29 April 2016

“The invisible revolution” impacting rental industry

A while ago, we shared some key ideas. In our articles we shared about the opportunities that cloud-based computing can deliver. Also we shared our thought about the opportunities analytics holds out. Especially to equipment rental and services during the invisible revolution. To-Increase is defining how The DynaRent solutions suite can offer those capabilities to our customers. And furthermore what’s exciting (and daunting) is that technology innovations are part and parcel of most people’s everyday lives. Harry Shum, executive vice president for Microsoft technology and research, calls what’s happening “the invisible revolution”. He has a concise summary: “We’re on the cusp of creating a world in which technology is increasingly pervasive but also increasingly invisible”.

What he’s referring to is a major change in how we think about mobility. That term goes beyond the devices that let us communicate, navigate, purchase, and work, using all sorts of tools. Mobility refers also to technology itself as intangible services that let us know and do so much in a heartbeat. Align that with the cloud and big data and you have a force that is indeed revolutionizing our world. Also what’s so interesting, is that it’s happening, but can’t actually be seen. It’s an experience that changes every day, and it’s an essential part of most people’s lives.

“The invisible revolution” is also rapidly becoming essential to industries across the board. Consequently, equipment rental and services need to join the “Industrial Revolution 4.0”. If they’re to thrive. Loosely defined, that’s a collective of technologies and concepts of value chain organization. Which draws together Cyber-Physical Systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services.

At-a-glance: how invisible innovation offers concrete benefits for equipment rental and services

We’ve written before about the capabilities the revolution can offer equipment rental and services, using the example of predictive and preventive maintenance. A quick recap of highlights:

  • A central cloud database works in real time to collect and update every granule of information relevant to equipment and services from devices, apps, ERP and more
  • Built-in cloud algorithms monitor and analyze all aspects of service maintenance at global, local, and customer-specific levels
  • Potential and immediate issues, breakdowns, irregularities trigger alerts to appropriate roles and devices, with analyses, recommendations, instructions
  • Routine maintenance and service goes well beyond alerts/notifications to include full analysis of utilization, condition, special circumstances
  • Planners, techs, back-office teams, even customers can query or “ask Cortana” for 360 degree or general information and receive detailed responses and recommendations

The flexibility, speed, and accuracy that all this can offer is huge and goes well beyond efficient maintenance and even end-to-end rental and leasing scenarios. Your business can open up new offerings, and diversify business models to accommodate changing customer trends—car leasing offers a great illustration. Both consumers and businesses want all flavors of options for leasing, and not just vehicles. Take advantage of the invisible revolution and your business can change or extend your portfolio and product lines to include anything from bikes to mobile food kiosks to refrigerators, office and home furnishings. Multi-party billing that’s the customer’s bane of leasing can be scooped up by your company and consolidated into a bundle that customers appreciate (and actually expect these days). Whatever’s being utilized, you’ll be able to measure and optimize rates for.

Predicting trends

We’re touching on just a few key elements here. The range is so vast for Shum’s invisible revolution, not just in terms of how you manage and expand but also your ability to gather customer knowledge and know what they want before they do. For equipment and services industries, tracking and managing customer needs can be extremely complex and volatile, from rental quotes to transport, services, resource allocation, increasing requests for self-service. Predicting trends in a demand-driven economy has been tough. These challenges stem in large part from software that’s designed to accommodate myriad scenarios, but can’t adapt quickly to change and surprises. Analytics can involve juggling multiple data sources. Imagine everything unified, real-time, ready to adapt processes to meet custom needs. as intelligent as an expert advisor.

Equipment rental and services requires a careful, even conservative approach to managing offerings or there’s significant risk. The good news is that the invisible revolution can ensure that you’re a vibrant member of the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Because DynaRent is backing you—and we’re eager to hear about your needs and questions. We’d be happy to arrange a discussion about innovation for your rental and services business.

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

Also interesting