The rental and leasing industry is booming as more and more companies are seeing the value in renting equipment as opposed to buying it outright. While this is great news for equipment rental and leasing businesses, this increases the amount of competition you have to face and the customer expectations you need to meet.
To ensure you’re equipped to adapt to the evolving landscape, you need to digitise your business. Let’s discuss this in more detail.
6 main challenges faced by equipment rental and leasing businesses
Before we explicitly talk about the reasons for digitalisation, let’s quickly cover some of the main industry challenges. Rental and leasing businesses often struggle to:
- Determine the allocation of revenue and costs when rented equipment is shared between companies or depots
- Process returns of equipment and materials while keeping tabs on the quality and quantity
- Have an overview of the rental stock levels and a transparent insight into equipment and materials availability
- Easily access the details that are role-specific to the field personnel
- Track equipment maintenance history both in terms of operations as well as in tactical terms
- Manage large projects, with huge volumes of equipment going on-and-offsite, services to be delivered and specific agreements made with clients
Technology, such as an equipment rental solution that integrates with your ERP system, IoT and real-time tracking, can help. Ready to discover how?
How technology can help you overcome common industry challenges
1. Improves customer service and experience
With an industry-specific solution, your clients will be able to do all of the following (and more):
- Book the equipment they need
- Attach supporting documents
- Receive invoices
- Pay for their orders
- Receive notifications, such as if a rental contract is coming to an end or a payment is due
- Access detailed equipment descriptions
All of these activities can be performed more efficiently than if you didn’t have an industry-specific solution. This improves customer service and experience as your customers can self-serve and enjoy an omnichannel experience as everything is available via one portal.
It also helps to reduce the workload and pressure on the customer service team and account managers. For example, detailed equipment descriptions mean clients are less likely to need to contact customer service for help.
And centralised information (which we’ll discuss in more detail below) allows you to quickly build personalised quotes and quickly close customer deals.
2. Boosts team efficiency and productivity
Often, equipment rental and leasing businesses rely on disparate systems to store their essential data. Technology can centralise this data which makes it easier for your employees to:
- Quickly find the information they’re looking for - which saves time that they can then spend on other tasks
- Manage customer information - from contract history to queries they’ve made in the past, it’s all available in one location
- Collaborate with other departments - your whole team, from sales and marketing to finance and warehouse, can collaborate on tasks, notes, projects and more. And any documents are easier to share too
- Access up-to-date information - thanks to real-time collaboration, there’s no need to manage multiple spreadsheet versions
- Provide excellent customer service - because customer data is in one location, offering personalised service and quickly closing deals is much easier
3. Better inventory management
It’s easier to keep track of all your equipment, in terms of availability, location, maintenance and repairs. IoT-enabled devices, for instance, can help you collect real-time information on your equipment. You can keep better track of your rentals, particularly short-term ones, as you can see expiration dates and clients can receive notifications when the date is approaching and if they’d like to extend their rental agreement.
And because your whole team can work to update information in real-time, it’s easier to monitor the condition of your equipment. You can keep up to date with when they need maintenance and repair work and take relevant action.
In addition to better managing your assets, you can also gain more insights into utilisation compliance with operating conditions.
For example, you can see whether the equipment that’s been leased by a client is complying with weight load regulations. If there are any violations, the appropriate manager will receive a notification and you can make swift decisions based on severity.
4. Enhances equipment rental planning
Thanks to real-time data, you’ll be able to better monitor the utilisation of your equipment. This means you can be more flexible when managing your assets and make more informed business decisions, including:
- Planning for the future
- Predicting long-term demand
- Anticipating when you’ll need additional equipment or to cut down
- Planning client acquisition campaigns
5. Better position tracking
As part of asset management, you’ll need to ensure your equipment isn’t transferred to third parties without the owner’s permission. GPS tracking can help you monitor this. You’ll be able to see every equipment’s physical location in real-time, organised by type, client and ID number.
This can help you:
- Mitigate the risk of theft
- Keep tabs on the movement of your equipment so you can react quickly in instances where your equipment may be misplaced or if it’s on the way to a client and has deviated from the route
- Plan transportation and ensure it’s always taking the most cost-efficient and safest route
An industry-specific solution is must but how do you choose the right one?
The rising popularity of equipment rentals is great news for the industry. But it does mean rental and leasing companies have to get their operations on track, fast, to remain competitive. The right solution can help you cover all the bases from engaging the customer, managing operations, and monitoring maintenance and logistics.
There are many equipment rental solutions out there so we know it can be tricky to find and pick the perfect one. That’s why we created a handy guide. From the features you should look for to the questions you must ask when selecting the ideal solution, download our ultimate guide below.