Minimising power rental operating costs with improved customer relationship management

Rental Solutions & Services estimates temporary power requirements through a process that involves asking the question ‘why?’ at every stage of the customer journey

Rental Solutions & Services, Power equipment, JCB Power Products, Gensets, Load-on-demand

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The price of temporary power in the UAE has increased during the past year, primarily due to the increase in fuel price. Fuel has become the largest component of the operating costs of power equipment, which has made fuel efficiency a major deciding factor for power rental agreements.

UAE-based power rental company Rental Solutions & Services (RSS) is helping its customers mitigate their operating costs by estimating their initial and future requirements through a process that involves asking the question ‘why?’ at every stage of the customer journey.

Russel Moxham, group general manager, RSS, explains: “A customer may demand a 500kVA generator for a new project because the company has used the same specifications on previous projects and the habitual ordering pattern is convenient for them. We could easily supply a 500kVA generator available in stock and close the deal. However, the new project may not require the same capacity. Furthermore, the customers may not be aware about advancements in generator and engine technology and how they could save money with smart utilisation of power.”

Russel Moxham, group general manager, RSS

We have trained our sales people to ask the question ‘why’ repeatedly until they understand the specific requirements of the customer, study the alternatives, and arrive at the most cost-effective and fuel efficient power solution. So, they start by asking why a 500kVA generator is needed. If the customer is not sure about the requirement, then we educate them about the impact of their choices on their operating costs. This longer, but efficient sales process requires more interactions with project managers, compared to the conventional way of dealing with procurement managers alone,” he adds.

This process, according to Moxham, has led to more awareness about smart solutions such as load-on-demand generators for fluctuating power demands.

“No rental company or end user would want a generator to run on full load at all times because it is leads to fuel wastage and increase in maintenance schedules. A labour camp, for example, requires 1MW for every 1000 people, but that requirement reduces significantly when they go to sites for work. We’ve received inquiries to provide up to 4MW for around 300 people because it’s specified for 24/7 MEP equipment utilisation, which doesn’t happen in reality. If we use two 500kVA generators for a 1000kVA peak capacity, one of the generators is switched off when the load drops. When the load increases and the first generator reaches 65% of its capacity, the second generator switches on automatically. Because the generators can take turns after every 12 hours, it reduces downtime and maintenance. A few years ago, customers were not aware about these solutions, but we see that changing gradually, and the conversation is shifting from demanding cheaper rental prices to fuel efficiency and its cost savings with load-on-demand generators,” explains Moxham.

RSS’s revenue stream is payment for a required power capacity for a short period – a day, week or month – irrespective of the number of equipment required to provide the capacity. Currently, the largest market for RSS in the region is 60–500KVa generators.

To gain a competitive advantage, the company launched a fleet of rental specification (RS) generators in 2017. RSS initially acquired 300 RS generators from JCB Power Products in 2017 and expanded it with 400 additional JCB generators in 2018. JCB customised the RS range according to the specifications provided by RSS.

The RS generators are powered by Stage IIIA compliant engines from Cummins, John Deere, Volvo and JCB Dieselmax, providing power outputs ranging from 60kVA to 1MW. The generators are housed in robust rental-specific canopies, and JCB’s LiveLink telematics system is incorporated as a standard feature on all models above 60kVA.

“It’s not feasible to maintain a different fleet for each market. We needed generators that could be compatible with the power demands of any sector and transported directly from one site to another. That’s the reason we decided to invest in a common fleet for all applications. The RS range has been well received in the UAE since 2017, and it has helped us expand our markets in the GCC,” says Moxham.

RSS opted for JCB as the sole supplier for its RS range because of JCB’s integrated LiveLink offering, after-sales support and brand recognition. All RS generators are cobranded with the RSS and JCB logos. The integration of LiveLink has enabled RSS to manage generator maintenance schedules and fuel consumption, efficiently.

“Our generators need servicing every 500 hours. Without LiveLink, we wouldn’t know if a generator has been switched off for a while by the customer, and our engineers would go to the site as part of their maintenance schedule, unnecessarily. With LiveLink, we can monitor generator utilisation in real time and schedule their maintenance only when their utilisation approaches 500 hours,” says Moxham.

“The efficiency of diesel engines depends largely on their utilisation by end users. We receive alerts when generators are running above or below their intended loads, and then we investigate the causes. If site conditions have changed since the installation of the generator and the new conditions demand a lower or higher capacity, we provide a new generator to serve the new load requirements,” he adds.

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