Feb. 1, 2007
Dear RER: I've been receiving your magazine for 20+ years. It's one of the few trade magazines that I religiously read every month.


Dear RER:

I've been receiving your magazine for 20+ years. It's one of the few trade magazines that I religiously read every month.

You may be aware but there are several significant safety issues with the lower left picture on the “Contents” page of the December issue of RER magazine. Issues in this picture include lack of a protective system, no means of access and egress, and the positioning of the spoil pile relative to the excavation. About a hundred workers are killed each year in trenches. Several thousand workers are seriously injured.
David V. Dow
Memphis, Tenn.


Editors' note: We are also very concerned with safety and thank you for calling this to our attention.


Dear RER:

The references to “lean” in the From the Editor column in your December issue were interesting and important. The application of Lean in our industry is producing stunning results not possible with current practice. For example, the number of accidents on projects managed on a lean basis is routinely 30 percent fewer than on normal projects and we have well-supported reports of 50-percent reductions. Your readers can learn more about lean in construction through the Lean Construction Institute at www.leanconstruction.org. At www.leanconstruction.org/files your readers can find a folder of Introductory Readings and material from a variety of meetings.

The presentations of the 8th Annual Lean Construction Congress and related MP3 audio files are a great place to start. The link is the second item in the Table of Contents. Another source is the International Group for Lean Construction www.iglc15.org, which meets annually, with the next meeting set for July in Michigan.
Gregory Howell, P.E.
Lean Construction Institute
Louisville, Co.


Dear RER:

I enjoyed your article “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” in the February issue. Within our organization we offer many training sessions illustrating the exact same ideas about the customer's perception. I especially enjoyed your mention of the torn seat with the duct tape repair kit installed and the appearance of employees. We stress to our employees the importance of quality product, professional image and a positive attitude about the customer. There's only one chance to make a first impression.

An idea I always share with employees is that customers generally rent for one reason. It has nothing to do with our time utilization or financial goals. Our customers have a job to complete, allowing them to provide financial support for their families. If the customer perceives our organization as a contributor to his or her financial success, pricing becomes less of an issue and a partnership develops. And the opposite applies.

Despite efforts to minimize them, equipment failures are inevitable. But a customer receiving a quality product, delivered on time, by a courteous employee will be much more tolerant of a failure. And in the event of a failure, our organization best be prepared to react in a minimum amount of time.

My teams have enjoyed great success in the Southeast market and we believe that our commitment to customer service is the key. And we truly believe that service begins long before the phone ever rings.
Joe Foster
Southeast Region Vice President
RSC Equipment Rental
Marietta, GA 30066

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