Mobility and the cloud are probably the most enduring “breaking news” in technology for all industries. Innovations come out every day and there’s no sign of them stopping. For equipment-driven companies focused on rental and services, mobile field service has been an essential for a number of years. Navigation software like TomTom has also been a key player.
But equipment rental and service companies deal with some complex processes. Contracts, and compliance need to work hand-in-glove with ERP. So it’s a new trend to see mobile apps finding a home with businesses. There are lots of benefits for both your company and your customers. We’ve written recently about the shift to online that’s a big change factor for rental and services. And now that the technology is so well-defined and flexible, mobile apps seem designed for multi-location companies. Also for the companies that deal with high volumes of customers and demanding equipment lifecycles.
Mobile apps can bring in great benefits
If you focus on mobility for your internal staff, you’ll find it’s never been easier to equipment remote employees with apps that can work on phones or preferred device. CRM for your sales employees. Service apps for your service engineers. And Rental Management apps for operators and even project managers. Implementation is quick and straightforward with platforms such as Microsoft PowerApps. Companies that are using Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Microsoft Dynamics AX along with PowerApps can make highly specific implementations available to mobile workers with a download and quick setup. Virtually any type of data can be collected via mobile app and sent to ERP for analysis and operations.
Mobile apps also can bring in great benefits when you make them available to your equipment rental customers. Imagine if along with online access to your offerings customers could turn to mobile apps that let them:
- Off hire or terminate equipment rentals themselves
- Immediately report damages or other issues when they occur and include photos or even video; service reps could identify and act on problems based on real-world, real-time information
- Access tutorials and instructions about using equipment—apps would make this much more targeted and precise than simply going online
- Receive alerts and notifications about equipment delivery; reminders about any service required; prompts for arranging pickup for a rental
The benefits will flow into your organization
Those 4 areas alone can go a long way to increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction. But also reliability for equipment delivery, ease of use, and performance. Those benefits would flow into your organization at all levels. By equipping customers to self-manage rentals, you’d indirectly be managing all rentals with a closer eye. This way you’d be sure to see long-term gains in equipment condition and cost savings. At a more immediate level, you’ll have the advantage of that closer eye without adding to employee workload. Indeed, you’ll find that mobile apps make customer service part of a streamlined workflow. It will free employees to handle more customers in less time. And turn their energy and talent to looking at trends and opportunities.