View This Article in BOSS Magazine
Making heavy rental equipment more accessible to more people
As prices for both single-family, owner-occupied homes, and rental properties continue to recover to pre-crash levels, investment in improvements to the nation’s housing stock will continue to increase. This means that more new homes are being built and more existing homeowners are feeling confident enough to invest in improvements to their existing homes, either by hiring contractors or doing it themselves.
According to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), total home improvement products sales are forecasted to reach more than $330B this year. More people are consciously choosing homes that are in need of renovations so they can do the work without the help of contractors.
This DIY market has become a category and culture all its own. No longer just dedicated to fixing leaky faucets and changing locks, the DIY space has grown to include full home renovations, building additions, and more. This expansion has occurred because the Internet has enabled the easy creation and distribution of a DIY guide for how to do virtually anything and everything.
While the DIY sector has been visible for years, its recent evolution has changed the perception within the marketplace and the needs of customers. Customers have always relied on their local hardware store to buy their DIY materials, but the notion of what “DIY” can be has drastically changed.
To keep up with the demand of budding DIYers taking on more jobs around the home, retailers began needing small rental equipment that average homeowners and DIYers may only use once or twice, like pressure washers and sanders.
But these DIYers didn’t want to stop there. To take on more complex jobs, they needed bigger, more complex rental equipment that could be used for jobs that used to be reserved for the pros. And while the Internet may have made DIY knowledge more accessible, it wasn’t until retailers like The Home Depot started catering to this new kind of shopper—the DIYer—that the category really took off.
That’s the opportunity Compact Power Equipment Rental identified ten years ago. This combination between rental entity and big box store not only made The Home Depot what it is today, but it also represented the practical start of the DIY rental industry too.
Compact Power combines fleet quality and management with the retail breadth generally associated with the largest equipment rental companies. These characteristics—in tandem with the brand’s localized presence nationwide and friendly, convenient customer service—have served thousands of customers well, providing assistance during their toughest DIY challenges.
Partnering with The Home Depot Creates New Opportunities
Since 2008, Compact Power and The Home Depot have delivered one-stop convenience for both rental equipment and related job supplies.
In founding Compact Power, Braswell proves his understanding that DIYers and small contractors need access to power equipment they would otherwise be unable to own. The company’s partnership with The Home Depot realizes this concept.
“Our relationship with The Home Depot began when The Home Depot wanted to expand the towable equipment program,” said Richard Porter, Compact Power’s Chief Operating Officer.
“The capital costs related to the depreciation and maintenance of the equipment was significant. At that time, we were a small equipment rental company looking for more opportunities to reach a larger volume of users. Our agreement with The Home Depot to run rental stores at existing locations was the start of the Compact Power Equipment Rental organization our customers know today.”
In initial negotiations, Compact Power agreed to own, maintain, and repair all of the rental equipment while The Home Depot hosted “parking lot” rental operations on site. Compact Power has expanded to more than 1,000 locations without owning a single retail store.
"The separation was invisible for the Home Depot customer", said Compact Power’s Chief Executive Officer Roger Braswell. "They could rent a sod cutter and skid steer on the same ticket. They were still renting from Home Depot."
Through this partnership between The Home Depot and Compact Power, DIYers and pros alike are now able to get everything they need in one location, which eliminates downtime, creates more operating efficiencies, and positively impacts the bottom line. This makes even the biggest jobs more accessible and convenient.
Through greater access to heavy equipment, Compact Power has effectively redefined what a DIY project is. A leaky faucet? Sure. A complete bathroom renovation? No problem. A new pool? Why not?
The partnership between Compact Power and The Home Depot is incredibly beneficial for both brands, but even more so for customers renting the equipment. On a single trip to a single store, customers can purchase tools and supplies, and then go outside to rent the heavy towable equipment they need to complete their DIY job.
Convenience Drives More DIY and Pro Projects
Compact Power Equipment Rental is fast becoming a highly respected leader in the heavy equipment space. Its mission? Delighting customers while growing the business, rewarding the team, and being profitable. The company is committed to the customer, and has an innate understanding of what drives their needs during a renovation or improvement project.
“Every customer is our most important customer,” said Porter. “We’re a one-stop shop. Customers can visit us in-store or online, place their order, and their equipment will come with wheels attached or with a trailer. We also conduct ongoing preventative maintenance so our customers never have to miss a minute of working time. At the end of the day, our customers pay for the rental and that’s it.”
And Porter was right, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Due to the size and weight of heavy equipment, many customers were challenged by the best way to transport machinery from store to worksite. Compact Power saw an opportunity to make the rental experience more convenient by offering alternative methods of transportation.
So VIP Onsite Delivery was created. The company’s newly expanded service delivers to 43 markets, an increase of more than 200 percent since its inception in 2014 where it launched in 14 markets. By expanding VIP Onsite Delivery to all Home Depot Tool Rental Centers, Compact Power has the potential to reach approximately 85 percent of current or potential customers across the United States.
This delivery service caters to customers’ schedules, needs, and projects. More specifically, VIP allows customers to rent heavy equipment and have it delivered directly to—and picked up from—their jobsite by a Compact Power technician.
“We’re proud to offer VIP Onsite Delivery,” Porter shared. “With its expansion, Compact Power can leverage our best-in-class technology and provide a true benefit to our customers. It blends our existing retail network, growing rental fleet, and advanced technology platforms to provide customers with the equipment they need in a convenient and efficient way.”
Compact Power also utilizes application technology to make getting rental equipment to homes and jobsites even easier and more convenient. In 2015 the company launched a rental app, which includes an easy-to-browse catalog of all equipment that’s available at nearby The Home Depot locations. The easy, three-step process also allows customers to update a current rental in real-time.
“From Uber to Airbnb, consumers are increasingly realizing the benefits to renting vs. buying. Compact Power is bringing this same level of convenience to the renovation and improvement market. By making heavy equipment rental more accessible to more people, Compact Power allows both professional contractors and DIYers to save more time and money,” said Porter.
Creating a Customer-focused Culture
For an organization like Compact Power Equipment Rental to build trust with weekend warriors and small-business contractors, the company needed to focus on providing great rental equipment and great service, all of which had to be centered on the customer. Over the past 10 years, that’s exactly what Compact Power has done.
The entire employee base is focused on pleasing the customer. Integrity, professionalism, hustle, great service, and most importantly, fun, combine to create a great work environment that not only attracts employees, but satisfies customers. And more and more, Compact Power is finding that some of the best people to provide this high level of customer service are veterans of the armed forces.
“About 30 percent of our employee base is veterans. When I ask them why they chose to work for Compact Power, I usually get an answer along the lines of: ‘When I left the Corps and went into civilian life, it took a while to find an organization that share similar values with me. People that wanted to get up and work hard every day for the sake of each other, and I found that at Compact Power.’ That’s high praise coming from America’s heroes.
“It shows that this job is more than collecting a paycheck. There are more than 600 families that are relying on the mutual success of the people around you. Trust is the heartbeat of this organization.”
Compact Power Equipment Rental’s future looks bright. With plans to continue to expand its already-impressive inventory, grow the VIP Onsite Delivery program, and establish new locations, customers will be well-positioned to experience the Compact Power way.
Profitability is not the first and only priority, Porter shared. Instead, delighting customers will always help the bottom line, so the business’s focus on its clients will remain its first and foremost goal.
Compact Power Equipment, Inc. is a fast-growing, innovative leader in the rental and services of commercial and light construction equipment industries. Headquartered in Fort Mill, SC, just outside of Charlotte, NC, we are a team of over 600 people, based across the U.S. and Canada.
Compact Power Equipment, Inc. is comprised of two components:
Compact Power Equipment Rental - As a partner of The Home Depot Tool Rental Center, Compact Power Equipment Rental, or Compact Power for short, supplements the traditional product offering of tools, trucks and trailers with high quality towable rental equipment such as mini-skids, excavators, skid steers, trenchers and chipper shredders. Compact Power rental equipment is now found in more than 1,000 Home Depot locations across North America.
Compact Power Equipment Services - A world class organization of certified local technicians providing cost reducing maintenance services for facilities, commercial equipment and light construction equipment nationwide.
Compact Power HQ
3326 Highway 51
Fort Mill, SC 29716