Adrian Aucoin, business development and senior project manager, Corporate Services, talks about mobile dispatch capability, customer web portals, enhanced reports solutions, data analysis and more.

RER: Some of the most important capabilities that have developed recently are in the logistics area, such as mobile apps, viewing fleet location in real time, being able to inform customers about the proximity of a delivery. Do you offer these types of features and what else is on the horizon?        

Aucoin: Corporate Services currently integrates with various industry partners capable of delivering real time equipment and delivery notifications. Our mobile application also allows drivers to automatically note delivery details and get customer acceptance signature directly from their connected smart devices. Our mobile dispatch capability is generating high demand, and we are constantly improving and expanding its feature set. 

Customers increasingly want to manage their own rentals online, access their accounts, be able to take care of business online, especially using a mobile app. Are you offering these types of services and what new developments will be coming along in this area?

Aucoin: We have built customer web portals that allow them to see and organize all open rentals, investigate open invoices, as well as see inventory availability. At this point most of our mobile development has been focused on increasing efficiency and accuracy by streamlining as much of the work flow as possible via our mobile applications.

What do you expect will be the most important development/trend in the coming year or so – in rental software in general as well as your company?

Aucoin: The increased push towards a more e-commerce type rental process will change the landscape of billing automation. Clients want to be able to look up available equipment, schedule rentals, request equipment pickups, and pay invoices…all without having to get on the phone and “waste time.” I think the pace of business and the overall “connectedness” of rental companies, and by extension the software providers will be an exciting trend to witness.

Have you made any further developments in CRM-related software? How can your software help customers with this important area?

Aucoin: We have some core CRM functionality for prospecting, follow-ups, and collections activities. We have integrated with numerous CRM partners to give our customers the capabilities they need without having to re-invent the wheel in our solution if the client needs features not currently offered.

Rental companies are more interested in using analytics to improve their businesses. Are there any particular ways you are able to help in this area – any particular new reports or capabilities?

Aucoin: We spotted and reacted to the increased analytics needs two to three years ago by offering our clients custom reporting and analytic solutions. We have an in-house Crystal Reports style editor that some clients leverage for simple needs. Above that we have a reporting team that can assist in creating custom solutions from a standard tabular report, to scheduled reports and dashboards, custom data warehousing solutions, all the way up to the latest in PowerBI solutions. We have an online demo of some of our reporting solutions available at http://bit.ly/2e7dFlH.

How can your software help with fleet management, i.e., knowing how long equipment should be kept or knowing when it is more economic to replace equipment?

Aucoin: When employing our entire solution, dashboards and reports can be leveraged to let the business owner know when equipment is getting more expensive to maintain than it has in the past by spotting trends. You can look at these types of details on a unit level P&L level, a customer-centric rental history effect, and any others that we can turn the data you’re collecting into actionable data for your business.

How is your software updating and simplifying the rental transaction?

Aucoin: A new initiative has been in leveraging our new Dispatch Dashboard and Mobile Dispatch to streamline the rental and return workflow. Traditionally paper intensive manual processes can now be electronically captured so that from a business flow you know exactly where in your process you are and have the entire process from customer call to driver delivery digitally captured to provide better data for yourself and a higher quality of service to your clients.

How is your software helping rental companies to run maintenance and repair more efficiently?

Aucoin: Our Maintenance Module is fully integrated into our solution, not only will you get full repair and service history in a single place (including outside services), but it also allows you to augment your rental process by including surcharges for allowable usage, mileage/meter based interim billings for long term rentals, as well as the ability to drive assets directly to repair as a result of customer damage. Utilizing our Maintenance Module along with our mobile application allows you to streamline the entry of data and time collection by having your technician’s complete tasks, track time, and consume parts using their smart devices or devices staged in the repair shop. This can give you much more accurate records as well as enabling you to start drilling down into shop efficiency metrics to further improve your operation.

Do you expect to see further developments in terms of Cloud technology and SaaS?

Aucoin: We believe that Cloud deployment and SaaS are here to stay and relatively mature. There may be some improvements to streamline time to market for some solutions, but in the coming years we think 60 to 75 percent of all of our implementations will occur in a cloud environment as IT departments realize all of the benefits of offloading operational and accounting systems off of costly hardware in the office and move into the cloud age.