In a time when the economy makes everyone tighten their belt, it’s not surprising that the concept of “shared economies” would gain real traction. Also called Peer-to-Peer models, the principle is pretty simple—owners of “something” connect with people who also own “similar somethings” to maximize utilization and reduce expenses. Airbnb, begun in 2008, helps owners of houses and apartments generate revenue from their real estate by booking rooms to fellow travelers. How much interest does this generate? According to Construction Blog in 2014, 600,000 private apartments and houses were available to rent to more than 11 million users.
Another well-known share company is Uber. It connects people so they can share cars and reduced cost taxi rides. Only in business for a few years, Uber is now worth more than Avis or Hertz.Construction is an industry where success is defined project by project which means companies can experience big fluctuations in their volume of work. When business is slow, assets like equipment continue to accumulate depreciation and interest—which on high dollar equipment can be significant.
Online shared services models could make rentals among contractors easier. Standardized contracts, insurance, scheduling and even billing and payment methods could all be “shared” by users.
Renters could gain the same kind of transparency provided in by experiences like Angie’s List—viewing real pictures/video of equipment and user ratings on quality or performance. Plus, peer-to-peer models reduce the cost of owning specialized equipment and offer renters access at significant savings.
“Shared” models are an opportunity for equipment owners to keep their utilization levels higher and maybe even keep operators working by sharing/renting them with machines. A company gets to keep good people and generate added income with equipment that would just be parked and waiting for the next job.
Take a closer look at your region to see if a “shared economy” model could be the next big idea. And, you can always talk to your Cat® dealer.top, tablet or smartphone—or talk to your Cat dealer.
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