Patrick Fallon speaks with Plant Machinery Vehicles Middle East
Founded in the early 1990s, Byrne Equipment Rental (Byrne) has grown to become one of the largest plant and equipment rental companies in the Middle East with 20 operational depots, fleet of 14,000 items of plant and equipment, and team of over 1500 people.
Byrne is one of the largest and most diverse rental companies in the region and rates amongst the top 100 rental companies in the world. It operates in multiple industries including oil & gas, construction, events, retail and commercial, manufacturing, marine and ports. In addition to equipment supply, the company provides installation services and operations teams if required, and guarantees 24/7 backup service.
Pat Fallon, deputy CEO, Byrne Equipment Rental, elaborates on the company’s presence in the Middle East and prominent markets.
The top performing market segments for Byrne differ from country to country, differ by season in some cases like events and entertainment, for example, and differ again by sub sector in certain key industries.
“For example, if we look at oil and gas, we cannot generalise as there is a separate dynamic at play in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, each of which have their own peaks and troughs in terms of demand for rental equipment, and often very different actual equipment requirements at varying points in time over the course of a given year. The same applies to construction and infrastructure related industries which continues to grow alongside the regions booming events and entertainment industry. All of this before we consider the growing number of new mega projects being announced, some of which are well underway and others that are part of longer-term strategic plans by various gulf countries like Vision 2030 in KSA and Strategy for the Future in the UAE,” says Pat.
“In general, we can honestly say that for most major oil and gas, construction and infrastructure projects and for every major entertainment and sporting event in the region, the Byrne Group will have an involvement to one degree or another – some may be on a straightforward supply of equipment basis, while others will be turnkey, from delivery and installation to project management and completion. In recent times we have been involved in niche projects where besides our ability to provide very specific high-end fleet, supported by very exacting installation parameters and associated services, we were able to adhere to our clients extremely stringent oversight, internal governance and HSE demands which set us apart from what could be considered normal for our industry,” explains Pat.
The growth indicators for the Middle East rental industry are more positive than they have been for many years, according to Pat.
“This is clear from the much-improved trading conditions and results of 2021 as the region emerged from the worst of the pandemic. In 2022, while Covid 19 has not gone away, the global approach continues to be accepting of its long-term presence and with that the minds and actions of governments and industries are focused on investment, growth and development as we look to the future. For this reason, the rental industry globally is experiencing an upswing in terms of performance, and thankfully that applies to the equipment rental industry generally here in the Middle East,” says Pat.
Byrne has managed to navigate the global supply crisis with minimal impact on business, through its strong partnerships with suppliers.
“Of course, we have suffered some frustration with fluctuating prices of some materials and delays in shipping, but we have managed to handle these without any major issues. Over the years we have developed multiple relationships with our very broad range of suppliers and partners around the globe and thankfully as a result, the issues we faced with supply chain recently have not been as disruptive as we initially thought it would. We are extremely thankful to all our loyal suppliers for their support and professionalism in helping us through these challenging times from a supply chain perspective, and we are confident that given our close cooperation and strong relationships we will be able to minimise any future impacts on our operations for the foreseeable future,” says Pat.
Meanwhile, to improve operational efficiencies in its business, Byrne is inducting an advanced ERP system in the group alongside new BI and CRM platforms.
“The combined effect of these systems will deliver significant improvements and discipline in how we operate, and it will result in corresponding positive impacts for our partners, our supply chain and most importantly for our customers,” says Pat.
As Byrne celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022, Pat reflects on the company’s track record so far and the factors driving its fleet and geographical expansion.
“Over the years, we have witnessed the incredible growth and economic development of every country in the GCC which is testament to the wisdom, vision and leadership of these nations, and we`re grateful to these leaders for the opportunity we have had to be part of their growth story. Throughout that period our expansion and growth were driven largely by listening carefully to our customers while assessing and sense checking emerging projects, before then adding equipment and services that represent a viable rental solution.
“In recent years, the additions to our fleet were all driven by the induction of new verticals and divisions within our well-established business model. For example, our hoist, mast climber and mobile powered access division, the development of our new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) division and the establishment of our Yas Petroleum division in UAE with a full fuel distribution service and mobile tanker fleet.”
Byrne’s approach to further expansion in terms of new additions to its fleet will continue to be measured over the coming years, largely because the company is focused on ensuring that the new divisions added in recent years are appropriately resourced and embedded in its overall portfolio.
“That said, we will continue to invest in the latest technology and equipment as part of our constant fleet replacement and updating programs which features in our annual business plans. In addition, we will continue to listen carefully to our customers who require different rental solutions, and we will make new equipment additions that are viable, scalable and are an appropriate strategic fit to our rental model.
“We consider our current geographical footprint to be sufficient to support our existing and planned business growth for now, except in KSA where we are developing a new 50,000m2 headquarters schedule for completion in early 2023, which will include an integrated operations and logistics hub for the whole Kingdom, based in Jubail. This will be the support base for the other seven depots and offices spread across the country. So, while the intent is set to continue along these lines in the GCC, we are always assessing neighbouring and other geographies where we can viably establish our highly transferable model,” says Pat.