3 Factors to Look for in Equipment Rental Software Solution

Jul 2, 2020 3:19:05 PM

Most businesses are competitive by nature as they need to win against their opponents to stay in business, survive, and thrive. The same applies to the equipment rental companies as well.

Competitiveness breeds innovation, lowers prices and offers a better overall product choice for consumers, whether it’s commercial or personal. So, how do you, as an equipment rental company, find the best solution for your business?

Competitive comparisons abound in consumer products across the internet with third-party reviewers and consumers posting open reviews on various social media platforms and sites. Who would want to buy a product with a one- or two-star rating! As a company, you just die inside when you see that sort of review on something you’ve put your heart and soul into developing and bringing to the market.

Equipment-Rental

It isn’t easy to analyze and compare different business software for a variety of reasons. Firstly, most business transactions are based on confidential contracts that prohibit the type of open, free-for-all rating system that you see on consumer sites. Secondly, there may not be a large universe of users who have used multiple products and have the actual experience to rate multiple products in a head-to-head competition.

At To-Increase, we have experienced selection consultants that try to do this with RFPs and scripted demos, and sometimes they work. Most of our customers, who are currently using our DynaRent solutions suite, did mention how difficult it was for them to evaluate and finalize on the right solution for their business.

So, if your business either can’t afford or won’t invest in such a process, how do you evaluate rental software solutions?

In this blog, I will share with you the three factors to consider when evaluating and deciding on a Microsoft Dynamics 365 based equipment rental solution for your business.

3 Equipment rental software solution factors to consider

Does the equipment rental solution support multiple types of rental businesses?

The equipment rental solutions in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem span from large, integrated rental solutions to add-on products and customizations—all of which try to address some basic issues in rental processes. Originally, most were built to focus on the needs of heavy equipment manufacturers and construction companies.

Today’s Microsoft ecosystem is a diverse group of businesses that have a variety of rental needs. They include the original heavy equipment companies, industrial equipment, transportation, shipping, or high-tech and medical device companies, who manufacture and rent or lease their products through several revenue and distribution channels.

Focusing on one industry vertical is no longer a safe bet for equipment rental solution providers. Likewise, choosing a solution that was built for one specific vertical and cannot update with the changes in the Microsoft ecosystem is risky for an equipment rental company.

Are all the Dynamics-based equipment rental solutions built the same?

No, they aren’t built or architected the same way.

While all the packaged and AppSource equipment rental solutions are built using the approved Microsoft code and database, the functional processes may be completely different.

The solution may be monolithic and contain thousands or millions of lines of code that can be disruptive to the rest of your Microsoft deployment. This will affect your ability to stay updated with Microsoft’s evergreen upgrade process or to make basic changes to your implementation.

To-Increase’s DynaRent solutions suite can act as multiple or separate rental engines (revenue, supply chain, and service) within your Microsoft Dynamics 365 system without major impacts on other areas of your business or deployment.
For example, multiple revenue streams over time and contracts can be handled via the finance/revenue engine or functionality without using all the other areas of the solution. Of course, some basic setup and configuration are required. Still, it is flexible enough to operate more independently without needing all solution areas and much less code and data to maintain.

Two key architectural considerations are:

Flexibility of the base functionality of work orders and projects

This is one key area to compare when choosing a Microsoft Dynamics-based equipment rental solution. To-Increase’s DynaRent solution offers you a choice of operating with rental work order-based processes, project-based rental orders, or both.

Some rental solutions offer only project-based rentals. This mode can generate lots of unnecessary project transactions in the background. It can potentially slow down the performance of your Dynamics deployment and have unintended consequences in other parts of your business.

Optimal utilization of the Microsoft platform

Another area to consider is whether the rental solution provider utilizes all the areas of the Microsoft solution to provide an end-to-end solution, including the Microsoft toolsets, Azure IoT, Power Apps, and Power BI.

Leveraging all these features keeps your business processes, data, and security aligned with the rest of your Dynamics deployment. Thus, it provides you the best opportunity to maximize your rental ROI.

Is the solution supported by a strong Microsoft Systems Integrator or ISV?

The Microsoft partner and ISV network are changing rapidly with acquisitions, consolidations, and new investors. This can have both positive and negative effects on equipment rental solutions.

It is crucial to understand if the new company will have the same focus on the established product roadmap, and provide support for the rental solution you’ve deployed or will deploy.

Choosing a long-established large systems integrator/ISV with a global footprint, a reliable roadmap, a large trained team of consultants, and a flexible rental solution that can adapt to your changing business models is your best bet.

Rental system type

Microsoft Dynamics 365 based
ISV solutions

3rd Party standalone solutions outside Microsoft

Top solutions
  • DynaRent
  • HSO Dynamics Rental
  • Annata
  • Sycor
  • Partner Customizations

Examples of large solutions

  • Wynne Software
  • Infor
  • SAP

Examples of small POS solutions

  • Points of Sale Rental
  • Texada
  • Orion
Pros
  • Built within Microsoft and has single, Azure database
  • Utilizes the base D365 attributes: workflows, table and domain, roles and security levels
  • Leverages Evergreen continuous update process
  • Doesn't require custom integration in most cases
  • Supports collaboration among multiple areas of a company’s business processes inside D365
  • Can be customized to very specific rental situations
  • Smaller infrastructure footprint
  • May be implemented quickly depending on the size of the solution
  • Proven POS and mobile solutions for high volume B2C rental processes

 

 

Cons
  • Requires a large investment in licensing
  • Has a lengthy implementation time
  • Needs dedicated staff, leading to extra costs
  • Complex due to number of business areas it touches within the enterprise
  • Not well suited for high volume B2C rentals requiring a POS solution
  • May not support all functional areas of a business such as manufacturers who rent products requiring other solution integrations
  • Inflexible for expansion beyond core rentals if business model changes or expands

What is the best way forward?

Selecting Microsoft Dynamics should not be an afterthought of the selection process. It should receive as much attention as any other functional part of your business, regardless of the size of the revenue stream.

Small rental transactions can have a huge impact on other parts of your business, which you may not realize at the first glance. Bringing those business processes inside your Microsoft Dynamics 365 system with a properly built and implemented equipment rental solution such as To-Increase’s DynaRent can have a positive effect on your revenues, costs, and employees’ morale and performance.


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