Solutions by Computer offers training at its headquarters, at the store's location or over the Internet, which is a valuable resource for information when training new users. "On an ongoing basis, our customers are given in-depth manuals and have access to online resources including a self-help library through sbcXchange.com, our e-community for system users," says Shea. "Also, the first 90 days of support are free to new customers. This gives a customer free, unlimited access to our support staff and remote diagnostics at a time when they are likely to have the most questions."
For Point-of-Rental, it's important that users train using their own database. "Training dates are fixed only after the store's database is complete," says Shaffer. "This enables us to train the customer using the database they are most comfortable with — their own. A dynamic training database, which is a copy of the store's actual database from the prior day, is available on the Counter System main menu. It can be used to train new employees or test database ideas without affecting the 'real' database."
What it boils down to
All suppliers interviewed for this article noted the importance of a vendor's history with the rental industry when selecting a system. They cautioned prospective buyers from going with the lowest bid and focusing more on companies with a knowledge and understanding of the rental industry.
"Over the last 30 years, well over 100 rental management software packages have been marketed. Of those, less than 20 are still in business," notes Shaffer. "So, you must not only pick the right system, you have to have some confidence that the company has staying power. To increase your odds of picking the right system, insist that any vendor you consider provides you with at least 50 references. Then, pick at least 10 of those similar to yours in size and inventory and call them. Are they happy with the product? Are they happy with their support experience?"
Gilbert agrees that industry knowledge is a primary factor when choosing a vendor. "You want to deal with a corporation that does rental software for a living," he says. "A company like this has expertise and knowledge of the rental industry, and can offer guaranteed future development and support of the product you choose."
Shea adds that it's important to look toward the future when choosing a system. "Too often, only the current needs are taken into account," he says. "Be sure to ask as many questions as necessary. But the critical determining factor should be the company behind the system. The purchase of a rental system is, in effect, a wedding. You want to choose a system vendor that will stand behind you and is willing to work through any concerns with you. Otherwise, your expectations won't be met."
Solutions by Computer enfinity
- Maximizes return on inventory investment through rigorous inventory tracking and intuitive processing of rentals, sales, reservations and quotations, image capture, service scheduling and more
- Windows-based Enfinity marries a post-relational database to Solutions' powerful applications to offer exceptional scalability
- Runs on the latest Microsoft Windows Server operating system
- Features include Internet connectivity, storage of driver license images, printing of item instruction/safety sheets, integration with QuickBooks and other PC accounting software
- Customers, transactions, payments and inventory history are stored for at least 10 years
collectiveData Integrated Fleet Solutions Card
- Fleet maintenance management software
- Accepted at 90 percent of U.S. retail fueling stations and 41,000 service locations
- Provides detailed fuel and services purchase information that can be directly integrated into the collectiveData Fleet and Fleet Pro maintenance management programs
- Security features prevent unauthorized purchases
- Available to managers of any size fleet
- Java-based enterprise business system covering rental, sales, equipment maintenance, complete financials, purchasing and integrated business intelligence reporting tools
- Offered in 3 formats: Budget is an off-the-shelf package, Classic has been on the rental software market for over 10 years and Custom lets customers undertake significant customization through development using their own or Result resources
RMI Executive Dashboard
- Real time financial summarization tool integrated within the Advantage Solution
- Calculates cash flow, A/R age, sales projections, return on investment and more
- Delivers accurate information when your company is faced with important business decisions