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How to Keep Track of Rental Equipment: Boosting Your Service and Utilization Revenue

Improved revenue and rental equipment utilization share a strong connection. The more frequently a piece of equipment is used, the greater the revenue it can generate for your company.  

However, maximizing your equipment usage can turn into a challenging task when efficiently tracking your fleet becomes a hurdle, especially as your rental operations grow. A well-organized and profitable rental equipment operation eventually surpasses basic solutions like QuickBooks, necessitating a more advanced business management system specifically tailored to the rental industry.  

This issue is intensified when your accounting system doesn’t seamlessly integrate with your rental system, leading to data lagging a day behind and further complicating scheduled maintenance planning, rental agreement tracking, and informed business decision-making. This is where the importance of integration and real-time data comes to the forefront—vital components for optimizing revenue through equipment utilization. A centralized rental equipment management system offers a swift solution.  

But not just any system will do. Tailoring the solution to meet your specific rental needs is paramount.   

Drawing on over 20 years of experience in helping equipment rental companies like yours match their unique requirements with the ideal technological solution, we’ve created this comprehensive overview of how to best keep track of rental equipment. Here, we delve into the challenges rental equipment companies encounter, stress the significance of real-time data tracking, highlight essential features and capabilities of effective rental equipment software, and guide you through the steps to select a solution that precisely fits your company.

Understanding the Challenges of Equipment Rental Tracking

Managing rental equipment presents significant challenges, particularly for businesses handling a diverse range of equipment and services. This complexity stems from the need to categorize various items, monitor their movements across multiple locations, manage diverse rental agreements, and guarantee scalability for business expansion. Below are some of the most common roadblocks in rental equipment tracking:

  • Asset Movement and Location Tracking: Rental equipment frequently moves between various locations and is used by different customers. Keeping track of these movements and accurately identifying the current location of each asset is a challenge, especially when manual methods are used.

  • Asset Visibility and Inventory Accuracy: Tracking rental equipment spread across different locations or customers leads to discrepancies in inventory records. Ensuring accurate and real-time visibility into asset availability and status is crucial for equipment utilization.

  • Preventative Maintenance and Repairs: Scheduling timely maintenance and repairs ensures the equipment’s optimal performance and is a critical aspect of equipment rental management. Tracking maintenance schedules, identifying when maintenance is due, and efficiently coordinating repairs are significant challenges.

  • Equipment Utilization and Availability: Maximizing equipment utilization while ensuring availability for customers is a delicate balance. Overbooking or underutilization of equipment can impact revenue and customer satisfaction, making it necessary to track usage and availability accurately.

  • Rental Agreement Compliance: Adhering to the terms and conditions of rental agreements is imperative to maintaining a good relationship with customers. Tracking compliance with rental terms, such as rental period, rates, and return conditions, is challenging, especially with a high volume of rentals.

  • Loss, Theft, and Damage: Preventing and managing incidents of equipment loss, theft, or damage is a constant concern for rental businesses. Properly tracking equipment helps identify such incidents promptly and take appropriate actions, like insurance claims or legal measures.

  • Integration with Rental Management Systems: Integrating tracking systems with existing rental management software or processes poses difficulties, especially if these systems use different technologies, data formats, or standards.

  • Scalability: As a rental business grows and handles a larger volume of equipment, equipment tracking systems need to remain efficient and effective as the business expands.

  • Staff Training and Adoption: Adequately trained staff that know how to use the tracking systems and comply with tracking processes is crucial. Resistance to change or lack of training hinders the effective implementation of tracking solutions.

  • Data Accuracy: Maintaining accurate and up-to-date data about rental equipment, including specifications, rental terms, maintenance history, and usage, is pivotal. Inaccurate or incomplete data can result in errors in billing, maintenance scheduling, or decision-making.

Exploring the Impact of Real-Time Equipment Tracking

Real-time tracking of rental equipment is integral to operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Instant visibility into equipment availability enables timely bookings, prevents overbooking, and ensures customer expectations are met. This invaluable information facilitates accurate resource allocation, efficient maintenance planning, and rapid issue resolution.

As a result, the quality of service is enhanced, revenue is maximized through efficient equipment utilization, and several key benefits are realized, such as:

  • Preventing overbooking 
  • Reducing downtime 
  • Ensuring accurate billing and compliance 
  • Enhancing customer service 
  • Enabling informed decision-making 
  • Promoting transparent operations 

In a digital landscape where systems often update once a day, relying on real-time tracking in the equipment rental business is vital. It guarantees that decisions are founded on the most current and accurate data available, empowering rental businesses to thrive in a dynamic and competitive market.

Mastering Rental Equipment Tracking: 7 Key Software Features to Look For

Before we explore into the essential features and capabilities of effective rental equipment management software, we must emphasize a critical principle: conducting a comprehensive analysis before investing in a rental management solution is not only important, but also necessary.

Rushing into a choice can have detrimental consequences, often resulting in systems that don’t align with your business needs. Let’s guide you through understanding what to look for in rental management software by exploring some of the top features and capabilities that have proven beneficial for equipment tracking companies in the diverse rental industry.

  1. Inventory Management

    Efficiently catalog, organize, and track rental items with real-time availability visibility. 
  2. Integration

    Seamlessly integrate with existing systems for a unified view of operations across locations. 
  3. Reservation and Booking

    Simplify equipment viewing, specify rental duration, and streamline booking for customers. 
  4. Procurement and Planning

    Optimize procurement processes and inventory management for smoother operations. 
  5. Financial Integration

    Ensure consistent and accurate financial data through tight integration. 
  6. User-Friendly Interface

    Provide an intuitive interface for quick adoption and ease of use. 
  7. Automated Reporting and Analytics

    Generate comprehensive reports for actionable insights and informed decision-making. 

Now, let’s connect these important components to the real-world experience of Milford, an industry-leading multi-site equipment rental and service company. Their previous systems lacked integration across multiple locations, causing financial discrepancies and operational obstacles. Recognizing the need for a change, Milford meticulously evaluated various platforms. After careful consideration, they adopted Open Door’s ODT Rentals app, running on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central platform. This decision had a transformative impact.

“Within weeks of go-live with ODT Rentals, business skyrocketed, and now we are equipped to handle it with the resources we have.”

Ben Tarango, Systems Manager – IT Systems Manager, Milford

Thanks to better visibility and operational efficiency, Milford witnessed a significant surge in their rental equipment business and is now well-equipped to handle growth and expansion. This real-life example shines a light on why it’s important to know what you need before you start shopping for software. With a thorough needs assessment and understanding of your business and industry requirements, you’re much more likely to end up with a solution that aligns with your business goals.

Making the Right Choice in Rental Management Software

Ultimately, understanding how to efficiently keep track of rental equipment is vital in overcoming the many challenges and hurdles associated with equipment management.  

Effectively tracking and managing rental equipment is a complex task that requires careful consideration of various factors. From seamless integration to efficient tracking, each element plays a crucial role in ensuring streamlined operations and accurate reporting for your equipment rental business. Choosing the right equipment rental equipment business management software involves evaluating numerous aspects to match your business needs and goals. 

In our comprehensive software selection guide, “Compare the Top Equipment Rental Software Solutions,” we delve deeper into the key factors to consider before investing in equipment rental ERP. By providing valuable insights into the top 6 ERP and rental management software solutions on the market today, we provide the knowledge and questions you need to ask your organization to make the most informed choice for your equipment rental business.

Free Guide: Compare the Top Equipment Rental Software Solutions

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