The medical equipment rental sector is rapidly growing, with an increase in demand for medical equipment from care providers like clinics, labs, and hospitals. For medical rental businesses, there is more need than ever for instant access to accurate information and efficient management of assets.
If your medical equipment rental business is still using separate systems to manage accounting, inventory, customer relationships, maintenance, and rental bookings, you’ll be challenged to meet this opportunity for growth.
Process inefficiencies and mistakes unnecessarily eat into profit margins, jeopardize the customer experience, and negatively affect productivity. In this article, we’ll talk about the risks of having outdated or disparate systems in the medical rental and health industry and explore what technology is a better fit for streamlining and expanding your operations.
Duplicating Data is Costing You Money
At first glance, it can seem like having different systems for each operational area of your medical equipment rental business is a good, practical idea – that whole “jack of all trades master of none” cliché and all. But, when you actually start to evaluate how you are able to manage and control data accessibility, rental efficiency, customer service, and profit optimization with software and technology that doesn’t talk to one another, you realize how narrow that perspective truly is.
A startup medical device rental business can often get by in the short-term with simple and affordable software options for accounting (such as QuickBooks for basic bookkeeping), inventory management, sales, and service. But the reality is standalone systems often cause more problems in the long term.
When you start to grow your territory, add new equipment, or acquire new businesses, disparate systems can cause:
- Booking conflicts due to inaccurate or limited inventory tracking
- Equipment loss or idle assets due to limited inventory data
- Delayed equipment returns have knock-on effects for client experience and retention
- Difficulty managing equipment maintenance schedules resulting in scheduling conflicts
- Lack of data insights makes it challenging to make intelligent business decisions for growth
From a big-picture perspective, this translates to:
- Lack of operational visibility due to data siloes
- Time lost solving customer service challenges
- Difficulty managing equipment maintenance and regulatory compliance
- Time lost to duplicate data entry and difficulty finding accurate information
- High risks for human error and compliance
- IT pressure to support and manage multiple software subscriptions and licenses
- Security risks due to vulnerabilities between APIs
- Multiple subscriptions and licensing costs to track and manage
So, what is the solution for managing your medical equipment rental business more efficiently so you can grow your business, capitalize on market opportunities, increase your profit margins, and improve the bottom line?
What Is Medical Equipment Rental ERP Software?
Enterprise resource planning software, or ERP, is powerful end-to-end business management technology that connects all your operations and business functions into one system. Data from sales to accounting to inventory to shipping and logistics, is entered once and stored in a single central repository or database. Every department has its own system area with functionality specific to its needs.
If a business has additional requirements that an ERP system does not have out of the box, there are rental-specific apps available that add custom functionality and fully integrate within an ERP system. ODT Rentals, for example, is a cloud-based equipment rental management solution that seamlessly connects to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
The ODT Rentals system includes advanced functionality that is specifically relevant to medical equipment rental management. You can manage rentals or equipment sales easily with flexible terms. There is also batch invoicing for recurring rentals and service management for scheduling maintenance and repairs.
With a visual calendar, it’s easy to see and adjust rental reservations and equipment availability. You can also manage sub-rentals and link PO’s.
One of the most popular and beneficial tools is the customer portal. This self-serve solution allows customers to browse your medical equipment selection, review specs to ensure a piece meets their needs, submit inquiries and questions to customer service, check and print invoices, and request service.
Now, you may be asking, “If it isn’t broken, why fix it?” But if your medical equipment rental business can work better, faster, more accurately, with automation and fewer people, you’ll keep falling behind the competitive curve the longer you wait to modernize your back office platform an improve your operational efficiencies.
Upgrading your business management solution by removing barriers, improving access to information, finding ways to work more efficiently and collaboratively, and ensuring more accurate data, can significantly impact how your medical business operates, and how well it can scale. Transitioning to a centralized ERP system is how you make those improvements.
Finding ways to work smarter can translate into:
- Higher medical equipment utilization
- Better asset management and visibility
- Effective equipment maintenance scheduling, so each item lasts longer
- Easier to meet regulatory compliance
- Tighter cost controls
- Streamlined processes for lower overhead and better ROI
- Improved data analysis for intelligent business decisions
- Increase opportunities for new revenue streams or improved profitability
- Lower security risks
- Simpler and more comprehensive IT Support and lower security risks
- Reduced staff stress and improved customer service
You may be able to get all the data you need from a collection of different software systems, but it’s going to require significant manual data consolidation and reconciliation. You’ll probably have many spreadsheets (if you don’t already?) which means an increased risk of costly human error or multiple versions floating around. Not to mention the hours spent on all that manual work. And once you’ve spent all that time, are you really working with up-to-date data anymore?
Not likely. You’re steering your medical equipment rental business from a review mirror.
Equipment rental ERP software for the medical industry is the best way to automate those processes and start focusing on the data and reports that will help you improve performance and stimulate growth. Here is an example.
Finding Efficiency and 15% Revenue Growth with Centralized Rental ERP
Country Care Group is a large, family-owned, and operated medical equipment rental business in Australia. The company has over 80 showrooms and warehouses across the country, working with healthcare facilities, directly and through government programs. Starting as an individual small business in 1997, the company has grown steadily, establishing company-owned stores, bringing reseller member stores on board, and even acquiring manufacturing businesses to produce new products.
Unfortunately, they were constantly struggling to find the data they needed and lacked the operational visibility and insight to identify areas of improvement. The problem was, they had added member stores from different operators around the country, with each site using its own discordant collection of different software systems. Everyone from the head office to the retail teams had difficulties locating appropriate equipment, determining whether it was available, and scheduling it for clients.
Country Care Group worked with Open Door Technologies to transition all of their different locations onto the same cohesive and comprehensive medical equipment rental ERP system. They decided that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central would be the most logical decision for their business after a company division had seen success in using it. Country Care Group chose ODT Rentals because it was affordable, seamlessly integrated with their ERP system, and included all the capabilities they required to operate their medical rental business.
Transitioning to Business Central and ODT Rentals has already delivered reduced stress for it and the retail teams. The company has seen a 15% revenue increase in one store alone in just six months. Employees are less stressed and report finding the information they need faster than ever before.
Chandra Shekhar, Country Care Group’s IT Systems/Business Architect, explains, “Using Business Central with ODT Rentals across the board has made things easier, and we can handle all the in-house processing. Staff can now handle more sales and revenue, and we don’t need a vendor to sit with us and solve any IT problems due to the different systems anymore.” With the new system, Country Care Group expects to double its rental revenue in a year.
Determining the Best Medical Equipment Rental ERP Solution for Your Business
Wherever you are in the process of finding ways to improve your medical rental equipment business and maximize your profit margins, it’s helpful to understand the potential of ERP software. Selecting ERP systems requires plenty of research; you don’t want to make the wrong decision and waste money. The Open Door team has a wealth of experience across many industries, including medical equipment rentals.
When renting directly to clinics, labs, or hospitals, your functional requirements for an ERP solution are significantly different from other businesses, so it’s important to factor that into your research.
To get started, download our Equipment Rental Software Evaluation Checklist below. This free guide includes expert tips on starting the ERP software selection processes and evaluating important functionality specifically for the equipment rental industry.