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SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals Marks its 30th Anniversary
SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals has hit another corporate milestone. The company, which pioneered the concept of providing technology for short-term applications, has reached the big 30. Founded in 1984 by entrepreneur Julian Sandler, under the name Rent-a-PC, the company has since evolved to meet many other market needs. Along the way, it effectively earned the name it adopted in 2003 as the “Smart Source” for a wide range of leading technologies needed by diverse businesses, associations, municipalities, government agencies, as well as meeting, event, trade show and conference planners.
SmartSource President & CEO Mike McClernon explained the company’s growth and development leading to its 30th anniversary. “Our company’s founder, Julian Sandler, was a pioneer in identifying a market need for PCs on a short-term basis. In the years that followed, it became apparent that the market and a broad range of industries would benefit by having our company serve as a resource for other technologies provided on a rental basis. And from the beginning, we always have seen ourselves as integrators, technicians, problem-solvers and drivers of technology applications that rise to the highest level – helping businesses, exhibitors and meeting planners maximize productivity, engagement and the business results they sought from their technology rentals. We are far more than a rental company,” according to McClernon. Today, SmartSource Rentals is the technology provider for industries such as legal, TV/movie production, insurance, software, trade shows, professional and industry conferences, not-for-profits, technology and large industrial companies.
McClernon explained how the company evolved towards its current business model, now a nationwide presence with 21 branch models in key markets across the U.S. “As companies began to get the most of the day-to-day technology they needed, we made the conscious decision to expand into professional conferences and trade shows, which together constitute a potential market for SmartSource of over $6 billion.”
In fact, SmartSource Rentals has been adapting to changing market needs from the outset.
“In the early 80s, businesses had centralized IT departments. We now have a distributed IT environment where computers have literally made every worker a potential manager with data and information readily accessible on their PC, laptop or mobile device,” McClernon said. “That has had a tremendous impact on every American business. When we add to that equation the power of other technologies like audience response systems, lead retrieval systems, computer kiosks and digital document libraries which empower meeting planners and businesses to capture and leverage data in ways they previously could not, this raises the stakes even higher for relationship management, revenue generation and market intelligence. The power of the technology that can be accessed on a short-term basis can have very long-term impact.”
That impact was not lost on Kirtland Capital Partners (www.kirtlandcapital.com), a private equity firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. The company knew of Julian Sandler’s industry leadership and respected Sandler, who held a Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics, as a strong visionary and outstanding CEO. In 2007, prompted by Sandler’s leadership and the company’s strong staff and management, Kirtland acquired a majority interest in the company. At the time, Mr. Sandler noted that, “Our association with Kirtland Capital will be a tremendous benefit to us. Kirtland's expertise and experience in strategic planning and their capital resources will complement and support our long-term growth objectives.” Kirtland’s infusion of capital and sophisticated strategic expertise has had precisely the impact anticipated by Mr. Sandler and the management team.
The company has, throughout its history, grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions (a total of 20 to date, the most recent in January 2013 of California-based CRE Rentals). The company has also initiated other significant initiatives including a new 6S visual workplace program, new market developments for the Trade Show and Professional Conferences industry, a robust “go-green” program, and an innovative “apprenticeship” program for Project Managers.
SmartSource currently employs close to 300 people, approximately 30 of which have been with the organization for over 20 years. Its annual revenues are in the $60-70 million range. It has to its credit numerous industry awards and recognition honors. From the “Who’s Who Among General & Specialty Service Contractors” from Trade Show Executive, and “Official Computer and Technology Provider” Designation and “Top-Rated Technology Contractor” for the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), to the “Official Technology Provider” Designation for the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE) Expo! Expo! as well as many other similar designations, they attest to SmartSource’s continued reign as an industry leader. In addition, the company has made the Inc. 5000 list, Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing private companies.
About SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals
SmartSource Rentals provides a unique range of rental products and services under the overall brand “Total Technology.” SmartSource has the largest national footprint in the computer and audio visual rental space.
The company serves the trade show, professional conferences, and general technology markets. SmartSource is widely recognized for its breadth and depth of offerings and seamless systems integration for even the most complex temporary installations. By leveraging high performance IT, AV, and the latest interactive technologies, SmartSource helps marketers effectively convey and distill their brand messages with optimum, impactful impressions. SmartSource Rentals has fully-staffed and equipped branch offices in 21 major metropolitan markets. Founded in 1984 as Rent-a-PC, the company was the pioneer market maker in technology rentals.
For more information, visit www.smartsourcerentals.com or call 1-800-888-8686.
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