Caterpillar Inc. last week announced the selection of SmartEquip’s SmartPortal technology as a business management solution to Cat Rental Stores. According to Caterpillar, this technology will streamline aftermarket product support and electronic procurement for equipment supplied by companies participating in the Caterpillar Allied Vendor Program.

The initiative is designed to provide Cat Rental Stores with a consolidated multi-vendor electronic product support and procurement platform. Utilizing the SmartEquip network, this technology enables allied vendors to provide Cat Rental Stores with parts identification and ordering capabilities in real time; the ability to order equipment electronically; intelligent, self-updating, interactive service support; and a standardized warranty submission process. The result is a shared platform that drives service and purchasing efficiencies for both Cat Rental Stores and their vendors.

Initially, the SmartPortal will launch with more than a dozen Caterpillar preferred allied vendors currently on SmartEquip’s network, including JLG, Mi-T-M, Multiquip, Sullair, Sullivan, Magnum Products and Wacker.

“The use of the SmartEquip business management solution within Cat Rental Stores will drive efficiencies, ultimately leading to lower operating costs,” said Dale Hill, Caterpillar senior rental consultant. “It also will improve the speed at which dealers can obtain parts, warranty, and service information for the many allied products carried within their rental outlets. We expect that an OEM’s involvement with SmartEquip will be fundamental in order for them to participate in the exciting global growth of the Cat Rental Stores.”

“SmartEquip’s focus is to develop a network technology that brings efficiencies to all participants — fleet owners, dealers, and manufacturers alike,” said Alex Schuessler, SmartEquip’s chairman and CEO. “Caterpillar’s choice of this technology to improve the efficiency of dealers and their suppliers, as well as to reduce the cost of transactions for both, is hugely supportive of our mission.”

Caterpillar has nearly 450 Cat Rental Store locations in North America, more than 100 in South America, and nearly 1,100 throughout the rest of the world.

Based in Norwalk, Conn., SmartEquip provides gateway solutions for the construction equipment industry, including equipment lifecycle management applications delivering parts, service, warranty, telematics and other essential real-time transactions across an electronic network that connects manufacturers, distributors and fleet owners.