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Smart solutions for the test market

Back in February Microlease and Electro Rent in Europe unified their operations as part of the move to consolidate Microlease and Livingston into Electro Rent, following their acquisition in 2017.

“You’re going to see further renaming and rebranding next year,” explained George Acris, VP of Marketing, at a press event held in London last month.

“In 2020, we’ll be phasing in the Electro Rent name but while it will be used more, both Microlease and Livingston will still be referred to in those markets where we still need to communicate the fact that we are now an integrated global business.

“The plan is to intensify our communications strategy prior to the new business’ full launch next year – it’s about getting that message out there, that we are now a full-service company in test and measurement.”

Blending the two corporate cultures has been a challenge and will remain a work in progress, but the company is planning a number of enhancements and investments to address the changing requirements of customers in the test and measurement space.

“We have invested $10m in new testing equipment to support technologies, like 5G, at a time when the market is developing rapidly and we’re seeing a growing number of deployments worldwide.

“As a business we are investing heavily in digitisation and asset management, it is an important area for us,” said Acris. “We’re developing a new website and we’ll be looking to provide a range of new features from ecommerce to a personal space for each customer.

“This new feature, MyElectroRent, will enable customers to better control what they buy or rent and will enable us to maximise the service we can provide them with.”

According to Acris, the investments being made are intended to support the brands as they are brought together and to ‘future proof’ the platform. The company has one of the largest global inventories available and provides engineers with access to a huge range of equipment.

“We can supply test equipment immediately and that level of responsiveness is critical in today’s market. We’ve also been signing a number of distribution agreements around the world, all of which provides better levels of access to test equipment. It’s about optimising our customers’ spend and how they use that equipment,” explained Acris.

Electro Rent/Microlease address a broad range of markets and the test environment is changing.

“Traditionally engineers have looked to acquire test equipment and the result is a lot of underused equipment,” said Acris.

“Today, with the rapid developments in technology, engineers need more test equipment. Many companies have limited budgets, so there is a growing trend towards renting or leasing equipment. More engineers are looking at alternative sources of test equipment and how they can use that equipment more efficiently,” said Acris.

“If you are able to move from a capex to an opex model you can afford to use more test equipment and do so more efficiently – the cost savings can be enormous and more companies are moving away from an automatic purchase culture to, at the very least, investigating rental.”

New technologies and standards require increased flexibility and companies don’t want, or need, to be ‘saddled’ with investments that can’t be changed and they’re under the pressure of getting products to market faster.

“Ease of use and access to the latest test equipment are crucial and we are looking to drive growth in the rental space.

“Test equipment is critical for companies and if you are looking to address a specific need, or need greater flexibility, the rental model is becoming more popular. Using rental, it is far easier to justify acquiring equipment in these financially constrained times.”

Author
Neil Tyler

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