Tent Rental Industry Report 2023
Valuable insights into the marquee and tent rental industry.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Awesome. Thanks again, Reese, for jumping on the call. I'll just do a really quick background on Alpha Hire. It's a family-run business still, been going around for more than two decades. Clearspan Structures. I'd say you're probably one of the leading suppliers in your area in England. Do you agree?
Reese: Yes, definitely.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Awesome. I think it has been two years you've been on Marquee Rech now or a little bit longer?
Reese: Literally. Yes, probably 18 months actually be fair.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Sure. Before you don't have to say any names, but before you were using a different system can you just quickly explain what you found was like limiting you on the previous one and what made you want to look into something like Marquee Tech?
Reese: Yes, sure. Well, I guess specifically, and hopefully, it will never happen again, was the lockdown in the UK. We were hampered by not being able to get to travel to the office. The software we previously used would only-- It wasn't cloud-based. You could only use a certain computer to actually create quotes, create plans.
We were hampered, we were literally just trying to do it via a screen share system, which meant having a computer run in the office, and then to try and screen share it with a laptop at home which wasn't always very good. The computer needed an update, so it shut itself down in the office. It was a back and forth that just didn't help us at all and made us slow to respond to clients if there were clients to respond to.
As I said, hearing about guys and being cloud-based was a perfect time because we realized that there is-- Going forward, there'll be more opportunities to work from home or work from anywhere, which we just couldn't do. We would even hamstringed to the office to create a quote, an invoice, a plan. Like I said, that was literally pre--
Also, I guess there was the being cloud-based, we couldn't save-- Well, you can save anything anywhere we can save quotes to the cloud. Whereas our previous system we needed a huge memory on a computer to save all the quotes or the actual items, stock list and stuff like that. It was looking to buy new software or new hardware we'd have to look at what can it actually store and stuff like that. Whereas cloud-based is perfect.
Tim from Marquee Tech: You can use it anywhere. Any device wherever you are.
Reese: For example, I've done-- recently I've been to a site, I've had or three site visits in a day. I've been to the first one on the way to the second one I've got there early, so I've sat in the car park nearby and then just hotspot off my phone and updated that new quote. The quote at the previous job, and literally sent it three over to him and people love that.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Obviously improves your efficiency, but like you said, customers love it too. Because if you can get back to people quicker, more chance, they're going to book with you rather than maybe a competitor that's spending a day or a week to get back to them.
Reese: 100% like you say, I've got a good example of that as well, where speed of use and stuff we were talking about tangible results you also asked me about as well. This is yesterday as an example, we had a quote or an email come in I think, or maybe even a phone call from a client. Again needed a short, like a marque in a quote short turnaround. We sent her off the quote at 3:00 PM. She was so pleased a bit by, I think it was 23 minutes past three, we had a deposit paid in [unintelligible 00:03:41].
Tim from Marquee Tech: That's awesome.
Reese: Literally, that was the beauty of obviously the system is you send over the link and they've got a lot of power in their own hands to pay to book it provisionally. Then you see that on your dashboard and you give them a callback and send them the invoice and they can pay it online all sorted.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Historically getting a booking from lead to confirmed deposit in the bank could take weeks, sometimes months.
Reese: Yes, I've historical clients and we've got repeats of, but it's fine, but like you said, they don't work like that, but there's a whole market out there, especially nowadays, does seem that weddings aren't being organized years in advance. It is more weeks and months in advance. Definitely having that quick back and forth and producing a plan that isn't maybe necessarily the final plan, but having some idea of what they're getting, as a marquee that definitely helps with clients and they love it. It becomes-- I think we coined the phrase like, "It's not only an admin tool. It also is a sales tool."
Tim from Marquee Tech: Yes, I would agree with that. I think, especially like you said, some customers are going to want PDFs and the more slower route, but often now with the way the world is, and especially private wedding party customers are used to doing doing stuff online, used to having stuff instant. Being able to also provide that in your business using Marquee Tech is massive. Building from that, is there any other main benefits that you've got from the system or where else does it bring any value?
Reese: I've covered all the answers now, which I haven't done now. As I say, be on the phone to a client. You've already made that initial point of contact, but then they're coming back with some questions and queries, you can literally change, make amendments, and it's live, they refresh their page, they can see it. Then also, another great tool is that, if you allocate pictures and images to items, you can see what they're getting, instead of having the back and forth emails, "What does this look like? What does that looks like?"
Tim from Marquee Tech: Huge time saver.
Reese: Exactly, a huge time favor which most of the emails would be like, "What does this look like? What does that look like?" Exactly, they can just click at the image or the actual item, and they see what they getting, it clears all that up.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Would you say that they're the main results you've seen, helping getting different types of bookings faster and then also having more improving efficiency, so you have more free time as well?
Reese: Yes. 100%, like you say, free time. The way a lot of our businesses work is that you can't always be dedicated to the office or you're in there physically in the office, you've got other jobs to be doing. You got to multitask a little bit. Being able to quickly [unintelligible 00:06:40] that off of the very first initial quote, which will prove if it's going and the job is going actually go ahead, is when they come back to you. That's pretty much you got your foot in the door, you probably convert that to a sale.
Just having that initial quick time to quickly respond to them is ideal.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Awesome. If you can pick yourself for the next 5 to 10 years from now, how do you see the system helping you moving forward in the future?
Reese: It's a good question.
Tim from Marquee Tech: A bit of a tricky one. [laughs]
Reese: Yes, it is. It's one of the good points we were talking about as well in the office is with you guys. We must have been one of the early customers or clients of yours, and you've taken on our ideas, as much as you've taken on how to use the system. We've given you our input from our experience. Going forward, we've discussed loads of things with you guys, and how we'd like the whole system to go, the site visit pictures going on there now. I can see that you're doing updates like that, the profit and loss thing, I think weights on the items and on load lists or something that was our input as well.
Loads of things that I can see that the progress is really good. It's nice that we've got some input, however small thing that we know where we're going with you guys. You've been an ideal to work [unintelligible 00:08:12] with you.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Amazing. To be fair, we, I wouldn't say pride ourselves, but we always have said software, as soon as you stop updating it, it gets old and software providers who think, "I was just perfect, there's no point making it better,' is just stupid, because soon as you stop, someone else is going to come in and make it better and better. The way to always improve it is to always add new features. We always think there's not point in us coming up with new ideas. You're the ones using it. You're the ones that know actually what's going to be made better. Lots of exciting new features going live really soon.
Reese: I look forward to that so you keep us well updated even just tell us what the updates are going to be. You always seem like you're excited for us going forward, which makes us excited. Like I say if it's only going to make life easier, and the analytics tool looks good, then we can use that retrospectively, which we haven't really necessarily always cared about as much as we probably should. We've just suddenly, we've moved into that, so sectors are moving everything to cloud-based accounting softwares and stuff. Having that link, it looks like it's going to save us even more time. I'll be out of the job at this rate, actually.
Tim from Marquee Tech: [laughs] All grow into business, more time to grow the business rather than [inaudible 00:09:33]
Reese: That's a good point.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Or you can retire sooner. [laughs]
Reese: Or retire sooner, that's the plan. [laughs] 100%.
Tim from Marquee Tech: Perfect, man. I appreciate your time. I'll stop recording now.
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