RER talked with Greg Bennett, director of sales, Point-of-Rental Software about mobile apps, integration with third party providers, improved analytics, and improving rental store productivity.

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?        

Bennett: Logistics is mission critical to rental companies, and poor optimization can keep a company from being profitable. As always, the ability to access key performance indicators in real time is a must and accessing that data from one place is just as important. That is why moving forward rental companies are demanding all of this functionality be available and interface with smart phones and tablets, sending auto alerts to customers/vendors with links that provide them with the info that they need in a timely manner. In the future, rental software will need the ability to geofence assets, shut down assets when called off rent, supply hour meter readings, fault codes, and aid in predicting early machine failures. Point of Rental Software already offers these types of features.

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?

Bennett: Today, Point of Rental offers the ability to review rental contracts, request equipment, call equipment off rent, request repairs to equipment (rental and owned), request quotes, disputes, and payments online. We understand that not all rental work takes place behind the counter so our Mobile Workforce app keeps remote employees connected. With Mobile Workforce, employees can access routes, record signatures on delivery, track maintenance, take on-site photos and clock in or out with any device.

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?

Bennett: The most important trend in the coming year or so will be mobile apps and integration with third party providers. These are things that are hot buttons in today’s market and this will continue because customers want one access point for information and IU is critical when dealing with a large number of job functions in an organization.

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

Bennett: Point of Rental has developed an in house CRM that has not been released to the market to date but it is designed with rental companies in mind.

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?

Bennett: Point of Rental Software uses Microsoft Power BI which pulls data from multiple data bases giving rental companies improved analytics.

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?

Bennett: We track a lot of information about individual assets like repair history, ROI, revenue, time utilization, seasonality, purchase cost, and depreciation. All of this information plays a role in setting the bench marks needed for fleet management. 

How is your software updating and simplifying the rental transaction?

Bennett: With our latest development, Rental eSign, we are helping rental companies go green and eliminate paper contracts. This product has expanded beyond contracts and agreements and can now be used to collect a signature on any document. Initially created to enable rental businesses to send additional agreements, addendums, or waivers, the product is capable of recording signatures on any PDF. It then stores signatures in a searchable database for easy future access.

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

Bennett: With our integration with SmartEquip, we’re able to streamline the service process, eliminate parts orders errors, and increase a store’s rental fleet utilization. Utilizing this integration, purchase orders and work orders are automatically and accurately populated. Plus, you can receive self-updating parts, service and repair information dynamically customized down to the individual asset number for equipment in your fleet, saving a lot of time and money.

In addition to this integration, our Inspection App allows managers to create templates that include standard inspection requirements, eliminating the need for paper checklists and allowing all inspection information to be easily sorted and accessed by the people who need it. If a high-priority task doesn’t pass inspection, a repair order will automatically be generated, the item gets removed from inventory, and maintenance can get to work repairing it. You can create inspections for each level of maintenance as well, so your mechanic knows exactly what needs to be done on the 500-hour maintenance.

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

Bennett: Cloud technology is constantly improving and as we watch the industry leaders like Google and Apple, we can see what internet-delivered technology will look like in the future. Point of Rental is constantly innovating on behalf of our customers and trying to deliver tools that enhance rental store productivity. Our software is developed on a modern software platform which allows us to be flexible and more easily take advantage of new advancements as they are made.