THUNDER BAY, ON ---- June 13, 2010 ----- Jim and Betsy Peterson are celebrating one year as new owners of an old Thunder Bay business. A to Z rentals has been operating in the city for 42 years, and since taking over the business, they have been working hard replacing equipment and giving the place a new fresh image.
In speaking with Jim and Betsy Peterson I was reminded how important it is to manage finances properly especially in challenging economic circumstances. The advertising slogan for a on-line bank came to mind, “Save Your Money!” “People like to collect stuff”, Jim says, “They will buy a log splitter that they might use once or twice a year, then they have to store it for the rest of the year ... then a few years down the road they end up selling it for a quarter of what they paid for it.” Often it just makes more sense to rent.
Being in the rental business also means you are in the service business. When an item is returned it is carefully examined to make sure it is in good condition for the next customer. If it is gas operated it will be re-fuelled, cleaned up, safety features checked over, and then tagged as being ready to rent out. The next customer will be shown how to start and operate the equipment so that they will be satisfied with their experience at A to Z rentals. Jim is serious about improving customer relations; he wants to deliver “faster and better service”. This means if you want a log splitter for the weekend and you phone in your request ahead of time, it will be ready for you when you come to pick it up.
One piece of equipment that Jim hopes will see a lot of use is this towable manlift. The platform can extent 20 feet and it can elevate as much as 34 feet above ground. Perfect for felling difficult trees, or doing work where you would normally have to erect scaffolding, for example putting siding on your home. Since the unit can be towed by a half ton truck, the electrically operated lift is easy and safe to operate and is a much safer way to perform many tasks than using alternate methods. When the job is done, just tow it back to A-to Z. This is the kind of equipment that a weekend warrior can use but would never be able to purchase.
If you are in the need for portable power equipment, they are a dealer for Yamaha Power Products such as pumps and generators. A quick look outside in the yard shows that they have towable lighting and power plants for contractors as well.
Good customer relations begin at the front door, and you will often find Jim at the front counter when things get busy. If you haven’t been to A-Z in the past year you will be surprised at how the place has been re-organized and cleaned up.
Counterman Peter Tillberg greets customers at the front desk. Increasingly more women are coming to the business because A-Z is quickly becoming Thunder Bay’s one stop shop for weddings, parties, and large outdoor occasion. While A-Z have been renting out large tents for years, since taking over the business Betsy Peterson has expanded this side of the operation. They now are able to supply not only the tent (which they set up for you) but portable bars, chilling tables that are perfect for salads and beverages, there are portable sinks, and all of the equipment dishes and cutlery you will ever need to set an elegant table for your guests. Even the chairs are comfortable. A short consultation with Betsy and you can be sure you have enough room for your guests, catering equipment, and activities.
“All dishes and cutlery go out clean and sterilized, ready for use, but the dishes have to come back at least well rinsed”, says Betsy Peterson.
A-Z is a recession friendly business. “People need to rethink how they spend their money” Jim say. “If you are not using something all the time, it might be better to rent”, he adds “if you are thinking green renting is a good idea”.
Should you be contemplating a summer wedding, or getting set to finally put that ceramic floor down in your kitchen give an old business a new look. Jim Peterson is promising “New owner, new products, and new service.”
For more information visit http://www.atozrentals.ca/