When Canada’s busiest oil and gas companies need replacement equipment, time is money. With a round-the-clock service philosophy, Alberta-based All Choice Rentals (ACR) has emerged as western Canada’s premier rental houses, offering a complete rental solution to every aspect of the oil and gas industry, from A to Z, when and where they are needed.
Established in 2009 in Drayton Valley, Alberta, All Choice Rentals (ACR) was acquired by a group of investors (which included current ACR Vice-President Blake Menning), whose goal was to establish the most reliable equipment provider in the area for its industrial, commercial, and residential customers.
President Michael Doerksen joined in 2014, and together the management team has grown ACR into a nationally recognized, award-winning full service equipment rental company with three locations in Drayton Valley, Rocky Mountain House, and Hinton, Alberta.
E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists
The idea of a one-stop shop that services the sectors as complex as oil and gas needs to be diverse and multifaceted, something ACR has successfully accomplished. From fencing to lighting, excavators and power generation, there is no aspect to any project ACR can’t find a solution for.
But ACR’s success is greater than the sum of its equipment and services. What is the secret to ACR’s success? Turns out, it’s going back to the basics of providing exemplary customer service, and a keen eye for diversification based on a rooted understanding of its customers’ overall needs.
ACR’s stalwart dedication to being a de facto support arm for all its customers is an accomplishment that has not gone unnoticed by its peers. ACR was awarded the 2017 President’s Image Award from the Canadian Rental Association, as well as the Alberta Rental Store of the Year Award. In 2018, ACR received the Drayton Valley Business Achievement Award, and Menning won the 2018 Canadian Rental Association Rental Person of the Year Award for his involvement in local association events, CRA national and local committees.
In late 2019, Doerksen and Menning were named as finalists for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 which “recognizes unstoppable entrepreneurs who are bettering the world around them and cutting through the noise of this Transformative Age.”
“One of the things that differentiates ACR from most rental companies is we can supply solutions for all aspects of a project,” Doerksen tells Business Elite Canada. For instance, he says ACR has a waste management division, portable toilet and temporary fencing divisions. “We generally find the first three items on a construction site are portable toilets, fencing and general waste bins. From there, clients need power generation, office trailers, lighting equipment and so on. We have established different divisions and different equipment that most rental companies don’t have. Rather than having to call three different providers, they can just make one quick phone call to us and we can supply the entire project with equipment.”
In January 2020, ACR announced the acquisition of Outsiders Portable Restrooms, the industry leader in providing top quality portable toilets servicing the oil and gas and construction industries as well as special events like concerts, weddings and community gatherings.
“This strategic acquisition will allow ACR the opportunity to reach a broader geographic area in the sanitation industry resulting in increased clientele and opportunities for additional equipment rentals,” says Menning.
Peace of Mind
“Our customers know that if their equipment breaks down after hours, on a holiday or a weekend, we are a phone call away with same-day service,” says Menning. “We are not a Monday to Friday operation; we are a 24/7 rental store where our customers can feel confident we are going to show up for them.”
Menning and Doerksen agree that they are trying to design a business that they would like to work with. “We think about how a business should be run and what it comes down to is empowering our team with the ability to make decisions to support our customers without delays,” says Doerksen. “We look at it from our own experiences and ask what negative experiences have we had, and how can we ensure this doesn’t happen within our own business.”
Alberta is a close-knit province, ACR’s support for its customers and community extends beyond its business, which is something the team takes genuine pride in. For over 10 years, ACR has been very active in the communities in which it serves, contributing not only time, but over $350,000 to local charities and non-profits.
Sensing an urgent need in light of the COVID-19 crisis, a recent program implemented by the team is a donation of one pound of food to the local food bank for every $50 of equipment that is rented. With the help of its customers, ACR was proudly able to donate over 300 pounds of food in one week.
A Partner in Business
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ACR is relying on the lessons learned through previous economic downturns. Although Menning acknowledges it’s a challenging time, the team is taking the opportunity to streamline and improve on their services and customer experience.
“In times of economic uncertainty, we are taking this time to ensure our equipment and facilities are aesthetically pleasing to our customers,” says Menning. “We also spoke with customer service consultants to help us elevate from being seen not as an order taker but rather a trusted advisor. Our biggest goal, with so much fierce competition, is to be the first call for anybody with any questions or concerns for their business, and I think that we’ve done well at this by building a network of industry connections across Canada, North America and internationally. Our customers are able to utilize our knowledge and expertise to help save them time and money by only having to make one phone call.We will handle the rest.”