Renting is not giving up buying, it’s making the choice to finance in a different way, in a smart way. So, two years ago, I broke my professional computer. The good old trick of the screen closed over the headphones. Of course, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. At the time, I was working for a code, design and data bootcamp. I was remotely managing the 9 cities where we were present, in Europe, USA and Latin America. It was unthinkable to spend even one day without a working computer. So here I am, in a store specialized for the general public and well known by all, paying a lot of money to replace the defeated beast. Finally, I had just bought my pro computer in exactly the same way as if I were buying my personal computer…
I’m tempted to say that you can tell the level of investment a company makes in its talent by the way it equips them. How many times does the new intern or the newcomer have to spend his first weeks on his personal computer because the company doesn’t have enough machines available? How many times have employees had to use their personal computers to telework since the beginning of the pandemic? Yet we must recognize that the computer is the work tool of the 21st century. No one discovers this when they are onboarding or teleworking or when a machine breaks. Availability and flexibility are essential.
That’s where the rental business model started to shine like a beacon in the night. Once again, renting does not mean giving up on buying, it means choosing to finance differently, in an agile way. The Americans have understood this and, since the 1990s, the leasing model has been prevalent in the country where everything from helicopters to data centers is rented. And this concerns small local businesses as much as companies listed on the NASDAQ. This trend is also gaining momentum in France. Everyone is familiar with LOA and LLD. Behind these acronyms, they are simply offers of vehicle financing by leasing. Although these solutions have already been democratized in France, our country is still several years behind the United States. As for computer equipment leasing, it is a colossal market in the United States, worth $1,000 billion. In France, the movement is slowly gaining momentum, the activity of rental financing specialists for businesses and professionals has thus increased by 7.6% over one year, to reach nearly 30 billion euros in 2019.
With the health and economic crisis, companies clearly understand the value of equipping themselves without going into debt and are increasingly turning to leasing. At Fleet, we have rented 5 times more laptops since the beginning of the pandemic. This trend, if it started as an obligation to respond to the crisis, will become a strategic choice for the long term, not only for SMEs and start-ups but also for large groups. Leasing injects agility into a company’s operations while preserving its cash flow. This is an absolutely fundamental issue in the current context of economic uncertainty which penalizes financing capacities. In addition, teleworking is exploding in France as a result of the pandemic. Already a trend on the other side of the Atlantic with the rise of digital service platforms and the collaborative economy model, teleworking was, at the beginning of the pandemic, highly divisive and caused a lot of managerial ink to flow. Today, we can say that companies have enough distance to accept this relatively new system for us. So much so that more and more companies are offering permanent teleworking to those who want it. Renting also makes it much easier to deal with new arrivals and day-to-day monitoring, which means that managers can concentrate on the tasks that are really essential to the growth of the business.
Finally, the COVID crisis has highlighted the vital importance for companies to have a sufficient, efficient and flexible laptop fleet to ensure employee autonomy and business continuity wherever they are. Finally, the COVID crisis has brought to light the crucial importance for companies to have a sufficient, high-performance and flexible fleet of laptops to ensure the autonomy of employees and the continuity of activities wherever they work; to concentrate all the company’s vital forces on the core of activities and therefore on growth; and to pamper the talents that make up the wealth and success of a company.