Earlier this month Assodimi, one of the largest associations of rental companies in Italy, held it’s 30th annual construction rental congress in Milan. This year’s event, organized in conjunction with Italian construction union Unacea, was entitled “Pianeta Macchine,” or in English, “Planet of Machines.”
This particular edition was special, as it was the first time in congress’s that distributors and producers came together to participate. Coming from two sides of the industry that often compete with one another, these two worlds rarely converge at congresses. But at “Pianeta Macchine” this year, distributors and producers rubbed elbows to celebrate their beloved world of construction machinery rental.
The message of sustainability began with the event space
Milan’s Studio Maxi event space where the congress was held is impressive in itself, being 100% sustainable. Located in a decommissioned steel factory, the building is LEED Gold® certified and uses 100% renewable energy. The mission of Studio Maxi is to promote sustainability by hosting events that harmonized with the latest environmentally- and resource-friendly guidelines.
…and the choice of this space by the event organizers was no coincidence. The message of technology, service, and sustainable construction techniques were interlaced into the DNA of the congress. The importance of increasing the sustainability and environmentally friendly practices of rental processes was conveyed by various speakers throughout the course of the two days of the congress.
Congress highlights: Technology and sustainability
Highlights of the event included opening remarks from Assodimi director Marco Prosperi, plus contributions from Unacea president Mirco Risi, as well as Walter Vinciotti, CEO of Privé and mechanical engineer specializing in electric machines. Vinciotti’s talk was geared towards sustainable construction techniques. Emphasis was on innovation and the transition to electric mechanization, and discussed how hybrid-powered models, hydrogen, and synthetic fuels are promising future avenues to be implemented into the rental and construction industries.
Another perspective on service and technology from Sebastiano Barisoni
One of the most impressive and interesting talks came on Friday afternoon: Sebastiano Barisoni, the Vice President of Radio24. He discussed the quality of service as an added value in a contemporary economy setting. His message was clear: we need to understand how the economy is progressing real-time, and not over-concern ourselves with the future.
With an emphasis on the rental world, he claimed that technology will take a strong-hold in many elements of our industry. That simple processes that don’t need the hand of an actual person and don’t require a lot of interaction with the customer will rely more and more on artificial intelligence (AI) to happen. Thus, rental companies will need to start investing much more in digital solutions for these operations that have potential to be taken over by AI.
More complex jobs that require the sensitivity of an actual person, however, will remain in the hands of actual people. In this case, the concept of empathy will trump all, and this is something rental companies will have to invest in to make sure that quality is at its peak in such a highly competitive time of growth.
Closing up a successful 30th edition of the Assodimi congress
With 462 operators, a wealth of machines on display, and 50 sponsors, the organizers of Assodimi’s “Pianeta Macchine” were more than pleased. The numbers spoke for themselves: the rental industry is booming and the call for action to integrate technology into the rental industry is being heard.
This is the second large-scale congress held in the past two months in Europe, following digitalBAU in Cologne last month, that voices a strong push for integrating digital solutions into the construction industry. The sense of urgency from industry leaders to get on board with digitalization is clear as day, and the future is looking exciting.