It's that time again.
We're cordially inviting rental center employees, managers and owners to enter their company's World Wide Web site into RER's third annual Best Web Site Contest.
Interest in the 1999 version of the contest eclipsed that of our inaugural effort. We're hoping for another rousing response this year.
We are going to make one change in response to feedback we received from our second annual contest, which separated entries in the three categories based on rental volume. The three categories meant that you, the voters, had to visit each of the six finalist sites and then determine which you liked best in each category.
While this attempt to level the playing field was well-intended, it made the voting process more time-consuming and confusing than it should have been.
Since our goal is to get better turnout in our contest than the average off-year school board elections, we're attempting to simplify things by downsizing the current contest into two categories: companies with less than
$10 million in annual rental revenue and those with $10 million or more in rental volume.
RER's editors will narrow the field in the categories to two or three finalists, and the winners will be voted on by you, the readers of The Web Page.
Sites will be judged on their level of interactivity with customers, promotion of the rental concept, timeliness of information and use of graphics. (In order to enter, see box.)
As voting for the contest will take place at the end of this year and the beginning of next, there is one other qualifier for prospective entrants to consider: All entries have to be able to survive the turning of the clocks on New Year's Eve and be up and running on January 1, 2000.
Deadline for entries is September 30, 1999.
In order to enter RER's third annual Best Web Site Contest, send the following information via e-mail to [email protected] by September 30, 1999:
* The name of the rental company.
* Web site address (URL).
* Name and phone number of the person responsible for maintaining the site.
* Revenue category: Small (less than $10 million in annual rental revenue) or Large ($10 million or more in annual rental revenue).
It's that easy. And if you want to see what it takes to win, visit any of our three reigning champions at www.generalrentals.com or www.fwgartnerco.com or www.unitedrentals.com
Buying a Backhoe on the Cheap At least two Internet companies are offering free fax telephone numbers to anyone with an e-mail address, allowing computer owners to receive transmissions without owning a fax machine.
EFax.com Inc. (www.efax.com) and CallWave Inc. (www.callwave.com) offer free fax receipt for computers that can view a .TIF image file by converting faxes into e-mail attachments.
While you cannot send faxes without separate fax software, the services could be of benefit to rental centers whose outside salespeople carry laptops that are not fax-equipped. A salesperson on the road could tap into his or her e-mail and receive faxes from customers, manufacturers or the home office - without the expense of separate hardware or an extra phone line.
Internet Fact: Several Fortune 500 companies that have used the Internet to automate corporate purchasing have cut the cost of processing invoices by as much as 80 percent.
Source: Internet Week
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A new site called TradeOut.com offers businesses a way to dispose of idle assets and, on the flip side, acquire other companies' extra inventory.
The site (www.tradeout.com) allows companies to buy and sell items in more than 50 product categories in auction-based, sealed-bid or fixed-price formats. A recent visit to the site found 12 items for sale in the construction/building/earthmoving category, including a backhoe, a dump truck and several brand-name tractors. Other categories that may be of interest to equipment rental dealers include motor vehicles and office equipment, furniture and fixtures.
According to Ardsley, N.Y.-based TradeOut.com, its site is the first independent business-to-business Internet marketplace to facilitate such transactions.