National Equipment Register (NER), Jersey City, N.J., has made its way into Canada in an effort to further combat the issue of equipment theft in North America. Though NER has always helped as needed with theft issues in Canada, the official launch into the country is allowing the organization to be more effective.
“We’ve always been helping in an ad hoc manner, because a lot of the things we do are transferrable to other countries,” says Ryan Shepherd, NER’s general manager. “We would provide as much help as we could, but without the data, we weren’t as helpful as we could be. Over time, the volume of calls from Canada made it clear there was a need for more support.”
The process of getting NER started in Canada had its challenges. “Helping law enforcement understand how to identify equipment was the easy part. That is the same no matter where you are,” Shepherd says. “Privacy policies and laws are different in Canada, so making sure we were in compliance with those regulations when gathering and logging our unique data sets was a challenge.”
To highlight the official July 1, 2012, launch, NER hosted two events in Canada. One was a theft summit focused on assisting law enforcement with recovery and the other was a meeting with senior management from Canadian insurance companies, focusing on how NER can help them with claims and underwriting.
After attending the summit, Mike Maltby, Canadian Rental Association (CRA) Ontario president and manager of Ingersoll Rental in Woodstock, Ontario, says he plans to take advantage of the services NER has to offer.
“It was eye-opening to learn how little information is out there outside the NER database. Being part of the database looks like it will be the most useful component of the program. All the law enforcement officers I talked to said this would save them time and help them recover equipment,” he says.
Since the launch, NER has been pleased with the Canadian response. “We’ve had lots of positive feedback from people who know how it works in the United States and are excited to see us up there,” Shepherd says. “We aren’t at full capacity yet, but people know we are in for the long haul. Success for us right now is in building trusted relationships with people who call for help and becoming part of the process.”
NER, a division of Verisk Crime Analytics, was founded by David Shillingford in 2001 to improve the way information is shared between different segments of the equipment industry, insurers and law enforcement. NER’s database tracks equipment theft and ownership records to help insurers and law enforcement officers with equipment recovery efforts.
“A member benefit for CRA and ARA members is the opportunity to register 1,000 pieces of equipment with NER for free. This helps with our ability to build records and create a more effective program. On average in the U.S., about 30 percent of our recovery success comes from the registry information. In some cases, it has helped us recover equipment before the victim knows it’s gone,” Shepherd says.