7 January 2020

Equipment Rental ERP Software: Essential and Good-to-Have Features

Equipment rental ERP essential and optional features

The equipment rental business is competitive with stringent regulations and demanding customers. As a part of this business, you must be well-equipped with the right technology and software to thrive in the market.

While looking for solutions to address your business needs, you must know the essentials for your equipment rental ERP. However, with the plethora of options available and every solution provider claiming they are the best, deciding which features are required for your business can be overwhelming.

At To-Increase, we are familiar with this dilemma of equipment rental companies. We provide rental software embedded in Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, and we still see this as a common concern among most equipment rental companies.

In this article, we will take you through the 'must-have' and 'good-to-have' features of a typical equipment rental ERP software solution, so you can identify what is essential to your business.

The essential and optional features of an equipment rental software solution

Project management

Equipment rental companies often have customers coming to them with rental requests for an entire project and not just one piece of equipment. As a result, you must manage a complex array of serialized and non-serialized equipment rented for different periods with multiple vendors and supply chains.

Additionally, you may have to provide operators with some complex equipment, such as cranes.

The return time for each of your equipment would differ, and you must keep track of every item rented out.

Apart from the standard rentals, you could offer supplementary items, related consumables, or personnel working hours. It could be challenging to keep track of every item rented, with the rental duration and accurate pricing.

With the project management feature in your equipment rental ERP software solution, you can have accurate and updated information on the budget and actuals for the entire equipment rental project.

The verdict

Project management is a must-have feature for your equipment rental business, especially if you rent out to big construction projects.

Customer relationship management

Customer relationships are the focal point for any business, and the rental business is no different. The expectation today is not just limited to delivering a product or service, but it is all about personalized service.

This expectation can translate to special rental packages, on-time payment discounts, pick up and drop off at convenient locations, priority service, and overall personalized experience — a CRM (customer relationship management) solution can help you with this.

The CRM solution offers your sales team real-time access to intelligent customer information, shortening the sales cycle and improving quoting accuracy. It also provides insight into customer behavior and interaction patterns, which you can leverage to provide a consistent and helpful experience.

The verdict

CRM is essential for the survival of your equipment rental business by enabling repeat customers and providing them with a delightful experience. However, if you have just started in the industry, it is a good-to-have feature but will eventually become a must-have feature when you want to grow your business.

Transport planning

Transport planning, the logistics of having operators available, and complicated delivery schedules are the norm in the rental industry. Transportation management is vital to your equipment rental business, and the correct solution can smooth this process.

Transport planning helps ensure your vehicles move with optimum loads, taking the shortest possible routes and minimizing costs.

It also helps you provide other assistance like operators, service crew, etc., along with arranging for the movement and transportation of the assets.

It also enhances overall planning by giving the planning departments a complete overview of vehicles across depots and equipping planners to schedule the transport from a single location.

The verdict

Transport planning is a must-have feature in your equipment rental ERP software solution.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Today, the world has moved from mere communication to a deeper connection, and IoT represents that. IoT has become more critical in the equipment rental industry as the need to gather data and continuously develop the business has increased.

IoT-integrated equipment rental ERP software based on embedding sensors in your equipment helps you track the location and monitor the utilization of the equipment.

With solutions supporting IoT, you can monitor the exact usage based on the movement of your assets, enabling you to invoice the customer precisely. You can also protect against unauthorized use of the equipment according to the rental contract and enhance customer experience with data analytics on utilization.

You can easily calculate the revenue gains and savings that rental IoT can bring to your business.

The verdict

Rental IoT is a good-to-have feature, and you can think of investing in this as your business expands.


Mobility plays a significant role in the equipment rental industry as the world is shrinking, and customers expect quicker services. Access to mobile services provides your field staff with critical information anytime and anywhere while in the field.

With a mobile app, your field service engineers can efficiently deliver, repair, and maintenance work on customer sites.

What is more, mobility quickens the billing process for quicker revenue generation. The field teams would also find it easier to share updated information with customers without depending on the back office for data.

Having mobile access also eases the process of recordkeeping and provides a more effortless channel for two-way updates between different locations.

The verdict

Mobility is a must-have feature that will ease the pressure of rental operations. It simplifies the job of your field technicians and engineers, offering the convenience of accessing data using mobile devices of their choice.

Business intelligence

A study by EY says that 93% of companies want to continue investing in analytics, and the equipment rental industry is no different. A rental software solution offering analytics and business intelligence with dashboards and KPIs can be leveraged to drive business growth.

These insights come in reports that encapsulate information like asset usage, maintenance logs, locations, industries with higher scope, rental types with the lowest and highest demand, etc.

You can get insights into asset performance, utilization rates, booking trends, and more. It helps you make calculated predictions about the equipment demand and adjust the rental rates through evidence-based data.

The verdict

Rental analytics and business intelligence is a good-to-have feature that can help you make informed decisions and optimize future investments.

Rental kits and intercompany rentals

Rental kits and intercompany rentals can complicate your equipment rental operations. Rental kits are usually requested when different products must be rented out together.

For instance, if you are renting out a heavy-duty crane, you will need to rent out a suitable winch that can be used for lifting heavy loads.

Renting an equipment package with several pieces of equipment can be complex and requires multiple entries in the system. This is further complicated when companies rent out equipment for themselves and their group companies.

This feature can be helpful if your business rents out equipment that works in tandem with other assets or if you have customers requiring intercompany rentals.

The verdict

We cannot give a definite verdict on this feature as it depends on the nature of your rental business. If your company is into rental kits and intercompany rentals, this feature is a must-have.

Equipment lifecycle management

Equipment, machinery, or assets have an exact lifecycle, and as an equipment rental company, you must be able to track and manage your assets' lifecycle. At each stage of the asset lifecycle, you should take specific actions to ensure it is in top working condition.

Equipment lifecycle management is the process that manages the end-to-end stages of your equipment throughout its period of ownership — from acquisition to disposal.

For instance, when an asset has been used for a particular number of hours, it requires servicing or changing the removable parts of heavy machinery as and when needed to ensure the maximum safety of the asset.

At the end of the asset lifecycle, you must prepare to invest in a new one and arrange to dispose of the asset or recycle it.

The equipment lifecycle management feature helps address equipment-related challenges, ensures quality standards compliance, keeps equipment in safe working conditions, and offers insights into the equipment's health.

The verdict

Equipment lifecycle management is a must-have feature for your equipment rental business.

Want to invest in the right rental software?

The verdict is out, and now you know the must-have and the good-to-have features in your equipment rental ERP software solution. The next step is to list the requirements you are looking for, shortlist solution providers, and compare against certain factors, such as cost, implementation time, and features.

You can begin the discussion around your requirements by getting together with members from different departments and asking them these questions:

  • What is your most significant challenge area (logistics, asset management, billing and collection, transportation, intelligence)?
  • What is the most repeated issue during the daily operations of your equipment rental business?
  • Which project or sector generates the highest revenue for your business (construction, government projects, transportation, infrastructure, power projects, etc.)?
  • What do customers tell you about the competition?
  • What are the main roadblocks while working in the field or on-site?
  • Which tasks are the most time-consuming but with the least value-add?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can begin preparing your request for information sheet and contacting solution providers in the market.

How can we help you with equipment rental ERP software?

If you're interested in an ERP-embedded rental solution that can manage the entire asset lifecycle with standardized rental processes, you might be interested in our rental software, DynaRent.

DynaRent is embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management and offers all the above features and more.

You can explore more about the solution in the factsheet linked below.

Alternatively, review this checklist to learn more about equipment rental ERP essentials.

Want to discover end-to-end equipment rental ERP software?

Michiel Toppers
Michiel Toppers,
Michiel Toppers,
Senior Director of Product Management

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