A few decades ago, facilities started embracing the alternative of entrusting housekeeping service providers with the cleaning of their facilities, rather than doing it themselves. By choosing this, they availed themselves of a flexible, cost-efficient mode of FM.
Now, history is repeating itself. Those service providers, which have evolved into mega corporations, are now exploring the possibilities of renting machines from manufacturers rather than purchasing them outright; flexibility and cost-efficiency remain the two big draws.
In this interview, Jatinder Kaul, Managing Director, Kärcher India, breaks down the rental model, justifies its superiority over Capex purchase in many situations, clarifies doubts about minimum orders and lease periods, and shares how renting will help his company increase its market share.
What market conditions and customer demands led you to offer the rental model?
Kärcher is a global leader in the cleaning industry. With a rich heritage since 1935, the consistent goal has been to deliver an enhanced customer experience.
From factories and warehouses to supermarkets and offices, cleanliness plays a crucial role in every business. No matter what industry you’re in, our rental solutions model aims to help to keep premises clean with world-class standards.
We are committed to revolutionising the cleaning industry with mechanised alternatives. The rental solutions model was introduced with a strategic objective to cater to our esteemed clients across varied industries who are looking for highly efficient cleaning solutions with a convenient pay-as-you-go option for the lifecycle cost of the equipment.
Steadily, we have built this model to offer our range of professional machines to industries like airports, hospitality, institutions and many more. We have garnered a lot of appreciation through this initiative too. It’s our responsibility to provide rental machines, and also equip our customers with comprehensive maintenance contracts.
What factors would you take into account before advising a customer to rent vs buy?
Whether high-pressure cleaners, vacuum sweepers, scrubber driers or municipal equipment, we not only offer our solutions for sale, they can also be rented. Users can therefore use the machine on a short-term basis or for exactly how long they need it. The rental periods can also be arranged in a flexible manner; from short to long term rentals, everything is possible, and the rental period can be extended if there are any additional needs. The machines can therefore be used for as long as they are required and customers can use their capital benefit for further investment of their business.
The renting process is very straightforward: Kärcher delivers the equipment, provides instructions on how to use it and collects it again at the end of the rental period.
Please explain how renting can be a more cost-effective solution for customers.
Using the rental solution, professional building cleaners can cope with peaks when a large order is imminent and all of their own equipment is already in operation. The following principle applies from an economic perspective: if a machine is not used very often, renting is frequently more cost-effective than buying.
For example, if it costs X to purchase a machine, the factor to rent the machine for a particular time duration is considerably more cost-effective.
What machines do you offer in the rental model? Why have you chosen to offer these?
Most of our professional solutions are offered through a rental model. In addition to high-pressure cleaners, floor cleaners and municipal equipment, vacuum sweepers and scrubber driers, there is a range of equipment that can be customised and provided.
Is there a minimum number of machines that a customer must request for?
Here, the commitment is to serve – to improve the quality of cleaning standards across industries and therefore, there is no minimum order quantity. Both are customisable – the rental period and the assortment of machines needed.
How is the rent amount influenced by the rental period?
This is completely customised as per client’s requirements and we offer a fairly transparent policy regarding this. The rental amount is based on the machine and the rental period.
How do you expect the rental model to contribute to your market share and growth of your company?
The cleaning industry is seeing its greatest rate of technological change to date, with Kärcher at the forefront of producing more efficient and productive machines. This model is a big breakthrough in the cleaning industry. Being a pioneer world-over for rental solutions, our aim is to scale up market share and growth of niche segments which are keenly looking for world-class standards for cleaning solutions which offer business flexibility.
How has the market responded to the rental model?
Whether you need a quick solution during peak periods, have an occasional need for specialist cleaning equipment, or simply want the hassle taken out of purchasing, maintaining and operating cleaning equipment, renting is an easy, safe, cost-effective and time-saving solution that more and more organisations are turning to. We offer a range of contracts to suit your hiring needs and no matter which you choose. The response has been incredibly encouraging.
We’re humbled to have partnered with a leading airport in India which recently welcomed a fleet of 30+ Karcher rental machines! Now, our ride-on scrubbers, steam cleaners, vacuums, etc will be used abundantly for cleaning at the airport premises.
From which market segments is the most demand coming?
We’ve got a lot of enquiries and requests coming in across industries; but to name a few, they are building services and contractors, facility management companies and large warehouse management companies.
How do you expect this model to evolve in the near future?
With the positive market response we have been receiving, the rental solutions model is poised to progress and become a growth engine and business driver for us in the near future.