No matter which segment of the rental industry you function in, rental businesses of all sizes have one goal in common: improving the bottom line. This means increasing profits and reducing losses as much as possible.
Long-term market shifts show that the equipment rental industry in the US has been growing steadily. Increasing demand means companies can stock greater quantities of equipment so they never have to miss out on an order. On the downside, this also means more maintenance schedules to keep track of, and greater upkeep costs.
Let’s not forget the competition. As the rental industry grows, more companies are entering the lucrative rental market. Growing competition leads to price adjustments as businesses lower rates to retain customers. Lower rates, of course, means potentially decreasing revenues.
You can mitigate this risk by investing in the right technology to give you a competitive advantage. Bring the right rental equipment maintenance software on board. Here are four ways such software can help deal with the increased demand and competition in the rental industry while protecting your hard-earned revenue.
1. Increase in equipment availability
A common problem among rental businesses is equipment unavailability, which leads to losing potential sales and revenue. There are several reasons why a piece of equipment might not be available for rent when needed. It might already be rented out or just undergoing maintenance and repair. Whatever the reason may be, it does not reflect well on your business.
This is where rental equipment maintenance software can be a game-changer. It enables you to gain complete control over the entire lifecycle of your rental equipment. This means you can gain full insight into your items from the purchase date until the disposal stage and can implement policies to maximize the equipment’s availability.
There are several ways you can achieve greater availability. Let’s look at what some of them are:
a) Shifting to preventive maintenance
Most companies tend to perform reactive maintenance, i.e. they only send the equipment out for maintenance when there is something wrong with it and the problem has already occurred. Reactive maintenance might make sense because you don’t want to spend time fixing something that isn’t broken. However, in the long run, this type of maintenance only results in more problems.
Let’s say the forklift breaks down while it is rented out and with a customer. This will have a negative impact on our company’s reputation. In some cases, it might even lead to injuries and possible lawsuits. Furthermore, repairing a broken machine costs more and takes longer, thereby increasing equipment downtime and unavailability.
You can avoid this problem, by shifting to preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance includes regularly sending out equipment for maintenance to decrease the chances of break down. Your company can save between 12 percent to 18 percent simply by using preventive maintenance over reactive maintenance. Moreover, with your items in top-notch condition, you don’t have to worry about sudden equipment downtime anymore.
b) Improve maintenance scheduling
You can use your rental equipment maintenance software to set an automated and regular maintenance schedule for your equipment. Schedule recurring maintenance services for each piece of equipment. Automating this process ensures that every single item undergoes maintenance and is not forgotten.
You can also customize the maintenance schedules. Let’s say you run an AV equipment rental company, and you have two Nikon D3500 DSLRs in stock. You wouldn’t want to send both cameras out for maintenance at the same time because a customer might want to rent one out in the meantime. You can set separate maintenance schedules for both the items, so one is always available when the other is out for maintenance.
You can also choose to send items for maintenance right after the customer returns them to ensure regular servicing after use. There are a lot of other options to customize your service and maintenance needs. You can choose where to send the item for maintenance, whether to appoint anyone in charge of its inspection once it is back and so on.
2. Bundle items together for enhanced sales
Not all the items you stock are going to rent as well as others. While some items are in high demand, others are rarely rented out and only keep increasing your storage and maintenance costs without bringing in much revenue.
A great way to deal with this potential loss of revenue is to bundle such items together with ones that are more sought after. For example, your AV rental store stocks Nikon D3500 DSLRs as well as its accessories, such as the 50mm portrait lens. While the camera itself is doing great, customers don’t rent out the lens as much. You can simply bundle the items together, along with some others such as batteries and a tripod, and rent it out to customers as a whole.
This way, the idle piece of inventory also brings in some additional money, helping you decrease any revenue loss.
Creating, editing, and tracking bundles manually, is a tedious and error-prone task. This is why you need rental equipment maintenance software that helps you easily package together items and display them as a bundle on your webstore.
Apart from making use of idle inventory, bundles also make the rental process easier for customers, since they find all the equipment they need for a certain project in one place.
3. Gain meaningful insights on your inventory
You can also use your rental equipment maintenance software to run reports and draw up graphs to gain in-depth information about all your rental processes. Here are just a few examples of what you can accomplish with the right kind of maintenance software:
- View in-demand items: Reports show how often each piece of equipment is rented out, for how long, and how much revenue it brings in. With this information, you can decide whether you want to order more stock to deal with growing demand.
- Study lost sales: If a customer makes an attempt to rent an item but it turns out to be unavailable or out of stock on your rental website, this counts as a lost sale. You can generate a report for all lost sales to study the problem and troubleshoot it.
- Track item’s current value: All pieces of equipment undergo depreciation over time. With rental equipment maintenance software, you can track the depreciation by running reports to view the item’s current value at any given time, along with how much of its value has already been lost.
- Customer reports: Instead of limiting you to pre-configured reports, comprehensive rental business software will enable you to customize report templates to fit your exact requirements.
You can also draw up reports regarding your employees to view their performances, or even your customers to view which ones are loyal to you and should be offered a discount.
4. Use reservations to enhance booking experience
Enabling reservations is a highly effective way to ensure that all your customers get the items they want, exactly when they want them. Rental equipment maintenance software will provide you and your customers the ability to browse through items and reserve the ones required ahead of time. This ensures that the item is available on the required date and does not suddenly become unavailable, thereby resulting in a lost sale.
So what happens if two customers reserve the same item for the same day? Not to worry, because rental equipment maintenance software shows the availability of an item on a calendar. So customers can check if the item is already reserved and choose to reserve it for some other day. This limits booking conflicts and ensures that customers get what they want when they want it.
The reservation calendar not only helps the customers but also makes your job much easier. You no longer have to respond to myriads of emails or calls asking about item availability on a certain day. Additionally, you can easily keep track of all reservations at a glance. Simply open the calendar and you’ll see all the reservations for a particular day, week, or even month.
Here’s the right rental equipment maintenance software for you
There are several ways you can prevent revenue loss manually as well, but all those methods take up a large number of resources that you can better spend elsewhere. Go digital and benefit from the efficiency and effectiveness technology can offer. Rental equipment maintenance software can help you increase revenue and minimize expenses while simultaneously automating processes and streamlining your rental operations.
You can try out EZRentOut – leading cloud based rental equipment maintenance solution that offers businesses seamless rental management. It also comes with a host of other features like asset tracking, maintenance management, a customized webstore, and much more. Sign up for a free trial today!