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Rental Expert John Caskey Added to Sept. 12-13 AED Executive Forum

Fri August 09, 2002 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

John Caskey, one of the industry’s leading authorities on national and international construction equipment rentals, has been added to the lineup of speakers for AED’s 2002 Executive Forum, Sept. 12-13, at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL.

In a presentation titled "Competitive Turbulence in the Rental Industry," Caskey will discuss how customer preference is driving the direction of construction equipment rentals in ways dealers might not be aware of.

" ’Competitive turbulence’ is a term that describes a product’s point on the life cycle from introduction to maturity," Caskey explained. "At that point, the market is trying to figure out how to reshape distribution."

Caskey’s presentation is based on original research into the competitive history of the rental business. While dealers are certainly earning their fair share of the market, he maintains that the numbers can be misleading.

He noted, for example, that many distributors cite that their rental business has doubled since 1990, evidence that they are in tune with their customers’ needs. But a more macro view of rental trends paints a different picture.

"In 1990, the rental business was $8 billion, and half went to dealers and the other half went to rental companies," Caskey said. "But in 2000, $8 billion went to distributors and $16 million went to rental companies."

Numbers from Rental 2001, AED’s most recent study of the size, scope and dynamics of the rental industry, are consistent with Caskey’s research. Bottom line: Distributors shouldn’t feel comfortable that they are getting their share of the market.

Caskey is well qualified to discuss trends in the rental business and how distributors can improve market share and profitability. For more than 25 years he ran construction equipment distributorships and rental stores in Florida.

After exiting those businesses, he and a partner founded Script International in Sapphire, NC, a consulting business that has helped clients establish rental stores in 45 countries. The firm conducts feasibility studies, profiles customers and competitors and assists businesses with financial planning, inventory management, rate structuring, business plans and financial models.

AED’s Executive Forum is a day and a half of strategic programming for senior-level CE executives held annually every September. This year’s event, themed "The Future of Independent Distribution," examines how market and economic forces are redefining the distribution business. The objective of the forum is to give distributors a fuller understanding of the evolving distribution channel and help them develop profit-generating strategies.

Other Forum program highlights include:

* The Unbundled Supply Chain. Distribution authority Adam Fein discusses the market forces that are eroding dealer profitability and offers strategies AED members can use to reverse the tide.

* Two sessions that compare the profit model AED members use to those employed by distributors of material-handling equipment, trucks and automobiles. The first session is a comparative financial analysis by a certified public accountant. The second is a panel discussion featuring senior-level executives from those distribution industries.

* Alternatives to Traditional Distribution. New avenues for getting product into the hands of the end-user continue to sprout up. Leading dealer and manufacturer executives analyze the reasons behind this trend and discuss the best ways to serve the total needs of the customer.

* The Road to Better Industry Relations. Andy Koblenz, a senior manager of the National Automobile Dealers Association, who also has represented car manufacturers, provides his perspective on the evolving distributor/manufacturer relationship.

* Cash Flow Strategies for Tough Times. Turnaround specialist Duncan Bourne discusses cash flow and operational strategies that increase profitability—even for businesses struggling with depressed markets.

* Running on Empty: Capital and the Independent Equipment Distributor. John McGinty, managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston, talks about how manufacturers will—or won’t, as the case might be—get capital into their dealer networks.

* Product Support: The Machine is the Bait. Renowned dealer consultant Ron Slee, author of AED’s two product support handbooks, presents strategies guaranteed to rev up any dealer’s parts and service operations.

* What do Customers Want? A panel of executives from some of the industry’s smartest contractor companies reveals the naked truth about what they expect of their dealers, what they like and don’t like about distributor service, and why they are turning more frequently to alternative sources for their after-market needs.

* Go Where the Money Still Is. Eli Lustgarten, the Wall Street analyst who earned rave reviews at last year’s Forum for his talk on "Go Where the Money Is," returns with more timely comments on profitability and the independent construction equipment distributor.

For more information, call at 800/388-0650, ext. 340, or visit

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