"Buy or Rent?": Seizing Opportunities for Rental Companies

28 Apr, 2020

These days many customers across diverse industries ask themselves the question’ Rent or Buy’? People typically associate rental with cars, tools, and houses, but the current rental market very varied and is also changing rapidly where many opportunities arise in various segments. As part of this, we see that renting is becoming more and more typical in many industries. Examples of sectors where rental is becoming the norm nowadays are Off-shore, Power, Temperature control, Heavy equipment, and more.

It may seem that these industries do not have much in common, but most companies are looking to cut down on costs and try to be more sustainable. Many manufacturers are switching towards a more usage driven (renting) approach because that is what customers are demanding right now. Another essential question all companies ask themselves is how to maximize the use of their working capital and how to divert more capital towards their operational business.

A massive opportunity for rental companies

This market change is a massive opportunity for rental companies who get access to more markets/industries and non-rental companies can, or should, expand their business model to include a rental service. Rental companies can offer their customers more than just a product; they can provide a full-service experience. Especially nowadays, using Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, we can track the usage or consumption the customer had with our asset.

Rental companies can deliver complete fleet management, giving more flexibility to be able to react to changes in demand quickly. This reduces risks and takes away the burden of owning equipment. To be able to provide these kinds of services, rental companies need an IT system that fully supports these requirements. The new trend in the rental market generates many different opportunities, but without a supporting IT system, you cannot seize the opportunity!

HSO Innovation can help rental companies by offering them a standard solution that is also able to meet tailor-made requirements.

A truly integrated ERP solution is critical to the success of a rental company. A system can only be really beneficial to a company if all the processes are integrated. Having all the available information in one system ensures that all departments have all the information they could need and can easily collaborate. An integrated solution also offers all transactions in the same database, which makes it easier to find out how your fleet is performing.

Full insight in Equipment Lifecycle Management (ELM)

To make the right decision at the right time, it is critical to have access to real-time information about your assets. Your rental system should allow you to easily create overviews about the performance of an asset group, asset type, or individual asset. Only an integrated solution can display all the relevant transactions to assess how an asset is actually performing. Rental revenue is not the only important variable. Depreciation and maintenance costs are also relevant to determine the performance of an asset.

Mobile Process Support

Mobility is an essential part of the rental industry business processes nowadays. Employees are no longer tied to the office and their desk and should be able to work anywhere and anytime. It is vital that a rental solution has mobile capabilities to support this new way of working. Think of maintenance work lists, pre-rental inspections, damage reports etc.; they can all be done efficiently on the go. The advantages of being more mobile are obvious: reducing manual data entry, delivering real-time data, speeding up processes and increasing the overall efficiency of your workforce.

Flexible Billing and Payment Functionality

A critical process for all rental companies is the recurring billing cycle of rental contracts. The reality in the rental industry is that each customer wants it’s own billing rules, and without following those customer requirements, invoices may not be paid. In any rental solution, it should be possible to meet these customer requirements by changing the setup. The use of price list capabilities to define price agreements on multiple levels with your customers is and essential functionality in complex situations.

Fleet availability overview

Fleet availability is key for rental companies, and it is often a challenge to get a good overview of the status of all the different assets. A graphical user interface helps by visualizing the availability per asset, per depot, per day. An availability overview also provides critical information to any Fleet Controller to decide if assets are in the right location. Based upon future demand, a Fleet Controller can also choose to transfer inventory, convert sales into rental inventory, purchase additional items or plan sub-rent.

Reporting capabilities

Rental reports are a vital instrument to monitor the performance of the entire rental process. A simple benefit of an integrated solution is the fact that all transactions are available within one database. The combination of all this information provides a 360-degree view of ROI and utilization across assets and rental locations. Relevant rental reports are utilization rate, daily rental rates, non-performing assets, rental revenue per location, profit and loss overview per asset, which are all included in Dynamics Renal Management.

Operations Planning

Plan your rental operations like rental orders or quotations easily from our new rental schedule board. You can even do operations planning scenarios where you rent out a crane combined with a driver. This means you are not limited to renting out products but also skilled labor. Dynamics Rental Management allows you to plan and rent the operating resources of your rental equipment.

Internet of Things

The Internet of things is one of the most important software trends of the last decade, and especially the rental industry is able to benefit from it massively. Equipment always needs to be on the move, and the more equipment is at a customer site, the more revenue it will generate. But this makes it also more challenging to monitor our equipment, which we need to do remotely.

To prevent breakdowns, use geolocation, benefit from automated out of boundaries detection, offer usage billing, and many more business-related rental data scenarios, we provide you with the register of IoT Alerts right within our solution Dynamics Rental Management.

Integrated equipment maintenance features

To ensure equipment up-time and maximize the utilization rate of your fleet, it is key to maintain your assets. A rental solution should have integrated capabilities to trigger and execute maintenance. For a smooth rental process, it is essential to know when equipment needs to be maintained to ensure that, for example, an asset is not offered for rent when it is due for maintenance. The system should be able to automatically generate scheduled maintenance based on mileage, counters, or other company-specific criteria.

Dynamics Rental Management

Dynamics Rental Management provides a robust rental solution on top of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain management. It incorporates all the points mentioned above to give companies in the rental sector a clear view of all current operational information in real-time, enabling optimum performance. It supports the full range of rental activities, administration, registration and management, as well as potential sales activities. All information about clients, products, services, staff, contracts and partners is recorded and maintained in a single central database. Dynamics Rental Management is the solution you are looking for if you are in need of a competitive advantage.

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