Picking an ERP software is no easy feat. For those in the equipment rental sector, it can be even more challenging as you have so many unique challenges the software must address. Let’s start by thinking about what your business actually needs from the solution.
Here are 12 features to look out for in your search for the ideal ERP software.
1. Project planning
In a rental operation, it’s important to have an overview of all the equipment, the times the rental periods end and when the next rental transactions begin. If your ERP software offers project planning capability, it makes it easier for you to anticipate upcoming rentals and ensure the machinery is available.
2. Cross-team collaboration
Allow your whole team to collaborate through tasks, notes and comments that are easy to share. Not only does this encourage knowledge sharing and teamwork but it helps your employees:
- Save time and boost productivity as they don’t have to search through multiple systems and versions of data to find what they need
- Reduce the likelihood of errors - e.g. data duplication or mistakenly working off an out-of-date version of a document
- Easily and quickly access the right version
3. Smart and quick quotation
Look for a system that can help you effectively handle the customer’s dealings with your company and quickly build a quotation to close the deal. Modern ERP software designed for the equipment rental sector may come with standardised templates and billing models so you can provide rapid quote estimates and proposals.
4. Communication management
Your rental solution should enable you to easily communicate with customers and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is kept up-to-date.
A cloud-based solution would add to the positive impacts of your rental solution, making it easy to use, update and be device-independent.
6. Business intelligence
Industry-specific business intelligence specific is another important aspect that you should look into when it comes to choosing ERP software. This helps you learn about market trends, gain insights into the competition and have a clearer look into your business.
The right ERP software will offer these insights via customisable dashboards. So, you can gain a snapshot view of what you need to know, easily share it with the team and quickly jump to action when necessary.
7. Up-to-date information
Many people are working to ensure that the rental operations run smoothly. ERP software can enable cross-team collaboration (such as sharing of task schedules, notes and updates) which gives your employees the necessary tools to do just that.
8. Inventory management
Keep track of all the equipment in terms of availability, movements, location, plus the service, maintenance and repairs.
This ties into the first feature we mentioned - project planning. If you can easily see the status of all your equipment (whether they’re being rented out, where they are, usage, whether they’re due for a maintenance check etc), it can help you plan your projects around that and offer a better customer experience.
9. Team management and communication
Look for a feature that allows you to communicate with your team and track their movement so you can schedule deliveries and pickups more efficiently.
10. Comprehensive and centralised
You need a solution that helps you tackle all aspects of your rental operation in one place. Eliminate the need to work across multiple systems and you can reduce:
- The likelihood of errors caused by e.g. data duplication
- The need to spend disproportionate amounts of time on data entry
- Wasted productivity - your team can gain time back which they can now spend on other value-adding tasks
This one is less about the actual solution and more about the vendor you purchase it from. As well as looking into the solution, also consider the vendor. When you work with a solution provider who has a good team of experts, implementation, deployment and ongoing support becomes easier.
12. Location tracking
Look for a solution that allows you to keep tabs on the movement of the equipment. This helps you to plan transportation, reduce the likelihood of theft and more.
It’s not just about the features of your ERP software…
Finding a solution that ticks all your boxes in terms of features is a great first start. The next questions you should be asking are:
- How will this solution fit into your existing business processes and systems?
- What problems is your business experiencing and what are your ideal outcomes?
- How will the solution plug those gaps?
Of course, these aren’t the only questions. We cover even more in our guide, which you can access below if you’d like to discover how you can find the right equipment rental solution.