we can offer our technical expertise and cutting-edge products to the market; thereby improving our customers’ overall Renttech experience,” he continues.

He emphasises that buy-in of the company’s key stakeholders – from staff to customers and suppliers – is essential in order to effect these future growth strategies.

“We are fortunate in having a high-calibre team on board, as well as an enviable portfolio of locally and internationally branded products and solutions developed over the past 20 years. So we have all the right elements in place to move forward successfully,” he observes.

In terms of improving customer service, there are a number of opportunities that Whitehead is keen to pursue, given that industry and technology are constantly changing.

“As Renttech is very much a solutions-driven company, we need to be ‘ahead of the curve’: taking advantage of new technology in order to make our customers more productive, energy-efficient and cost-effective – with the end-goal of improving their bottom line and return-on-investment,” he explains.

“The advanced technology we offer also has other advantages, such as helping to address the skills shortages that some of our customers are experiencing through its level of innovation and user-friendliness,” says Whitehead.

A further advantage is that when a customer is contemplating buying a major equipment item such as a latest-technology industrial welder or generator, they are able – first of all – to rent a similar unit from Renttech, to ensure that it meets their expectations before purchasing.

Renttech SA is also scrutinising its rental fleet to make sure the equipment on offer meets the company’s high standards. “We will be embarking on a fleet renewal and enhancement drive to ensure that when a customer rents equipment from us, they get that ‘as new’ experience; and that they are assured of renting the latest – and best – technology the market has to offer,” he adds.

In terms of internal efficiencies and process flows, Renttech has been engaging with its staff on how to take the company to the next level of excellence.

“This process has been a very positive one for us,” says Whitehead. To this end, the company has been busy upskilling and developing new and existing staff members; as well as empowering the inherent management abilities of its middle management.

He comments further that while there are still many unexploited opportunities within South Africa, Renttech is also ‘cautiously keen’ to consider business opportunities in the rest of Africa. The company already has a successful operation in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

“We will adopt a cautious approach and evaluate the potential of each pan-African business opportunity on a case-by-case basis,” he continues, remarking that this type of expansion requires a thorough knowledge of the local market and substantial groundwork prior to any kind of engagement.

“In summary, we realise that as a country, we are in for some rough economic weather going forward. However, South Africans are resilient and are very good at leveraging their innate innovation and entrepreneurialism: to not only survive but even thrive during adversity.

At Renttech SA, we are committed to continue working closely with our customers, ensuring that we lead the market with innovative products and service, which will help them to develop and sustain their businesses, moving towards a more prosperous future,” he concludes.

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