The idea to set up local PUPs in strategic cities across the Netherlands was initiated one year ago. “The key question is, ‘Does a client wants to travel over 300km to pick up a console or a set of DJ gear?’” explains Jelmer Dijkshoorn, managing director at AED The Netherlands bv, part of the huge ‘equipment bank’ AED Group. “We wanted to approach a new market, the medium-size rental companies, a huge potential for our business. By proactively making things easier, we get access to clients that normally wouldn’t travel to our Capelle aan den IJssel HQ.”
The solution is simple and effective: AED hires 20m³ boxes at self-storage box provider City Box, and stuffs them with equipment. In Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen and Hengelo, clients can pick up the requested gear at their convenience.
“Once a week we deliver and pick up the equipment in the boxes. The material is then collected in the respective City Box affiliate. Clients save time and costs, avoid heavy traffic and so this is also better for the environment – the four PUPs cover the entire Dutch territory,” continues Dijkshoorn. “And the whole process guarantees our anonymity, making it accessible for everybody.”
AED Pick Up Points are open most days between 9am and 6pm, and a City Box employee is present to administrate.
AED charges 35 euros for transport and handling for an order with a maximum size of 20m³. Dijkshoorn underlines that the system works for smaller configurations (“but 20m³ of gear is already quite a lot”) but not for bigger amounts of speakers or lighting. “When a rental company wants to hire more gear, let’s say in three storage boxes – they must be unloaded and transported from the PUP and back by the client – it’s still more cost-effective to have AED handling the transport to the client.”
The PUP system was initiated in July last year – the Amsterdam PUP makes the “circle complete”. Dijkshoorn says it took quite some time to create awareness with the rental companies, but he’s happy to see that today, more and more professional rental clients find their way to AED Rent.
The Dutch AED Pick Up Points are the first in the AED group – and others will follow in more countries.
In other AED news, AED Rent has made a substantial investment in wireless kit: a comprehensive package of 100 channels Shure ULX-D systems, in addition to their inventory of Axient and PSM 1000, plus DPA miniature microphones.
“The Shure ULX-D offers digital quality wireless at an affording rate,” says Eva Pintelon, AED group’s international PR and communications manager. “And with DPA’s d:vote, d:screet and d:fine series we are catering for the growing market of theatre, musical, corporate events and broadcast applications.”
An investment in more wireless in-ear system takes AED Group’s European inventory to 100 channels. “We’ve opted for Shure’s PSM 1000 systems,” continues Pintelon. “Each unit is equipped with SE2015 in-ears as standard. The PSM 1000 will be available as stand-alone or in four or eight unit racks, fully equipped with antennas, cables, and (rechargeable) batteries.”