The EDCOed Partnership
Education Instills Confidence For Cooper Equipment
How the EDCOed partnership provided invaluable training for both staff and customers at the successful rental company
No matter what equipment knowledge and experience you have, proper training and use of the machine will always be an essential part of a successful project.
At EDCO, training and education have been at the core of their relationships with partners, giving them the confidence they need to use and sell EDCO products. Cooper Equipment, a 50 year old rental company based in Canada, has relied on EDCO for the past 10 years to help them bring that confidence to their employees and customers alike.
“We want to be able to deliver the whole package to a customer when they come into any one of our rental locations,” Derek Cashmore, National Sales Manager at Cooper Equipment says. “That means we need to be able to help them find the right piece of equipment for their project, show them how to use it for their application, help them get comfortable using it and also provide any troubleshooting after the purchase. That level of expertise keeps our customers satisfied and coming back for their future rental needs, and training is an absolute key element in being able to provide that.” To do this, Cooper Equipment has taken advantage of EDCO’s extensive EDCOed Professional Training program, distinguishing them as a retailer of choice for their commitment to continued education and customer satisfaction.
Something the team at EDCO wants to offer all their partners.
“We understand our product can be intimidating,” Gary Ondrus, Corporate Trainer at EDCO says. “It’s our responsibility to deliver the information our customers need to not only be able to recommend a product to a customer, but also have the confidence and competence to show them how to use it properly for their application.”
After the success of the EDCOed Online Program, the company will officially roll out EDCO 101 in 2023 to further serve the training needs of their customers through a consistent hands-on experience.
Since 1959, EDCO has been evolving to meet the needs of the rental market and that includes adapting both the products and the support their customers need. They understand the training and education that are needed to be profitable in the rental space and developed EDCOed.com as a way to bring instant online education and connection to their users.
“EDCOed has been available for years as a place users could go to see how a product works and find relevant information for their needs,” Ondrus says.
This level of education was important to many of EDCO’s customers, including Cooper Equipment.
“When looking to expand our business, we were looking for a supplier that would help us meet both our equipment and training needs,” Cashmore says. “We researched many companies and decided the EDCO would be the best business we could partner with based on what they could provide.”
At the onset of their business integration, EDCO went to each of Cooper Equipment’s 64 locations and helped with the product launch. They explained the partnership, the resources EDCO could provide and helped with product training and support.
Since the initial onboarding, EDCO has continued to work with Cooper as new products have been released and new locations have opened.
“We have annual product reviews with their team and they have been integral in recommending new items to bring into our locations,” Cashmore says. “Whenever we’ve needed their assistance, the EDCO team has been more than willing to step in and help.”EDCO has also been on hand to help with the continued education to keep Cooper’s employees in the know about their equipment. When trainers can’t be on hand for in person events, the EDCOed online training program steps in to help. Their virtual training program is used as a way to not only train new employees, but also keep seasoned veterans up to date on the latest innovations available for their customers.
“EDCOed has been available for years as a place users could go to see how a product works and find relevant information for their needs.”
Gary Ondrus, Corporate Trainer – EDCO
When it comes to true in-depth product knowledge however, doing really is believing.
EDCO offered in-person training through account representatives, but knew they could provide more value to their customers if they took the reins on the program themselves.
“We were asked by our customers to provide a consistent and comprehensive training program and in 2021, decided it was time to deliver,” Ondrus says. “We sat down with our experienced team and put everything down that we know customers need to be successful with our products. We packaged it in a way that allows our rental partners to easily roll the program out without having to do any extra work on their end. The result is EDCO 101 which is a comprehensive program that delivers the action items needed for our product use.”
The goal of the training program is to provide EDCO customers with consistent training that instills tactical knowledge for the sale and use of the equipment.
“There are so many variables when it comes to using grinders and our goal with EDCO 101 is to give each person who completes the program the tools they need to not only recommend the right product to their customer, but also the right tools for their application,” Ondrus says. “We want to teach them how to rent the equipment to their customers while also being a strategic partner to help drive more sales at their business.”
Every rental business owner knows this is an important component of a successful business – properly functioning equipment that customers feel confident using. And to achieve that, you need sales representatives that can believe in the product and the application and can speak intelligently about their use.
“We wouldn’t sell a product if we didn’t believe in it, but we also know that hands-on training is the best way to engage our employees,” Cashmore says. “When you gain the first hand knowledge of operating the equipment yourself, you become more invested. You go from an observer to a user and that experience enhances every interaction with our rental customers.”
That first hand knowledge is exactly what EDCO 101 delivers.
In Fall of 2022, EDCO representatives traveled to Ontario and Quebec to provide three days of training for different teams. The education started in the classroom and ended in the field.
“We didn’t have the training program quite complete, but were being asked to provide training for our customers and Cooper provided us with a great opportunity to see if what we were developing was what companies needed,” Ondrus said.
The EDCO team started with classroom presentations, helping teams understand how to rent the equipment to their customers. They discussed each application and variables surrounding rental needs, working hard to simplify the process for them.
“Our goal was not to talk about our equipment specifically, but simply wanted to teach them how this equipment should be sold, lowering the intimidation factor behind it,” Ondrus said.
Next, the EDCO team brought the equipment out and gave users the hands-on experience they needed to continue growing their familiarity and confidence with the product.
“Our team left these events with real world experience of the equipment,”Cashmore says. “Now they can better educate our customers on not only what the equipment can do, but how it works, and how it shouldn’t work. If there is an issue, they can help troubleshoot based on that firsthand knowledge instead of having to refer to a flier. Not only does this instill confidence in our customer, but it positions us as a better partner for them and keeps them coming back.”
Based on the success of these three in-person events, Cooper Equipment will continue the investment of training their people as they see the value in educated and engaged employees.
“We already have another round of training in the works,” Cashmore says. “We want to bring in another round of employees to educate them and also invite customers to come in and learn as well. Maybe they think they know every feature or application for a piece of equipment, but maybe there is more they can learn too.”
And Cooper Equipment will continue to rely on the experts at EDCO to provide the level of education they know is needed to continue to be successful
“EDCO is a true business partner in every way we could possibly want,” Cashmore says. “They were flexible with our needs and timelines and listened to exactly what we wanted. Their ability to provide training and support at all levels is a true testament to their commitment to not only their customers, but to the industry as a whole.
“EDCO is not just about getting a product on the shelf,” Cashmore concludes. “They want to make sure all parties involved are comfortable with the products they are selling, while also ensuring they have the back end support as well. The relationships they build guarantee that every time a machine is used, everyone is going to get the most out of that piece of equipment. Other providers can learn a lot from the level of service and support EDCO provides.”
The EDCO 101 program will officially launch at the American Rental Association show in February 2023.