Why mobile apps are essential to the crane rental industry

Nov 1, 2016 8:16:13 AM

Critical challenges for crane rental companies can be the focus on the service and maintenance of their assets 

Profit margins thrive or dive depending on crane maintenance.

In the world of heavy equipment, cranes are considered high-value and service-intensive assets. They have also become much more diverse and complex. At any given time, you have to track high volumes of operational elements and parts for a single crane. Accurate scheduling, allocation, and execution of maintenance for that one crane can involve different timelines. It could  also require different technician skill sets, and quick communication about parts and machinery. In addition they can require special ordering.

Crane rental scenarios can require a lot of information from the job site.

Industrial projects can start with need to deliver equipment and then monitor usage and maintenance across extended periods of time. Quite often, they also include operators and project management resources who work onsite. And therefore need efficient ways to register hours and communicate with your planning departments and customers.

Transitioning cranes from one project to the next cannot miss a beat.

You might have several pieces of equipment and several resources at one long-term job site. And when they are required for only part of the project it is an opportunity. You need to orchestrate planning and execution between the back office and the job site. This way you can fill all requirements for one project. In addition you can transport equipment no longer needed smoothly to the next site.

mobile service apps crane rental
Image 1: Mobile field service solution from DynaRent

The broad strokes painted above are clear indicators for mobile apps that can interface completely with the rental and services solutions. Especially the ones that are in turn embedded in ERP. Here is what to look for:

Field service software built on a mobility platform that is connected to ERP

Ideally, look for ISV software that integrates with ERP. With a paper-free field service mobility solution and a built-in connector for the mobile platform and your system. In addition, your mobile app should be user-friendly for field users. And not simply a route to ERP screens. For example, both technicians and onsite project managers should work with UIs that give them relevant information and ways of working that are specific to their role.

Mobile platform flexibility that lets you define workflows

You can leverage building blocks and standard templates to tailor existing workflows and create new ones. By using a workflow configurator in the mobility platform, you will be able to provide users with screens, prompts, and relevant information that fit the device and role. Consequently it guides them through process steps. You will find that rich workflow for managing complex service and transport for crane rental is a must have. Especially once you see how broad and deep it can go.

Ability to cover all angles of field service from a mobile app

Crane operators and service technicians can unify processes and communications per task. Furthermore you can unify them across your business easily if they can use their mobile device for:

  • Time and materials registration
  • Electronic signature capture
  • Formatted customer communications and invoices
  • Mobile scanning to auto-register information
  • Customer and task-specific notes added by users

Complete, real-time integration with planning

Planners should be working with dashboards that give them full overviews and details for all crane rentals and projects. Part of that information comes from a central business system that covers everything. For example, all locations for depots, suppliers, carriers, customers, and the like. Part comes from the mobile apps and devices that people and even machines are utilizing in the field onsite. Planners can sync real-time insight into the equipment. In the crane rental scenario, they will need to also consider customer requirements, and coordinate with the resources, maintenance needs, transport, and logistics which has a critical role to play. . They can plan and execute rental projects efficiently, and send mobile users work orders that are packed with automated steps for easy movement of cranes from one site to another and the option to access all relevant communications.

Action Management that automates sending and receiving documentation

Configure triggers to auto-send documents via email to customers, suppliers, and third-party stakeholders. These could include the approvals, the status of the crane, invoices, and notices for completions, delays, or requests. For example, when a service technician or project manager pushes a button that completes a task, action management can be defined. So that all job details and invoicing go to back office workers and even as emails to customers. Crane rental and leasing companies that combine mobile workflow with Action Management can sharply reduce errors and paper trails by minimizing manual input.

mobile service apps crane rental
Image 2: Screenshots of the mobile field service solution from DynaRent

Along with the foundation outlined above, the people who operate, service, and transport your cranes will want mobility that includes 24/7 communication with the back office and other mobile users. That can range from ad hoc communications with planners to full-on integration with TomTom for transport, visibility into spare parts and the warehouse, and quick access to technicians working at other sites.

The goal is to conserve time and cost while keeping your valuable assets, which in this case are cranes, running in peak condition, at maximum usage. The crane rental solution can also ensure that your resources feel they have a secure path to respond quickly and accurately to routine and complex issues.


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