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October 25th, 2011

With the advent of the computer era, and the ongoing miniaturization of circuitry, the world is fairly awash in electronic “stuff,” and it’s cheaper to replace many devices than fix them. So we throw away tons of electronic waste (e-waste) including TVs, monitors, laptop and desktop computers, printers, cell phones, faxes, copiers, etc. Even today’s iMac is tomorrow’s e-waste. Government at all levels has taken steps to deal with the issue. As CRE is headquartered in California – among the states that lead in eco-friendly initiatives – we will focus this e-waste primer on the Golden State.

Overview

If electronic waste is disposed of in landfills or illegally dumped, it could introduce toxic matter into the ground water and otherwise pollute the environment. Also, with limited landfill area available, it is basic good sense to reduce, reuse and recycle what we can. With these matters in mind, Electronics Waste RecyclingCalifornia passed its Electronic Waste Recycling Act in 2003 (expanded in 2005). It included an “Advance Recycling Fee” of $6-10 charged at the point of sale on video displays, as well as recycling and administrative requirements.

What should I do with e-waste?

E-waste is collected for free at L.A. County Household Hazardous/ Electronics Waste Collection Events that are scheduled every weekend throughout the year. Various cities, including the City of Los Angeles, also operate centers for the public. Most services are available at no charge to residents. There are currently six permanent HHW collection centers in the County.

If your electronics are still usable, you can list them on LACoMAX, the County’s materials exchange website, or donate them to charity. Some charities, notably Goodwill, even accept broken-but-repairable electronics like obsolete computers. (If you buy instead of rent laptops, you’ll be giving them yours every couple of years, too.) In addition, you can contact your own City’s recycling department to learn of other programs.

To find a recycler in L.A. County, use the DWP’s Smart Business Recycler Locator or check the databases maintained by CalRecycle (particularly useful for businesses). Here are the links:

• LACoMAX materials exchange website

• The DWP’s Smart Business Recycler Locator

• CalRecycle database listings

• Erecycle.org – another great resource

Remember the three Rs

• Reduce waste – buy only what you need, use only what you buy. CRE’s business model is green at its very core, as our entire inventory – from event production rentals to high-tech production gear – is available without making large capital outlays. We’re “sharing the wealth” tech-wise and reducing unnecessary consumption.

Reuse what you have – by giving useful items to friends or charity.

Recycle things – when they’re no longer useful to anyone.

CRE is your one-stop shop for high-end post-production gear, convention rentals, computers, office equipment, audio/visual support – everything you need, for everything you do. Call or e-mail an expert Account Executive, or use the Quick Rental Quote form, and get exactly what you need for what you do!

March 30th, 2010

Computer laptop rentalsA major advantage of renting or leasing technology is keeping up with the accelerating progress in computing and communications. As soon as a workstation or device is installed, it starts obsolescing, and is outdated within mere months (or faster). When firms make huge investments in buying computer systems, taking advantage of better and newer technology is prohibitively expensive.  This is why rental companies continue to excel and expand, and their trade group (now called the IT-RA) continues to grow.

Apple is a good example of a firm that is forever pushing its own envelope. Sometimes the firm gets on the wrong side of its own customers when it introduces a replacement early in a product cycle, as happened throughout the 1990s. Today, the company is somewhat more careful about new product introductions, spending millions on “pre-announcement” research. Still, you may have purchased a new iMac less than a year ago only to find that you now want one like the new 21.5 inch iMac rentals from CRE. Buying all the new models would be a swift road to insolvency.

Software evolves, too

It is not only hardware that evolves. With the Windows OS, three different eras are now overlapping with the widespread use of XP, Vista and the new Windows 7. Rental companies like CRE need to update customer information and preferences continuously to stay abreast of what the market demands. Right now, some customers demand good hardware like CRE’s HP 8600 computer rentals and are less choosy about which OS is installed. Others need certain applications installed, so smart rental firms need to be able to outfit a workstation in the manner the customer needs. It’s a hard balance to strike.

The “name of the game” in rentals, like everywhere else, is value added. Consulting firms like the Gartner Group advise rental and leasing firms to move to a “suite of services” model and educate customers on the different advantages and options. Instead of simply responding to a RFQ (Request For Quote) with a dollar figure and the number of tablet PC rentals needed, firms can take the opportunity to show customers the costs and benefits (and savings) that inure to their advantage. CRE has always led the way in customer education, and both company and customers benefit.

The solution business

Fact is, rental companies, like CRE, need to be in the business of offering solutions that are not cookie cutter simple, but which meet specific requirements of cost, availability, processing power and ease of use. Good rental companies will work hard to maintain the following strengths:

Flexibility – Rental firms should be able to recommend technology equipment based on a particular project need, adjust the rental period if the project wraps up sooner than expected, or  offer to exchange plasma rentals at the first sign of a glitch.

Financial stability – The financial status and length of time in business of the rental firm will assure customers that the company will be in business for the term of the rental and beyond that. CRE has been in business for over a quarter century.

Full service – The expertise of the rental firm’s employees is key to ensuring that all services, from consultation to setup and operational support, are rendered with the highest possible quality.

Know-how – You need to trust that the rental firm has employees that are in a continuous educational process concerning its inventory of high tech equipment. Whether you need audience response rentals or LCD monitor rentals, you must trust that you are getting the right one for your needs.

CRE is serious about “the solutions business,” and part of that means we listen so that we make the right recommendations. When you need an expert to help you solve a production bottleneck or set you up for a new project, call or send an e-mail to one of our Account Executives and get the assistance you need. If you know what you need, simply send a Quick Rental Quote form and we will be back to you quickly.

October 1st, 2009

There is a good economic case to be made for renting computers and other office equipment. However, there are other good reasons to opt for a rental instead of a purchase. We will look at the environmental, practical and logistical considerations that might also affect your decision.

The economics of renting

The first obvious advantage of getting, say, a high-powered desktop rental is reduced upfront expense. This is especially compelling if your needs for the equipment are intermittent. If your marketing department only puts together one or two “viral video ads” each month, for YouTube and other PR purposes, then it makes sense to get that Mac Pro rental from CRE. This kind of planning maintains financial flexibility, and the same reasoning applies to other equipment needs.

It is also easier to get a fully outfitted computer, with the hardware specifications and software programs you need, when you rent computers from CRE. No shopping around, no loading applications—just get what you need and get to work. You save time, money and aggravation at the same time.

Practical benefits

CRE’s long track record speaks to the fact that we really deal in solutions, not equipment. With a proactive customer service philosophy, we solve your problems—we don’t just rent you a piece of equipment. If you are working on an important print project that requires precise color matching, we know that you will need a properly calibrated LCD monitor rental to do it right. CRE is a one-stop shop, for expertise as well as high-tech tools.

When it comes to parts, service and maintenance, the practical benefit is easy to see—they’re free. You don’t have to worry about faulty equipment with our expert technicians, or spend money keeping things running right. For CRE, it is also easy to accommodate your growing needs. If your job turns out to be bigger than you thought, one phone call to CRE gets you the X Serve RAID rental that can hold an astounding 10.5TB of your data (terabytes, as in “trillions” of bytes).

Logistics: A rationale for rentals

For companies planning trade show appearances, the rationale for rentals is clear. Even if you have all the computers and displays you need for your booth, packing them up, moving them, and getting them ready to run videos or take customer input is a daunting task.

CRE has the additional expertise gained from years as an expert convention and event production firm. Not only can we arrange the projector rental that you need—in a wide range of makes and sizes—we can provide you the screen, deliver and set everything up, do a test run and (most important) put your mind at ease.

Sharing and caring for the environment

Quietly and gradually, CRE has been helping to reduce “carbon footprint” for all kinds of companies. Fewer computers, monitors and projectors are shared among more companies, creating efficiencies of use that reduce the proliferation of electronic waste.

09_09_30_ewaste

Think, for example, of four companies that each need a half dozen tablet PC rentals for a week each month. Instead of 24 tablet PCs being purchased, used inefficiently and then added to the landfill at some point, the same six units can service two dozen users and four different firms. Add it all up, nationwide, and you can see the tremendous environmental benefit that high-tech rentals offer.

Whatever you need to get the job done, CRE is here to help you do it effectively, efficiently and sensibly as well. Our experienced Account Executives can help you ask and answer all the practical, financial, environmental and logistical questions you may have. Fill out a Quick Rental Quote web form, pick up the phone or send an e-mail. We’re ready to help right now.

September 29th, 2009

New high-technology tools are expensive when they first come out. This used to mean that only deep-pocket Fortune 500 firms were early adopters. However, with the rise of high-tech rentals, the latest and greatest developments are available to all companies.

Full-service firms like CRE don’t just “do” computer rentals, and don’t simply add more and more items to a rental list. CRE is also an experienced event management firm, tying its expertise in computers and audiovisual gear to the real-world needs of companies displaying at trade shows and conferences.

Cutting-edge equipment

At one time the tablet PC was a “new and improved” item, a flat, portable computer with WiFi connectivity and a touch-screen interface.CRE has been providing tablet PC rentals for some time, as they are very handy for running presentations, taking notes and staying in touch with “the team” in cavernous convention centers.

Rent a Video Wall For audiovisual rentals, there are various types of gear to choose from to help you present to five or 500 people while exhibiting at a trade show or presenting in a meeting room. Why not rent, in quantity, plasma displays to create a video wall for your firm’s trade show booth? The effect is absolute stunning and will stop people in their tracks—coincidentally, right in front of your booth.

To capture some of the people who won’t make it to your booth, you can rent an interactive kiosk that will be your “digital stand-in.” You can position it strategically at the convention to make product presentations and request customer contact information. A kiosk is a tireless assistant for your marketing efforts.

Factors to consider when renting

There are a number of considerations if you are thinking about a high-tech rental.

Know the need, peg the cost

Computers with more advanced abilities (faster CPUs more RAM, etc.) will always cost a bit more to rent. Make sure you know what computer you need. If you are going to be doing high-end graphics work, you are talking about a muscular Mac Pro tower like CRE rents. Do not try to do video editing on a five-year old home PC.

Time, effort and quantities

Video walls are more costly to set up since you need multiple monitors and the installation takes time and expertise. Similarly, you may need to rent multiple laptop computers for large training sessions. You can often work out a discount if this is an ongoing need.

Timing and availability

As with quantities, the length of time that you have an equipment rental will affect the cost. Also, commonly available devices like monitors will be less costly than high-end X Serve or X Serve RAID rentals. Try to be ahead of your own curve to keep costs in line.

The where and when

Getting your rentals delivered and set up at convention centers will generally cost more than having them delivered to your business address. This increased cost is partially due to convention center drayage fees, logistics, additional labor, etc.

For large projects or small, CRE has what you need to get the job done. Contact our Account Executives by phone or e-mail, or use the Quick Rental Quote form to get an answer in a jiffy. Whatever it is you need to do, CRE is here to help you do it—efficiently, cost-effectively and with the finest technology available.