At BorrowLenses.com we have some incredible people behind the scenes that help make us the best online camera and lens rental service. This post is the second of a series to introduce you to members of the BorrowLenses.com team who tap into their passion for photography, videography and the arts daily in an effort to provide you the best service possible. Today we’d like to introduce you to Ernest, our inventory buyer.
Ernest works behind-the-scenes making sure that we have the latest new gear to add to our ever-growing inventory. He is constantly keeping up with industry rumors and research so that we can be among the first to make a new item available to our renters. Keeping up with trends is an important part of Ernest’s job, as he is also in charge of restocking our very popular items and that means more gear availability for everybody.
What’s your role here at BorrowLenses.com?
I am in charge of purchasing the massive amounts of photo and video gear that BorrowLenses.com carries in inventory. The most important part of the job is trying to predict what items will be in the highest demand so that we can give our customers the best gear selection and availability at all times. Through the relationships I maintain with a variety of vendors and sellers nationwide, I strive to constantly find the highest-quality (and often hardest-to-find) gear to keep up with our customers’ shooting needs, whatever they might be.
What type of photography do you enjoy pursuing? I have loved poring over photojournalism images all my life and I also enjoy shooting portraits of my family, capturing images of birds, pursuing travel and macro photography, and doing astrophotography. I love shooting with both digital and film.
How do you stay on top of all the latest gear? This is one of the most fun parts of my job. I read various photography publications, follow news and blogs online, listen to photography podcasts, and stay up-to-date with press releases and trade show announcements. I try to figure out what new gear might rent well and then immediately start the legwork to get these items to BorrowLenses.com and into the hands of our customers as soon as possible.
What are some of the factors that impact your research? I study how our inventory rents over time, looking for trends such as when certain bodies, lenses, lighting, and accessories get booked throughout the year. I learn about the genres of photography and filmmaking our customers are passionate about to get an idea of what gear will help them get the job done. I also love hearing from customers directly about what kinds of gear they think we should carry, too. Very often, if we hear customers asking about a particular item, we will start carrying it.
What services does Purchasing provide and assist with to meet the needs of our customers and ensure their satisfaction? I work very closely with the Inventory and Shipping teams daily to make sure the gear our customers order is available and scheduled to arrive on the date requested. Sometimes this means suddenly replenishing inventory levels when a particular item is in-demand on short notice or drop-shipping brand new items from a vendor or manufacturer directly to our customer’s home. Bottom line is I will do everything in my power to ensure every order has all of its requested gear, on-time, whether it’s for a novice or for a pro.
What one thing would you like BorrowLenses.com customers to know about Purchasing that perhaps they might not know?
I wish I could reveal how much we spend maintaining our inventory, but I will just say that it’s probably much, much more than customers think. It’s a little mind-boggling, actually!