GetMyEquipment is streamlining the sourcing of tools and machinery on the most cost-effective terms with a new web-based platform for equipment hire that benefits both suppliers and builders.
During the course of the pandemic digital tools would emerge as our saviour, allowing business to maintain vital channels of communication in an age of social distancing. As society returns to some level of normality construction is now well placed to embed these technologies into its processes and enjoy the efficiency gains they promise.
“We started from a position that construction has often been a laggard in digital transformation,” explains company founder, Stephen Lewin. “It has as a result fallen behind in terms of productivity and output, and we believe we can do our bit to help. The equipment hire industry, for example, is one of the most fragmented sectors of the economy, with hundreds of thousands of building firms and thousands of rental companies operating in a pretty traditional way.”
In that environment, time poor tradespeople, find it difficult to source the best deals from the most reliable companies, whilst tool and plant hire firms struggle to develop new customers. GetMyEquipment is designed to bring both parties together on a more equitable basis, and match supply to demand. So just how does it work?
“Get My Equipment is an online marketplace that’s focused on the local jobbing builder – as well as medium sized contractors and subcontractors – and we’re purely business to business with no DIY customers. Similarly, when it comes to equipment stockists, we’re targeting independent local and regional players. The online interface itself is designed to be very user friendly. A builder will register with our site, input what equipment they will need for a particular job and an enquiry goes out to the suppliers in that area. Quotes from suppliers are ready in a few minutes and the customer can then compare what equipment each company can supply, the pricing, and how they have been rated by other users in terms of service and the quality of the kit.”
Rather than managing multiple accounts, or resorting to the supplier they know, and risk missing out on a more cost effective and reliable alternative, GetMyEquipment enables the contractor to do business through just one online platform. Once they know who has availability, it’s a simple question of ordering through the click of a button, and the machinery is delivered.
“Builders can either complete the transaction as a cash customer, making use of an online payment portal to pay by card up front, or as a trade customer, with a 30-day trade credit arrangement, and would then be invoiced by the supplier accordingly. We’re an online marketplace, so the contract is between the construction company and hire firm, which means that the stockist does not have to change their own practices or terms and conditions in any way – the existing contractual obligations remain the same. For a small hire firm with perhaps only one or two depots, one of the big advantages is that it makes their fleet and equipment catalogue immediately more visible to a wider range of customers, enabling them to compete for business on a local basis with some of the big names in the sector. It increases their presence without any additional costs.”
Through GetMyEquipment builders can source anything that’s required for an individual project from excavators, access equipment and welfare provision to hand-held power tools. Moreover, if a construction company is working away from home, and outside the catchment area of their regular suppliers, the website becomes a very useful tool in finding stockists in any given location.
Stephen and his team have also thought very carefully about security issues. Before registration to GetMyEquipment is approved, for instance, a contractor is thoroughly vetted, to ensure that they are a viable business, and when the hirer receives an enquiry they will be provided with all of the customer’s details so they can conduct their own standard checks. Registration for building companies and hirers is completely free, with GetMyEquipment charging hire companies a small commission on the overall value of the transaction.
With the help of a £100,000 grant from Innovate UK, GetMyEquipment was launched to the market in Spring of 2021, initially in London and the south east, and has been steadily growing its customer base since then. “We believe that the industry is desperate for this kind of digital transformation,” concludes Stephen, “and GetMyEquipment is designed to help companies on both sides of the plant and tool hire business.”
For further information on GetMyEquipment visit https://getmyequipment.com/