More than 400 attendees from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe gathered for Volvo Rents’ sixth annual Volvo Rents Franchise Convention Jan. 17 to 20 at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This year’s convention, “Performance-Driven Success,” allowed Volvo Rents franchise owners to share best practices on increasing equipment uptime, strengthening their relationships with best customers and improving employee job satisfaction.
Franchise owners and their families attended the event, as well as top executives from Volvo Construction Equipment, including Denny Slagle, president and CEO, North America; Scott Hall, executive vice president, sales and marketing; Marika Fredricksson, chief financial officer; and Scott Park, senior vice president and chief information officer.
Convention highlights included a slate of roundtable discussions, workshops and speaker presentations by Barry Natwick, president and CEO of Volvo Rents; Tom Reilly, president of Tom Reilly Training; Chris Wehrman, CEO of the American Rental Association; Tim Walters, president of Infotech Marketing; and SmartEquip, a technology company working with Volvo Rents to increase its asset productivity while reducing the cost of doing business.
Dennis Carroll, systems manager for Volvo Rents, introduced V-Rents, the company’s new rental management system. For franchise owners and personnel, this tool integrates all operations management functions within their individual stores into one easy-to-use system. The system allows for faster contract generation and a greater customer experience.
Franchise of the Year
Paul Bullock and family, owners of Volvo Rents stores in West Monroe, Alexandria and Bossier City, La., were named Volvo Rents’ 2007 Franchise of the Year during Volvo Rents’ Circle of Excellence Awards.
The Franchise of the Year Award is given to the franchise that demonstrates strong store growth, dollar usage, DSO management, training attendance, “clean” financial status, marketing, branding and appearance.
The Bullock family opened its first Volvo Rents franchise in West Monroe, La., in 2003. They added stores in 2004 and 2007 in Alexandria, La., and Bossier City, La.
The award for New Franchise of the Year went to Jackie, Duwayne and Aaron Eoff and Rob Barnica, owners of the Volvo Rents stores in Springfield and Hollister, Mo.
In addition to recognizing the Franchise and New Franchise of the Year winners, the top 10 performing franchises for 2007 received Circle of Excellence Awards. The winners were:
• Stacy and Troy Peterson, of Post Falls, Idaho
• Todd Miceli and Matt Carretero, of Haverhill, Mass.
• Jeff Bleecker and Lance Evic, owners of stores Tucson, Thatcher and Miami, Ariz.
• Cathy and Geoff Shorten and Ehor and Sandy Babij, owners of a store in Calgary, Canada
• Sara, Bruce, Martin, Brian and Paula Zender, owners of a store in Ferndale, Wash.
• Helder Garcia and Brian Silvera, owners of stores in Merced and Salida, Calif.
• Merrill and Jared Robinson, owners of stores in Albuquerque and Peralta, N.M.
• Doug and Deanna Baumann, Lance and Twyla Gardiner, Bob and Donna Dunn, owners of stores in Edmonton, Edson, Ft. Saskatchewan and Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
• Bill Ellis and Pat Lackey, owners of stores in Langhorne, Pa., and Somerset, N.J.
• Chris Cole and Randy Hrabe, of Riverside, Calif.
Jeff Bleecker, Bill Ellis and Kelly Ryan were elected to serve on the Volvo Rents Franchise Advisory Council. Outgoing members Larry Kirkpatrick, Pete Post and Paul Bullock were honored for serving their terms.
Vendor of the Year
Volvo Rents’ franchise owners named Wacker Neuson their Vendor of the Year. Wacker Neuson manufactures light and compact equipment for the construction industry.
The Vendor of the Year award is given based on quality of the company’s national account program (financing options and overall program); quality/reliability of products; availability and lead times; parts pricing; warranty/aftersales service; local sales and service support; and marketing support.
“This year’s convention was the most successful and exciting event in our history,” Natwick said. “We relish the opportunity to bring all of our franchise owners together to show them how much we appreciate the hard work that they do, and to empower them with cutting-edge information they can take back to their stores and employees.”
For information, visit www.volvorents.com.