Byrne Equipment Rental

Issue 09 2010

Hire-order functions

Since 1992 Byrne Equipment Rental has provided plant hire services to various sectors in the Gulf region.

Though it began with the renting out of surplus equipment, after clients began approaching the company with requests for different items it was decided to make the service a serious operation. Through this process Byrne has gradually grown its fleet to the 7500 items it is able to provide today.

CEO of Byrne, Graeme Clack, gives further details on his company’s structure: “The group employs just under 800 people and it’s broken up into seven companies across four countries – Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – and within those we break down further into branches and specialist divisions. Right now we have 11 operational depots and another two under construction.”

He continues: “The company is varied in terms of the market it focuses on, and even this varies depending on the strengths of the locality in which we are operating. In Dubai, for example, we are heavily into sports and music events, whereas in the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia and in Qatar we are much more heavily focused on oil refinery shutdown work.”

Operating in such wide-ranging industries, the company has collected a versatile range of equipment. New products and new applications for equipment the company already owns is crucial to Byrne remaining at the top of its game, as Graeme explains: “What we’re really interested in is when a customer comes to us requesting an item of equipment that does a different function to the ones we currently own. We work out an arrangement whereby Byrne purchases that item specifically for the customer. Of course we take the financial risk that we might not have future customers hiring that piece of equipment, but for us this approach is the perfect way to keep growing our fleet and to expose our business to broader markets.”

This flexibility is seen as a point of pride by the company, ensuring it is never pigeonholed into a single sector. One recent contract completed by Byrne displays its capabilities well. Supplying a Saudi Arabian oil company during the shutdown of a refinery, Byrne had signed an umbrella contract in which they were to provide all necessary equipment. Often this meant providing items not already owned so it had at short notice to go out and procure the appropriate goods. Though this put Byrne outside of its comfort zone, the company undertook the project successfully and learned that this type of contract can be very beneficial for both companies: it brings Byrne closer to the client, providing better bespoke solutions, and for the client it means more efficient service by working with a single point of contact.

There are obstacles, however. Despite the wide range of equipment and experience the company possesses, it sometimes finds itself being labelled as a supplier of specific items, an image the company wants to break away from. A more immediate challenge, however, is the need to maintain and repair all of its equipment. Because hire is often carried out on short-term basis, equipment is frequently loaded and unloaded from the back of trucks which causes a lot of wear and tear. This is aggravated by the region’s hot and dusty climate.

Graeme discusses how Byrne copes with the need to constantly repair items: “We run a service fleet specifically to carry out basic, hourly-based servicing on equipment. They make first contact and report back on what issues the product is facing. This is followed up by the appropriate maintenance crew, who updates, improves or replaces damaged elements.” From the service desk that receives calls to the crews that are out on the road, Byrne runs all of its service departments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This ensures the customer is able to get the most efficient service possible, and that it can respond to any emergency situations immediately.

The market itself also presents a challenge. There is a tendency for customers to seek out suppliers with the lowest prices – particularly during the recent economic downturn – and this makes it difficult to remain competitive, because Byrne also insists on maintaining a high standard. It wants to build long-lasting relationships with clients and, for example, to provide every aspect of the rental process from setup to technicians and cabling to the fuel supply. Nonetheless, with a wealth of expertise at its fingertips, Byrne is able to deliver on these commitments. Should it not, then it is very keen on following up mistakes by making sure the customer does get what it wants and learning how to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Looking at the company’s progression, Graeme concludes that whilst the future may be unpredictable Byrne is more than capable of rising to the challenge: “We certainly have ambitions to move beyond the four countries in which we currently operate, but we would have to do that based on the types of customer and equipment we deal with at the moment rather than exploring new industries. The company has to keep expanding its footprint because we cannot afford to stand still.”

Byrne Equipment Rental
Services: Industrial equipment rental

Byrne Equipment Rental