You are in the rental business. Competition is tough, regulations are stringent, and customers can be demanding. What you need is a software solution to support you, but it seems too expensive.
You are not able to decide because all the features that are part of equipment rental solutions sound important, but they are also adding to the expenses. You wish somebody would guide you on the must-have and the good-to-have features.
Well, at To-Increase, where we offer DynaRent, our complete rental solution, we face these questions and doubts from our customers all the time. It is indeed a tough decision, as you need to be able to make a distinction between the hygiene factors and the luxuries of your equipment rental software.
In this article, we will take you through the various features that an equipment rental software solution has. We will dive deeper and identify the ones that are essential and the ones that fall under the category of good-to-have.
Let’s get started!
The features of an equipment rental software solution
Equipment rental companies often have customers coming to them with rental requests that are for a whole project and not just one piece of equipment. As a result, the equipment rental company has to manage a complex array of equipment rented for different periods.
There could be a need to provide operators for some of the equipment, and the return time would be different for each. You will need to deal with these factors and still streamline operations and improve productivity for which you would require the right equipment rental solution.
With the project management feature in your equipment rental software solution, you can have accurate and updated information on budget and actuals for the entire rental project.
Project management is a must-have feature for your equipment rental business!
Customer relationship management
We can all agree that customers are the focal point for any business and the rental business is no different. The expectation today is not just limited to the delivery of a product or service, but it is all about personalized service.
In the equipment rental business, 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. Your equipment rental CRM solution can help you do all this.
A CRM solution can help you track customer behavior and interaction patterns to help your team provide a consistent and helpful experience at all times.
CRM is essential for the survival of your equipment rental business by enabling repeat customers by providing them with a delightful experience. This is a must-have feature.
Transportation planning, the logistics of having operators available, and complicated delivery schedules are the norm in the rental industry. Transportation management is a vital aspect of your equipment rental business, and your solution can help you with this aspect.
In the equipment rental business, you come across assets ranging from the most basic to the most sophisticated equipment. In most cases, customers opting to rent machinery do so because they do not want to invest in outright purchase.
In some cases, customers may go for equipment rentals when they feel that they do not have the means to handle the equipment as it is too complicated. In such cases, you not only need to arrange the movement of the assets but also provide other assistance like operators, service crew, etc.
Transportation is a must-have feature in your equipment rental software solution.
Today, the world has moved away from mere communication to a deeper connection, and IoT, or the internet of things, is representative of that. The effect of IoT can be seen in the rental industry, as well.
By embedding sensors in your equipment, you can track usage and bill for any extra usage and track locations to make transport planning easier. You can calculate the revenue gains and savings that rental IoT can bring to your business with ease.
Rental IoT is a good-to-have feature, and you can think of investing in this as your business expands.
If the world has become a smaller place, a large part of the credit goes to the internet and mobile networks. Mobility can play a significant role in the equipment rental realm as well by providing field staff easy access to the information they need on the field.
What is more, mobility also quickens the billing process for quicker revenue generation. The field teams would also find it easier to pass on updated information to customers without depending on the back office to send them the updated data.
Having mobile access also eases the process of recordkeeping and provides a more effortless channel for two-way updates between different locations.
Mobility is a must-have feature that will ease the pressure of rental operations. It becomes even more convenient when your team can use mobile devices of their choice.
In any business, intelligence and insights into what is happening within the company and the industry help management make informed strategic decisions. Today, many rental solutions offer business intelligence as a feature.
These insights come in the form of reports that encapsulate information like asset usage, the maintenance logs, locations, and industries with higher demands, types of rentals that had the lowest and highest demand, etc.
Rental business intelligence is a good-to-have feature that can help you make informed decisions.
Rental kits and intercompany rentals
As we mentioned in the section about project management in the equipment rental business, rental kits and intercompany rentals is another aspect that can complicate your operations. Rental kits refer to products that have to be rented out together.
For instance, if you are renting a heavy duty crane, then you will need to rent out a suitable winch so that you can use it for lifting heavy loads. Or if you are renting a concrete mixer, then you need a dump truck as well.
Sometimes companies rent out equipment for their use as well as use by their group companies. When your business rents out equipment that works in tandem with other assets or when you have customers requiring intercompany rentals, this feature can come in handy.
We cannot give a definite verdict for this feature as it depends on the kind of rental deals your company offers. If your company is into rental kits and intercompany rentals, then this feature can be useful.
Equipment lifecycle management
Equipment, machinery, or assets have an exact lifecycle, and as an equipment rental company, you have to be able to track the lifecycle of your assets and manage them. At each stage of the asset lifecycle, you have to take specific actions to ensure that it is in top working condition.
For instance, when an asset has been used for a particular number of hours, it will need servicing. Or when some equipment is new, you will need to use a specific type of lubricant to keep it working well. At the end of the asset lifecycle, you will need to prepare to invest in a new one and arrange for the disposal of the asset.
Equipment lifecycle management is a must-have feature for your rental business.
Before you make your final decision…
The verdict is out, and now you know what features are must-haves and the ones that are good-to-haves in your equipment rental software solution. The next step is to look at the cost of equipment rental software and select the solution provider you are most comfortable with.
However, before you do that, ask your team to answer these questions:
- What are their biggest problem areas (logistics, asset management, billing and collection, transportation, intelligence) when it comes to daily operations in your equipment rental business?
- Which is the sector (construction, government projects, transportation, infrastructure, power projects) that brings the highest amount of business?
- What do customers tell them about the competition?
- What are their main roadblocks to working better when they are out in the field?
- Which tasks do they find the most time-consuming but with the least value-add?
Once they answer these questions, you can contact a solution provider and ask them what their product can do and how they can help you address these problems.