InTents August/September 2019 - 42

R

Ramsey Duqum,
CEO and co-owner
AAble Rents
Cleveland, Ohio
www.aablerents.com
Employs 36 full-time
and 80 seasonally

[Q&A]

42 intents

august-september 2019

amsey Duqum, CEO and co-owner,
AAble Rents, Cleveland, Ohio, irst
"punched in" at AAble Rents when he
was ive years old. He and 22 cousins
spent their days in a daycare funded
by AAble Rents behind the original
store. "Punching in meant going to our
grandmother's desk and saying we were
here to work, washing some chairs,
and going back to her desk, where we
would get paid in pop money," he says.
After years of working seasonally at
AAble Rents, Duqum began exploring
his dream of pursuing a career in
indoor skydiving. But in 2006 his
grandmother asked him to take over
as operations manager at AAble Rents.
"The company was 60 days away from
insolvency," he says. "It was dif icult, but
I had a vision to re-shape AAble Rents
from a festival, low-cost provider, into
a high-end tent and looring provider.
I guess I was too naïve to know how
much responsibility I was taking on."
Duqum cleaned house and began
to turn the company around. In 2012
he and his brother Brandon (who is
CFO) purchased the company that now
provides high-end tenting and looring,
as well as traditional tables and chairs.
"Tenting and looring is the hardest
niche in the event rental industry," he
says. "We're doubling down on our
efforts through using mechanization,
technology and human resource.
"I think it is an inevitability that
companies like ours mechanize,"

Duqum continues. "We have
invested a considerable amount
of money in systems, machines
and materials handling."
Duqum and his brother have
rebuilt the company by focusing on
standardizing systems and processes
that have led to successful, replicable
outcomes. "In my opinion, this is the
key to running and owning a successful
tent rental company," he says.
On the tenting side, AAble Rents is
constantly looking for new ways to
standardize designs. "We were the
irst in the country to take an Event
Series clearspan, which is normally
made for 20 and 25 meters, and
have it cut down, but with all the
same legs, cables, wall systems and
rafters," he says. "We also designed
and manufactured a compressionloaded, engineered, wooden laminate
center pole. These center poles are
primarily used for the sailcloth market.
We ship them throughout the country
to other quality rental providers."
AAble Rents also recently worked with
a manufacturer to develop a modular wall
for pole and frame tents. The idea is based
on a rollup sailcloth wall that straps to
the legs. "We call it our Premier Wall," he
says. "It has similar bene its to a kedered
wall system but installs much quicker."
Modular designs bene it both the
company and the clients, Duqum
says-and that ef iciency keeps
clients coming back for more.

(Q) How can tent and event industry members
keep moving the industry forward?
(A) When I go to IFAI [shows] I enjoy getting to know the vendors equally as
much as the attendees. Over the years I've been labeled a challenging client
in the vendors' circle because we're challenging the way they do things.
Getting together at the shows provides this wonderful ability to get all of these
minds in one area so we can share ideas and keep pushing the envelope.


http://www.aablerents.com

InTents August/September 2019

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