Blog / Software for Equipment Rental Companies: What’s the Cloud Hype?

Software for Equipment Rental Companies: What’s the Cloud Hype?

Faced with rising competition, equipment utilization, and new customer demands, equipment rental companies are looking for a way to keep up with change while growing their business. 

Like most industries, many rental companies have traditionally relied on standalone systems and on-premise infrastructure to run their business. After investing in the software, hardware, maintenance, and often costly upgrades associated with them, they end up experiencing the headaches that come with disparate systems and dwindling technology. Headaches that eventually turn into decreased productivity, increased operating costs, lower margins, and lost rental business.    

On the bright side, the rise of cloud technology has presented a huge opportunity for today’s modern rental businesses. Cloud software for equipment rental companies is opening the door to rental operators in every specialty, presenting them with a more affordable and convenient solution to automate key processes, reduce costs, work remotely, and quickly adapt to changing conditions.  

Whether you are currently experiencing some performance issues with your existing accounting, rental management or other software system, or you have already started shopping for a new replacement, this blog post will provide what you need to know about the cloud, dive deeper into ERP software, and outline 7 reasons why other equipment rental providers have already made the move.  

What is Cloud ERP?  

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is built to better control and increase process efficiencies. ERP software is an integrated, all-in-one financial and business management application that manages your core business functions—eliminating data silos and bringing together all your essential data into one centralized platform. For instance, instead of maintaining, managing, and trying to manually pull together an accounting system, inventory management platform, and rental management solution, ERP handles everything, seamlessly, in one place. 

As a rental business, there is a huge range of ERP solutions to choose from that are specifically tailored to fit the industry’s unique needs. These systems differ in everything from rental capabilities and price to customization and deployment. The ERP software you select inevitably depends on your rental business and what you want to achieve. If you would like to learn more about how to evaluate what functionality you need, you can use the handy checklist in the whitepaper below:  

Cloud ERP is the same all-in-one software, except that it is hosted in a secure off-premise server you can access anywhere and typically provided as Software as a Service (SaaS). That means it runs on a shared cloud platform and uses the internet to deliver the software and its functionality to your organization.   

So how does it work? Instead of your in-house (or contracted) IT team managing your servers, data storage, operating system, and security updates, a cloud vendor is responsible for it. Cloud software vendors like Microsoft own and operate highly secure data centers around the globe to keep data stored in multiple locations and accessible from anywhere. From there, they update the software regularly to ensure every company is always running on the most up-to-date system.  

Another change to be aware of is access. You pay a monthly subscription for complete, uninterrupted access to the software from anywhere with a stable internet connection. That monthly fee includes all ERP functionality and modules, in addition to data storage, hosting, and updates. It’s important to note that any value-added activities like customizations, training, and partner support are additional costs, as with any other ERP system.  

7 Reasons Why Rental Companies Are Moving to Cloud Software  

The global pandemic is a driving force behind cloud adoption in the equipment rental industry. After a tumultuous year of pivoting and change, the need for remote work and scalability has never been more important. With more and more cloud ERP software options available, it is now a realistic and economical option for any rental company that needs to reorganize.  

Here are 7 reasons why many equipment rental companies are migrating to cloud ERP software:  

  1. Predictable Fees and Lower Monthly Costs  
    The cloud will save you extensive upfront costs, including infrastructure, IT staff, system maintenance, and upgrades. As long as your employees have the tools they need to connect (i.e., laptop and mobile phone), you can save and reinvest that money back into the business.   
  1. Regular Updates to System and Security  
    Cloud vendors are responsible for keeping your rentals business running on the most up-to-date system possible. This is done through cumulative updates that happen in the background to prevent business disruption.   
  1. Access to Real-Time Rental and Service Data from Anywhere in the Field 
    The cloud is built for mobility and designed to connect all of your data in one platform. With a stable internet connection, your employees have instant access to the systems and applications they need every day for maximum productivity.  
  1. Flexibility to Scale Your System as Your Business Grows 
    The cloud provides more flexibility for equipment rental companies than on-premise software cannot. It allows you to easily scale up or down in functionality or number of users at any point in time. This is especially useful in cyclical rental models.    
  1. Integrated Applications and Streamlined Customizations
    Although standard cloud ERP solutions will come with a standard set of capabilities, cloud architecture makes it easy to integrate with other business applications and customize to fit your individual needs.     
  1. Reliable Data Security and Protection  
    Due to the very nature of cloud hosting, cloud ERP software is highly secure, highly available, and highly accessible. Your data is safely secured across multiple servers in multiple locations and regularly backed up and protected.     
  1. Built-in Business Intelligence and Analytics  
    With the ability to access and store larger quantities of data in the cloud, many cloud ERP systems offer a wide selection of integrated reporting and business intelligence functionality. This will help you fully optimize your rental operations and increase equipment rental profitability over time.   

Not sure if your equipment rental company is ready for cloud ERP software? Reach out to our team to have an honest conversation about cloud software and what makes sense for your business and budget.  

Take Advantage of the Cloud with ODT Rentals  

It’s not surprising that cloud technology remains one of the fastest-growing segments of IT spend across all industries today, and equipment rental companies are following suit. Making the move to cloud ERP software can be intimidating, but it can be exciting with the right solution and partner by your side.  

Open Door Technology has been in the equipment rental business for over 30 years. We know what works—so much so that we developed our own cloud ERP solution for equipment rentals. ODT Rentals is a fully functional financial, operations, service, and rental system built on the popular cloud-based ERP platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. It offers a full suite of business management modules beyond rentals and service and has the ability to integrate easily to other applications.  

If you are interested in seeing what an all-in-one cloud ERP solution looks and feels like, book a personalized demo with our team. You can tell us about your current processes, pains, resources, and requirements of your organization, and we’ll assess if ODT Rentals is the right fit for your business.