Rental Business Software: Do’s, Don’ts, and Other Considerations

Many equipment rental business owners are working far too hard for the amount left over after expenses. A more robust software system can help your company keep more of what you’ve earned.

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The rental business is continuing to change in many ways. There’s no doubt that the proper rental software (and other technology) can help you grow income and reduce expenses. Even with a primary focus on growing the top line, don’t neglect the possibilities of using your software to strategically track and reduce bloated expenses. It’s important to remember that expenses can devour income almost as fast as the income is generated.

Here are a few thoughts concerning rental software for your consideration:

  • Even if you dislike technology and it seems boring or frustrating compared to the rental equipment you know so well, some technology really makes profit sense. So, keep your mind open and remember that seemingly minor changes accomplished with your current software can produce enormous gains.
  • Consider software and hardware add-ons and software updates. Some add-ons offered by your software provider can be very good investments. Of course, some may be totally unnecessary for your company.
  • Paper and other unnecessary redundancies can rob profitability through employee and management inefficiencies. Analyze and become more streamlined where appropriate. Consider using an objective, independent adviser to help with the analysis.
  • Learn more about what your current software can do before you consider changing. It is possible that it’s the best choice for your company and is capable of producing much greater profitability. Certainly, many software systems can perform far more tasks than a rental business operator may be utilizing currently. However, changing software is not viewed as a simple process, and it involves a significant investment of time and financial resources, so it is wise to be confident that it is in your best interest.
  • A technologically superior computer system can be an excellent tool to help you, your staff, and your rental equipment fleet to become much more productive. Just one example: a robust but easy to use computer system can produce the reports that will help you make much better decisions for your business. Some systems are just not as easy to extract the valuable information you need to be tracking regularly. Even when you know what you should be tracking, if it isn’t easy, it isn’t likely that you’ll continue doing it.
  • Be cautious when shopping for a new computer system. Almost every pitch you hear concerning a rental computer system can sound appealing. Purchasing a new system can be a very wise investment for some and the start of aggravation for others if the software is “clunky” and not as advertised.
  • Don’t take the plunge without adequate research. But don’t put off making the decision so long that you miss the extra profit that enhanced software can produce.
  • Consider advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based software compared with an in-house server. Some systems may be available in both styles, possibly with different pricing structures. Some rental business operators might get peace of mind from having the system in the building and not dependent on an Internet connection.
  • Carefully walk the fine line between the ease of learning to use the new software and having it make your company more profitable. (Getting your current and new team members to become proficient in its use quickly is now more critical than ever as employee turnover becomes an even bigger challenge.) Some rental software packages may be very easy to learn, but they may lack the depth of sophistication needed to move the needle on your company’s profitability.

Many equipment rental business owners are working far too hard for the relatively meager amount left over after expenses. A more robust software system can help your company keep more of what you’ve earned. But also keep in mind the importance of “service” from your current or potential software supplier. Just as you try to provide a superior customer experience to your customers, it is important that you receive this same type of prompt, courteous, knowledgeable service from your software provider. You and your team work hard; you need this level of support and you deserve it.