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30/07/2008

Autocue Closes London-Area Rental Business

Autocue, a leading provider of newsroom automation and teleprompting solutions, has announced that it is closing its London-area rental business, as it refocuses on its core sales business in line with the changing dynamics of the rentals market.
The company said that the move was "progressive" and would benefit both Autocue and the company's customers.
Autocue CEO Frank Hyman said: "In the last few years, we have seen a marked trend toward customers buying rather than renting their prompting systems. Our clients clearly see the longer term benefits of buying versus renting and we are simply adapting to the market to continue to provide the best value for money for our customers."
Hyman continues: "By openly sharing the costs and margins of our rental business with our customers, we want to help them identify if and when they would be better off buying their prompting equipment, and also make sure they do not overpay for renting with other providers. The fact is, for the cost of two or three weeks' rental, a customer can buy any product in our range, and this will last them for many years to come."
Since 1955 Autocue have been operating a rental business predicated on adding value to customers by offering them rental services to counteract: the significant cost of purchasing expensive prompting systems; setting up and rigging complex and cumbersome equipment; and operating complex software. Autocue said that recent developments have challenged the value customers derive from rental services. Reductions in the cost of prompting systems; the introduction of new hardware that is lighter, smaller and easier to set-up than ever before; and advances in prompting software have negated the value that customers derive from renting rather than purchasing prompting systems.
Purchasing rather than renting offers customers a number of advantages. They receive brand new equipment with a two-year manufacturer warranty, rather than using systems that have been rented to numerous other customers. This equipment can then be used for all future productions with no further outlay. Customers continue to benefit from Autocue's global, in-house hardware and software support teams, as standard. They also benefit from ongoing cost-savings by directly contracting freelance operators without the 50%-plus premiums charged by specialist rental companies. There is a vast pool of experienced operating resource in the market and Autocue's website will provide the contact details and CVs of numerous experienced and vetted Autocue operators, free of charge.
There are clearly some specific areas where renting equipment and services still offer customers advantages over purchasing. Autocue's long-standing BBC News contract encompasses the round-the-clock provision of equipment, rigger, operator, hardware and technical support services to all BBC London news programmes. This is a fully outsourced, added value operation offering the BBC significant cost savings and less complexity versus in-house management. In addition, Autocue's North/Midlands and Scotland rental businesses are smaller regional operations, run locally by entrepreneurial operator/managers, serving more limited numbers of customers with lower frequency needs. These areas of the rental business are self-contained and will remain unaffected by the changes in the London area.
Further information is available at: www.autocue.com.
(KMcA/JM)
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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