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EXECUTIVE REPORT


JCB is amongst the suppliers that have committed to the Scheme.


HITs from HAE


HAE has added an online assessment as part of its supplier membership application process.


On 1 April, HAE introduced an additional element to its membership application procedure for suppliers, having previewed its launch at the Executive Hire Show. Called the Hire Industry Trusted Suppliers Scheme (HITs), it is mandatory for all new supplier applicants, and will be phased in for existing companies on a rolling basis as annual membership comes up for renewal.


MD Graham Arundell said the Scheme was developed following input from the Association’s Supply Chain Board. It aims to give an extra layer of reassurance for businesses purchasing services, showing that companies are committed to best practices. He told EHN, “The assessment will help our hirer membership identify good supply chain partners, and can reduce the time it takes to research them.”


Standards and accreditions


The assessment is undertaken online and takes approximately 15-20 minutes. It asks suppliers to provide details about their businesses, such as the names of directors and senior personnel, corporate structure, production capacity, insurance covers and categories of products offered. It requests information on standards achieved and accreditations held, environmental practices, research and development capabilities with particular regard to hire industry requirements, and, where relevant, compliance with areas of legislation that are increasingly being highlighted in procurement processes, such as the Modern Slavery Act.


It also gives suppliers an opportunity to give details of their commitment to training, data security, e-procurement practices and other initiatives for paperless working. No information is requested on specific products and no testing is carried out.


Suppliers who complete the HITs assessment will be highlighted as ‘Trusted Suppliers’ in the list of HAE’s supplier members, similar to the way its hirer members with SafeHire accreditation


Morris Site Machinery believes the Scheme will help ensure high standards of service.


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were presented when that scheme was initially launched. While all new applicants must take the assessment for membership, any existing supplier members can undertake it as soon as they wish. Companies that have already committed to the Scheme include Arcotherm, inspHire, JCB, Marcrist and Morris Site Machinery.


It could be argued that much of the information that the HITs assessment requests, such as corporate data and details of quality certifications, is already in the public domain and easily obtained by prospective customers. However, HAE says the Scheme will provide a convenient central source of reference for hirer members.


Also, for some suppliers, such as those who import equipment rather than manufacturing themselves, certain parameters of HITs assessment may not be particularly relevant to their individual businesses, like research and development facilities and environmental practices. However, HAE says that such companies could nevertheless establish such information from the original equipment manufacturer and, possibly, advocate changes.


Furthermore, many suppliers and hirers have already developed long-established partnerships and perhaps already have their trusted relationships in place. Graham Arundell said that HAE recognises this but that, in an environment of increasingly fast changes amongst people, companies and operations, HITs provides a reference point and an outlet for new suppliers interested in reaching the hire industry.


Opinions of suppliers


EHN canvassed a number of suppliers for their opinions about HITs, who between them had varying views. The MD of one key industry supplier said, “Virtually all hire companies will have done their own due diligence on the suppliers they have used for years. Also, after discussing HITS with visitors to the Executive Hire Show earlier this year, it is not something they were aware of nor, from the consensus of opinion, something they are concerned about. I would prefer HAE to focus its efforts on promoting the hire industry as a whole. It still surprises me when friends I talk to are not aware of how varied the industry is and what is available to hire.”


Another senior Director of a business that has recently started to focus on the hire market told EHN, “Having read the HAE press release regarding the HITs initiative, on the surface it would appear to be a good means by which suppliers, along with their supply chains, can demonstrate their surety, robustness and credibility to supply the


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