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How To Increase Visibility and Communication in Rental Management

Nektar Data Systems Blog
How to Increase Visibility and Communication in Rental Management
Posted by Emily Treen
Dec 19, 2014

Managing the Customer's Needs
In rental operations of all industries, customer disputes will happen. The hope is to minimize these disputes as much as possible. In the case they do occur, the goal is to resolve the dispute as cost effectively as possible while preserving the customer relationship. A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience, which is damaging to any brand. On top of that there's the cost of loss production in resolving the disputes. A majority of rental transaction disputes deal with damages, maintenance issues, and late returns. In all of these cases, proper documentation is vital. In signing the contract and damage checklist on equipment check-out, the customer has acknowledged the rates, condition, and any maintenance responsibilities, but it's up to the rental manager to keep these documents and be able to retrieve them at any location.

Rental management
With today's mobile device applications, contracts are often signed miles away from rental locations. Having this ability means more convenience for the customer, but can be challenging for the rental company. Keeping track of rental agreements and damage reports from each location throughout the day is tedious and time consuming. It can also be laborious to track each piece of equipment on rent as equipment inventory grows and locations become widespread. But with the ease of mobile devices, rental activity is more documented than ever before.

Customers rent equipment to fulfill their project requirements, as well as eliminating the responsibility of having to service the equipment. This transfers the onus on to the rental company to have a reliable maintenance program and field service technicians to cater to the equipment at both the shop, and each customer's job site.

A system has to be in place so that this process is as efficient and cost effective as possible, lessening the chance of error and minimizing customer disputes. Switching from paper to mobile electronic data collection will drastically minimize the human errors that arise through lost or illegible paperwork. Real time system updates make equipment managers and other team members aware of new issues and conversations as they happen rather than when the paperwork gets filed.

Mobile Rental Management Software Benefits
Some examples of the mobile reports that can be analyzed by rental managers in real-time through the data collected in rental management are:

The status of each piece of equipment, such as: On rent, In-shop, Waiting on parts, Ready for pick-up etc.
Maintenance records and history to notify customers and service technicians of equipment service schedules.
Damage reports with picture identification before equipment leaves the yard and when returned from customer.
Electronic equipment documentation such as warranties, parts list, manuals, and safety certificates.
Knowing how many assets you have available, the volume of your equipment out on rent and what is happening to all the rest is essential to understanding your fleet availability. Rental equipment has to be inspected and serviced after each rental to guarantee equipment is kept ready to go for both long and short-term rental, and possibly to a remote location.

Having a mobile rental application will ensure a reputation for providing top quality equipment that is in good working order when it arrives at the job site. It gives the ability to answer your customers' questions by quickly viewing equipment specs and capabilities while literally standing on the job site. If you can't answer a customer's question or fill their need fairly quickly, there's a good chance somebody else will come in and win the business.