Point-of-Rental offers integration with most PC-based general ledgers, adds Shaffer, along with other office automation such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Party CAD and UPS shipping software.
“Integrations provide the client with expanded value from their rental software,” reports Michael Saint, president of Corporate Services. “TrakQuip offers integrations to most accounting software packages from QuickBooks to SAP and everything in between. Other integrations include sales tax services like Vertex, GPS services like GeoForce, Routing and Dispatch services like RouteSmith, credit card processing services like X-Charge and (B2B) data exchange services like Pervasive Software. In all cases, the cost of integration is much less than building the software from scratch or manually producing duplicate data.”
Startup and Support
Rental houses require top-notch service and support to optimize their rental management software. The nature of this support varies with the complexity of the system and the training requirements of the end user.
Wynne Systems’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Stilwagner explains that new customers get two visits before going on line with their RentalMan software. “During the first visit, we see how a customer does business, retrieve data off the old system, and configure the new hardware and software. Then, we follow up with two weeks of training, which ends with the system going live.”
Ongoing support is a requisite, as well. Look for software suppliers to offer toll-free phone services, along with email and Web support. Solutions by Computer customers can join a private virtual community called SBC forum to exchange ideas with other users. BCS ProSoft has a training center where end users can take accounting and business management courses from Sage Certified trainers.
Most rental management software runs on IBM or PC-based computers. RentalMan, for example, runs on an IBM mid-range server, compatible with either Apple or PC-based work stations. Solutions by Computer Enfinity software uses Intel-based servers running on Window operating systems. “Macs can be used for Enfinity workstations, if preferred,” says Shea. “Our CounterPRO system is Unix-based.”
For his part, Haley says, “ARM runs on a Windows based server and can be accessed from any windows device as well as any device with Internet access.” Point-of-Rental’s multi-user systems require using Microsoft Windows (r) server operating system software. Shaffer points out, though, that terminals can be any Windows PC, Android tablet, iPad, or even a smart phone.
Michael Saint, president of Corporate Services, also agrees that real benefits are available with portable and mobile devices. “With these modern devices, our clients can download apps that capture signatures and perform other useful services integrated with their rental software. They can connect to their remote offices in other countries with other languages, allowing their rental operation to be a true global enterprise.”
The productivity benefits realized by the use of rental management systems have been enhanced in recent years by advances in technology and the growing popularity of the Internet. “The biggest change we’ve seen over the last five years has to do with the use of the Internet to improve the efficiency and productivity of rental operations,” adds Shea. “The most dramatic examples of this relate to competitive selling and customer service. Smart phones, tablets, and other devices can connect a rental salesperson at a customer jobsite to the database back at the rental store. In addition to remote connectivity, the Internet itself can be further leveraged for rental purposes. I think we’re seeing the tip of a very large iceberg.”
Stilwagner agrees, noting that RentalMan software leverages Internet in several ways. “An optional web-based Customer Portal allows customers to have 24/7 access to their account information,” he relates. “Among our Web tools is a general ledger upload feature and an online credit application tool that allows prospective customers to send their credit application directly to your credit department.”