Ardent Hire Solutions is a multi-category equipment rental specialist that differentiates itself through digitalisation, sustainability and spectacular customer service. Back in 2016, Ardent was announced as the new combined company formed by the buyout and merger of established plant hire companies, One Call Hire and Fork Rent. Fast forward 7-years, Ardent has become one of the UK’s most recognised and respected names in the hire industry with over 5,000+ machines available for hire and 10 rental depots across the UK.
From the days of One Call Hire being a customer of inspHire, we have been privileged to witness Ardent’s epic journey thus far having had a relationship that dates back 20+ years and take pride in seeing inspHire Corporate Edition support their operations in today’s age.
Introducing inspHire Corporate to Ardent Hire Solutions
Recently, inspHire had the pleasure of visiting Ardent's Ipswich depot and met with Gareth Clements, Operations Director, and Lisa Barnard, Customer Care Centre Manager. We discussed Ardent's story and successes, and how inspHire supports Ardent's never-ending growth and day-to-day operations. Gareth was originally from Fork Rent, one of the two businesses that were merged, and has been with Ardent ever since, eventually working up to his current role, Operations Director. When speaking with Gareth, we asked about the relationship inspHire holds with Ardent.
"The relationship with inspHire is something I've been involved in right from the early days of Ardent Hire Solutions. When we were working out the logistics of the merger, we adopted the inspHire system as One Call Hire was a customer already. So we decided to go ahead with inspHire Corporate and we rolled out the system across the whole of the business. The inspHire team were excellent in helping us throughout the entire process. If there's ever any issues, the inspHire team are just a phone call away and are able to cater to our needs. And as Ardent continues to grow, every function of inspHire can be tailored to what we need, which has been really useful to us."
With 5,000+ machines for hire and multiple services, inspHire continues to support Ardent's growth
As for Lisa, she and her team manage all customer enquiries regarding breakdowns, punctures, enquiries, maintenance, third-party supplier invoices, raising purchase orders, workshop jobs and pretty much everything related to hire. Another service to manage is the newly introduced, Operated Plant. When discussing this, we asked Lisa how inspHire supported the rollout of this new service.
“With 70-80 operators to process each week, our original management method was over-complicating processes and very resource hungry. inspHire then introduced us to the timesheet function, which simplified everything massively. On average, this feature saves our team two days a week, allowing us to focus on other areas of work."
With Ardent's new Operated Plant service, customers now have a choice of both self-drive and operated hire options, thus providing a one-stop shop for all your plant hire requirements. The new service includes a dedicated operated hires support team to co-ordinate the arrival of equipment and operators and to ensure that any issues are dealt with promptly.
"Another outdated process we had in place was manually inputting purchase orders into a spreadsheet, and then our finance team would pick this up and process. However, with inspHire’s cross-hire function, this will generate back-to-back purchase orders in one go with more detailed and accurate information – saving our team more time which is essential as this service continues to become more popular!”
Customer services is embodied in everything Ardent do, it's in their DNA
“When managing a team, it’s essential to be up-to-date at all times, especially when that team deals directly with our customers. With inspHire, I love the transparency of the audit trail on each job and you can see who is dealing with what. This allows us to provide quick updates back to the customer.”
Priding themselves on providing a game changing service, Ardent promise to help their customers improve their productivity, reduce operating costs and reduce risks in their businesses. Ardent's game-changing service is built on four pillars; availability, reliability, capability and sustainability. With hundreds of customers and many services to offer, we were intrigued to see how inspHire supported Ardent's customer care team and work alongside the four pillars of service.
“Another benefit of inspHire is how it’s simple to navigate and consolidates processes. In a busy work environment, it’s essential for our customer care team to be on the ball - on average, it takes 90-seconds to create a purchase order through inspHire. Then, when we introduce new members of staff, it’s essential they are brought up to speed from day one and having an intuitive and effortless system in place is key. We have a training plan in place, and new starters never struggle getting to grips with the system, so it's great.”
Ardent are committed to working towards a sustainable future
With a carbon strategy, carbon offsetting programme and many other initiatives in place that reduce energy and waste, Ardent Hire also have a seat on the Sustainability Committee for the European Rental Association (ERA) and a Gold member and Partner at the Supply Chain Sustainability School. Their close work with both organisations helps shape policy and produces action.
"Sustainability is close to our hearts and in everything we do, we have that in mind. We offset the carbon emissions from all of our transport fleet, so all of our deliveries are carbon neutral - it's really important to Ardent that we take every possible action towards a sustainable future."
Ardent have invested a lot of time and money into buying and providing the latest machines in the industry. Fitted with the latest safety features, emission standards and technology, Ardent run one of the youngest plant fleet in the UK. To celebrate some of their sustainable successes; Ardent have recorded their machines 34% fuel efficiency compared to older models and have 25 low loader trailers featuring innovative folding ramps that reduce drag, which have cut their fuel consumption of their delivery vehicles by over 15%.
Ardent's dedication isn't to just customer service, but to those in need too
Since late-February 2022, news reports of the Russia-Ukraine war have been characterised by images of destroyed landscapes and citizens who have been displaced, injured or worse. While many sympathised, Jeremy Fish, CEO of Ardent Hire Solutions, decided with his team to take on ambitious appeal efforts and form the Plant and Hire Aid Alliance.
The Plant and Hire Aid Alliance was launched in March 2022 and consists of like-minded companies in the hire industry, which includes inspHire as a member, who are acting together to support the humanitarian effort in Ukraine. Once the alliance was established, the fundraising efforts followed shortly afterwards. From television appearances with the likes of BBC, to press coverage through the ARA, HAE and IRN, the word soon started to spread amongst the global hire industry and market-leaders were joining together.
Here's to the next 20 years with Ardent Hire Solutions!
inspHire would like to thank Gareth and Lisa for their time, and look forward to seeing Ardent take their service from strength-to-strength. If you would like to learn more about Ardent Hire Solutions, please visit their website: https://www.ardenthire.com/. If you are interested in getting involved in the Plant and Hire Aid Alliance, please visit their website on how to become a member or simply get involved in their fundraisers: https://aid-alliance.com/.
"Our desire has always been to create the UK's premier plant hire company. We couldn't have achieved that without the suppliers, such as inspHire, to help us create what we've created now. So thank you to inspHire!"