With competition in the equipment rental industry is steadily growing, offering an exceptional rental experience for your customers is more critical than ever.
That is why if you want your rental business to thrive you need reliable, repeatable, and efficient rental management strategies to streamline your processes.
With efficient and streamlined operations, you can cut costs, maximize your ROI, get more mileage out of your client relationships, and put your rental equipment company better positioned for growth.
In this article, we discuss insights from our case study interview with Hunter Hinson, Corporate Rental Manager at Flint Equipment Co. The interview is packed with practical insights to help streamline your rental management.
Streamline the rental process
Many rental companies continue to manage their equipment rentals manually or with inefficient tools.
For example, they use basic emailing systems to keep tabs on equipment status and send contracts. They use an assortment of digital cameras and shared drives to document unit conditions, and often use spreadsheets to organize their clients and rental details.
At Flint Equipment Co., photo and written documentation and reporting were cumbersome and inefficient. Hinson says, “Everything was done on a digital camera. Our pictures had to be individually uploaded by attaching the camera to a USB cord, then to a computer. We also had a separate document stating where the machine came from, what its fuel level was, who brought it back, etc.”
These manual processes take time and effort and increase your operational expenses — which ultimately hurts the bottom line.
That’s why a simpler, cost-efficient way to manage your rentals is by using reliable software with automation features, comprehensive dashboards, and other powerful capabilities.
The Record360 app is one such tool.
Record360 helps us get things done more quickly, more easily, as photos are uploaded
It allows you to inspect your equipment remotely and include customized, electronic inspection forms and checklists to speed up your rental processes.
It synchronizes your data, files, and tasks from any digital device — a smartphone, tablet, desktop or laptop computer.
Plus, you can capture high-resolution photos and videos, upload them to the cloud, and instantly alert your team members or customers of any damage.
Hinson describes how Record360 turned their workflows around:
“Record360 helps us get things done more quickly, more easily, as photos are uploaded [in the cloud]… I’m not getting pools of emails with just pictures and another of the checklist. No phone calls to say, ‘Hey, how many gallons of fuel did we put in this machine?’ The application has it all right there. I don’t have to call anybody. They just know how to do it. And I know where to find it.”
Protect your rental equipment
When renting out your equipment, your clients can also pose the biggest threat to the condition of that equipment. They can break or lose parts, impacting your primary revenue-generating assets.
If you use manual methods to protect your equipment’s condition while in your clients’ hands, you can get inaccurate reports, detect client-inflicted damages too late, and assign repair expenses to the wrong party (including your company).
Reliable equipment rental software can help you avoid all those potential pitfalls. You’ll have a more solid, documented guarantee of your asset’s status before releasing it to your clients.
Hinson cites how Record360 can help their company handle that scenario:
Record360 will track if it comes back with the same dent and cracked mirror
“A machine can go out with, say, a dent or a broken mirror, and Record360 will track if it comes back with the same dent and cracked mirror. The shop can say, ‘Oh, well, the customer had that. They’re the ones liable for it.’
“I can say ‘No, it was like that before it went to them, so the costs for the repairs are not going to go to them,’ but to this previous customer who actually did the damages.”
The Record360 app becomes a type of preventative insurance policy for the rental companies who use it.
Besides using the right equipment rental inspection software, you can also do the following:
- Register your equipment with the American Rental Association (ARA). ARA members can list up to 1,000 pieces of their mobile, off-road machines on the National Equipment Register’s database. Law enforcement officers can access it 24/7 and more quickly recover any recorded asset that the database reports as stolen.
- Enforce proper documentation trails. Keep track of your clients, their contact details, and their identification measures.
- Apply for insurance. Protect your business from financial and equipment losses by getting insurance, conversion, and business income coverage.
Through measures like these, you can document your equipment’s condition and safeguard innocent parties from incurring losses due to false claims.
Improve collaboration within your team
Managing rentals without reliable mechanisms in place for your staff workflows and communications can result in operational inefficiencies and communication breakdowns.
This leads to poor performance and service delivery that can wreck your client relationships and customer satisfaction.
Prevent this by organizing and clarifying your team workflows. Make all relevant information visible to the concerned parties when they need it.
Hinson explains that he can do that and his managerial tasks seamlessly through Record360:
We can do all these in one, easy-to-use application.
“Record360 allows us to input checklists into our smartphone and upload photos to be stored in the cloud database where everyone can have access to it anytime. We can do all these in one, easy-to-use application.”
He added, “We don’t have to call to nag anyone about information that’s needed because it’s already there.”
Reliable software can help your team create and submit inspection reports in real-time anywhere, especially on the field. This minimizes delays for the assigned personnel to implement repairs, damage cost computation, client contacts, or other next steps in your rental management processes.
Modernize your equipment rental operations
If you want to give your rental equipment business an advantage over your competitors, start by modernizing your rental operations now.
Manual processes will sap your team’s productivity and cause needless, costly, firefighting. With a modernized rental operation, however, managing your business becomes easier, you can get more done with the least amount of time and resources, and you give your clients a pleasant experience working with your company.