RER recently surveyed software manufacturers on their capabilities as far as helping rental companies and dealers improve shop management efficiencies. Here RER interviews Ray Bonestroo of Genisys Software, Minneapolis, Minn.
RER: How does your software facilitate shop management?
Bonestroo: Our software includes a comprehensive Work Order program that tracks ongoing repairs. It can instantly tell you what is in the shop at any given point in time.
How does your software facilitate the scheduling of maintenance?
We allow up to 10 preventive maintenance schedules to be set up for each rental item in a company’s inventory. The software then tracks the date and meter interval that each task was last performed, as well as the scheduled date and/or interval that the task should be performed again. We have a "Maintenance Due" report that can be set up to run automatically each day that will show which item(s) are scheduled to have certain tasks done.
What role does your software play in the organization of warranty information?
We allow the rental company to set up the warranty period on each item (in months and/or miles/hours/etc.), and then when work orders are done against the item. We allow "warranty" work orders to be entered so that when the work is completed you can either automatically decrease the amount owed to that vendor or else bill them and apply the payment to the work order when it is received.
How does your software facilitate keeping track of service history on an individual machine?
We keep a history of all work orders done on a machine over the lifetime that it has been owned by the rental company. This history is maintained long after the item may have been sold, stolen or junked so that if any claims come up against the equipment the rental company can produce maintenance records with detailed notes about each repair. We track which employee did each part of a work order, the date and time it was completed, the parts, labor and freight costs, and any other costs.
Does your software facilitate parts organization? What about the buying or selling of parts online?
We allow users to track both stocked and non-stocked parts, even allowing them to create back orders if a customer wants to order a part that the user is out of stock on or doesn't normally stock. Users can read in a CD that the manufacturer supplies to get their actual part numbers, descriptions, suggested retail price and cost to the rental company. We allow multiple bins per location, each having its own quantity on hand (for example allowing companies to track how many of each part are on each of their service trucks).
How does your software facilitate the organization of the shop in regard to prioritizing jobs or separating rental fleet repair from the repair of customer-owned equipment?
When the rental company runs the Work Order Report, it can specify whether it wants to run it based on any of the following criteria:
1) A certain category range (for example 20-foot lifts);
2) A certain manufacturer, or model number within the manufacturer;
3) A certain customer's equipment only that is in the shop;
4) Which type of work order (Internal, Customer, Warranty, etc);
5) Warranty claims (Closed, Open, or Both).
There are about two dozen other selections.
How does your software facilitate cost management and cost analysis, the management of cost and income in the shop itself? Can it help the user keep track of the profitability of a particular piece of equipment by helping shop managers analyze maintenance and service costs?
Because we track parts and labor costs down to the individual serial number level, we can report on both profitability and return on investment by serial number or within a category (for example a report on all of the 100 CFM air compressors).
Does your software help the field service technician? Can he access information using a wireless device, such as a blackberry, laptop or other means?
He could access any of our software as if he was in the shop or office via laptop at this time. We are in development of software that would allow this to be done on a smart phone, such as the Palm Trio or Blackberry.
Does your software provide the technician with a checklist of items to be performed at various intervals or items to check before a returned piece of equipment can go to the "ready" line?
There are various ways to accomplish this, and depending on our customer's needs we can alter these to fit their circumstances. Performing service tasks at various intervals is handled differently than printing a check list at return time so that an item can be "certified" ready to rent, but the system can accommodate both of these if the proper software licenses are in place.
Does your software in some way track hours of a machine that's in the field and therefore aid in scheduling in-field maintenance?
Yes, it can either estimate in-field use or you can update the meter reading at any point during the month by line item on the rental contract (in case there are multiple metered pieces of equipment on the same contract).
Do you find that your rental company customers are increasingly interested in using software to help organize their shop and service capability?
Yes, as they get larger and have more money invested in their rental inventory it only makes sense to track it as much as possible and have the software help in any way it can.