28 October 2016

Top BI trends for equipment rental, leasing, and services companies

Business Intelligence (BI) that engages with all possible ways to gather, analyze, and present knowledge is booming. It is affordable, and getting easier to learn and use every day. Equipment-driven companies that focus on rental, leasing, and services are looking at great opportunity for growth and innovation. They are quickly putting some key trends for equipment rental to work within their business.

Below is a brief glance at trends for equipment rental. These are the trends we see as crucial to equipment-driven companies in today’s market. The foundation for our suggestions are:

  • You’re using or considering using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
  • You see value in enhancing Dynamics 365 with integrated rental, leasing, and services software
  • You’d like to take advantage of Microsoft Power BI and third-party BI solutions

Omni-source data integration

Not so very long ago, a centralized ERP database was a primary key to connecting organizations. Possibilities for data integration have grown exponentially. They are now part of the movement known as “digital transformation.” The mindset and technologies used to make data the driving force in your business are reflected in sophisticated, accessible toolsets such as Power BI. Equipment-driven industries can gather data and then combine and connect it. This way they can form a 360-degree view that covers all angles for rental, leasing, and services. An ISV solution that is built on an open platform and provides connectors is as essential as native integration with Dynamics 365.

You need the ability to integrate not only with ERP, but with a universe of devices, apps, and interfaces. Which ranges from IoT devices to mobile apps to third-party and customer websites and portals. Cloud-based and mobile-first approaches are critical here, but that should not be a scary proposition. Strong ISV solutions and BI toolsets anchor those capabilities within a platform that lets you pace your innovations and expand existing approaches to data access.

Data governance that fuels collaboration

The need for diverse parties to work with shared information is becoming essential to equipment-driven companies. We’ve written recently about fostering collaborative relationships between equipment dealers and third parties, shippers and outsourced transport, and transport and logistics. Barriers to sharing information are dissolving, without compromising integrity or confidentiality. For example, manufacturers and dealers are learning that they can achieve mutual benefit by creating a culture of analytics. Especially when it uses clean, centralized, and role-based data sources. The good news is that BI tools are making it possible to share data while adhering to compliance. From first use, all parties can feel confident that they’ll have the right balance of access, security, and performance.

Visual analytics that levels the playing field

The power of graphical planning boards can’t be overestimated for rental, leasing, and services. In a single view, they can transform tactics and execution by delivering real-time insight, collaboration, and communications that reach all areas of your organization. You can filter operational-level analytics effortlessly to reach the next level of KPI analysis. Enhance it with toolsets such as Power BI, Targit, Clickview and you have the ideal solution. Both data experts and non-experts think critically about data that’s presented as visuals that target big-picture and granular issues.

They can utilize query tools that range from drill-back to Cortana Analytics to drag and drop, using guided or free-form approaches—whatever works best for your company, department, or employee. Whether you’re looking to increase equipment utilization for a specific geography, ensure you meet multi-country regulations for routes, explore viability of new rental or leasing scenarios—name any challenge--visual analytics draws from omni-sourced data to give you a common language. Equally important, it lets all stakeholders contribute meaningful insight, as part of an analytics community.

What’s so exciting about these trends for equipment rental is that you can implement them quickly to eliminate data silos, fuel rich business relationships, and deliver insight that reflect multiple perspectives and areas of expertise. Equipment-driven rental, leasing, and services companies can and should welcome opportunities to make their focus on operations and communications a path to growth and customer satisfaction. The new world of BI can let you do that with ease and flexibility.

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

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