ENTREPRENEURSHIP & ELBOW GREASE: THE HISTORY OF PREMIER PLATFORMS’ AERIAL PLATFORM RENTAL SERVICE
There’s an old business maxim that says that you are what your customer says you are. That certainly holds true at Premier Platforms, where our rental service program was born out of an entrepreneurial zeal to serve our customers’ needs.
David Cooper got into the aerial platform business in 1980, and after gaining over a decade of experience, he set out to start Premier Platforms. What started as a lift brokering service in July 1994 soon became an innovative aerial platform rental service operation run out of David’s own Snellville backyard. He took this risk after his customers told him what they really wanted.
WE ARE WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS
After Premier Platforms opened up for business, an electrical company based in Atlanta indicated to David that they needed scissor lifts for a location in Memphis. David ran all the numbers and put together a compelling package for the purchase of 16 scissor lifts. The response? “That’s great, but we don’t want to buy them. We want you to rent them to us.”
Astonished, David pointed out the value in owning vs. renting, and in return got a valuable lecture on why the electrical company didn’t want the liability, headaches, or maintenance requirements. Fortunately, David had the sense to adjust his strategy having been told precisely what he needed to do.
TO RENT SCISSOR LIFTS, ONE MUST OWN THEM
To rent scissor lifts, David knew he needed to first own them, so, sight unseen, he bought a few units of a reliable brand. He knew that he could repair them if necessary, but that the products he purchased wouldn’t give him much occasion to. According to David, “I looked for ‘bullet-proof’ units, tanks. I didn’t want them failing on the customer and I didn’t want to have to fix them all the time.”
REFURBISHING LIFTS TO RENT
When David picked up his lifts in Memphis, he found that they left something to be desired visually. As David recalls, “The machines were safe, sound, working great… but it looked like a bomb hit them.” So David set about refurbishing his newly-acquired units, diligently working through the weekend and making heavy use out of the paint cans he brought with him.
OVER TWO DECADES OF GROWTH THROUGH HAPPY CUSTOMERS
After David delivered his first rental lifts (using a local wrecker service!), he had orders for 5 more the following week. In 2 years, Premier Platforms had acquired 38 pieces of equipment for its rental fleet, primarily “Strato” scissor lifts. Premier Platforms now boasts hundreds of units in her aerial platform rental service, including scissor lifts, boom lifts, knucklebooms, reach forklifts, industrial forklifts, and even some material handling equipment.
THE SECRET SAUCE OF SUCCESS
David attributes the company’s success to a sterling reputation in a market all-too-often unconcerned with customer satisfaction. “For us, word-of-mouth is huge. I’m proud to say that everyone thinks the rental lifts we’re delivering look and operate like new, and in turn that leads to a growing community of happy, loyal customers.”
At Premier Platforms, we personalize our business to our customers’ needs. For more information about aerial platform rentals, or to find out about lift purchases and operational training, contact us here or give us a call at 1-800-951-2555!
When David Cooper got into the aerial platform business back in 1980, he didn’t dream of becoming a big-box Wall Street guy, far removed from customers. But he did dream.
A Global Vision with Roots in Snellville
From humble beginnings in the backyard of his home in Snellville, GA, David envisioned the kind of company that could grow through a determination to maintain his close relationships with customers without ever compromising on quality or service.
After nearly 30 years, it’s clear that David was on to something. Premier Platforms has grown and innovated its way to becoming a major player in aerial platforms in the Southeast and beyond. Big-box competitors—despite their immense resources—find it difficult to compete with the professionalism and knowledge of Premier’s team members. Everyone on the Premier staff receives continuous training and is rewarded for their excellence in service.
How Does David take on the Wall Street Goliaths?
David credits the success of Premier Platforms with their emphasis on personalized service: “All salespeople—everyone—everyone knows that I have an open door policy. I will speak with anyone 1-on-1, customer or team member.”
It’s just that sort of ear on the needs of the customers that keeps Premier strong against the Wall Street-backed competition.
In adherence with his open door policy, David continues, “We don’t treat customers like numbers. We are a family business, and can be more flexible to meet a customer’s needs. We can adapt when our big competitors have policies and procedures in place that they can’t vacillate from. We, on the other hand, can offer customers services even if what’s on paper would get them rejected elsewhere. We look at the whole picture.”
It’s no small wonder why David’s customers remain loyal to Premier Platforms for years on end.
“Our big-box competitors have a huge advantage using stockholder dollars. We’ve got our reputation for product and service excellence. That’s how we take on Goliath.”