Asset Management is one of the biggest challenges for any Rental company. Assets often represent large capital value and are of utmost importance for the overall success of the company. Any Rental company needs to know everything about the assets rented out to customers. Whether the asset is an industrial machine or a scaffold tube, operational information is key to be successful. This Spotlight item describes how this challenge can be overcome using Dynamics Rental Management. 

The Rental Object

The Rental Object in Dynamics Rental Management, allows the operational rental, service and financial (invoice and asset) data to be aggregated to provide insight into the operational performance of an asset. Every transaction done in the solution is linked to the Rental Object, allowing a comprehensive overview of any object, at any time, embedded within the solution.

The Rental object is one of the key entities in Rental Management because every rental related transaction in the system is linked to a rental object. A rental object can be an individual piece of equipment (like an excavator) or represent bull equipment (like a scaffolding tube). The Rental object is also the link between the different supported processes in the solution like Rental, Service, and Finance.

Fixed Asset integration

The Rental Object also has a connection with the fixed asset register in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Rental equipment is activated inventory and the value of the Rental fleet is stored in the Fixed asset register. On the fixed asset, all the financial information like net book value, depreciation, and value-added activities are available.

Rental Object Attributes

One of the latest additions to Rental Management is the availability of the D365 for Finance and Operations Attribute framework on the Rental object. This new functionality allows users to store more detailed information about the object like for example engine type, material, capacity, basically almost any attribute you can think of. The attributes have a flexible setup to match any needs of any industry. The big advantage is the fact that a user can also use their attributes to filter for certain objects. This opens a completely new way of finding and comparing assets without the need to develop for these additional criteria.

Rental Order history

On any Rental Object, the full historical and future Rental order information is available. This information can be used to calculate the Utilization rate of the objects but is also used to check availability for new orders.  And if any questions arise about damages a rental user can quickly see to whom the object has been rented out in the past.

Rental Object Location

It is critical for rental companies to know where their rental objects are, to plan maintenance or even avoid theft or other misuses of the objects. The administrative location of the object is always available on the Rental object and this can be enhanced with a real-time link to a GPS/Black box system to always have the latest coordinates in the system available.

Rental Object Management reports

All the information provided by the system can be used to create valuable management reports and KPI`s. Some of these reports will be available within the application, for others it will be much more convenient to make them in an external tool like PowerBI. Real-time information from Rental Management can be linked to PowerBI to make any (embedded) customer-specific dashboard, allowing rental users to make decisions based on facts and figures.

When rental meets service

As mentioned in the introduction, the Service history (and planning) of Assets is a very important part of Fleet Management for Rental companies. Dynamics Rental Management handles this effortlessly by linking the Rental Object with the Service object. The benefits and insights that this link gives, are highlighted in the final part of this spotlight item.

Link to Service Object

Service provided is always related to the installed base of the customer, also known as the Service objects in Service Management. These Service objects can vary from a single object to a complex installation consisting of many objects and components in a flexible multi-level ‘as maintained’ structure. The object master file is the single source of information regarding historical operational and financial information. Through the service object master file, keep track of all service relevant financial and logistical transactions.

Service Object Hierarchy

Dynamics Service Management support single-level objects but also more complex multi-level service objects. When complex objects are sold/maintained it is a huge benefit to see the relationship between the different components. Relations can be made in numerous ways in the solution to assure complex relationships can also be maintained. The tree structure is also available in the other processes of Service Management like Contract Management, Call creation and is even visible for the engineer on his mobile device.

Service Object Customer information

A service object can have multiple customer accounts associated which are used in different processes of Service Management. On the Service object a Contract Holder, End-user and Owner can be set up. Also, default information about the primary contact person can be set up.

Service Order History

The full-service history is directly available from the Service object. Information about closed and open works order is always available.

Financial Cockpit view

The Cockpit view on Service object level displays all financial transactions and Service Management enables monitoring and managing objects through all phases of the object life cycle. With the Cockpit view, businesses are better informed regarding purchases, repairs, and overhauls throughout the entire lifecycle. They also are up to speed on the total cost of maintaining an object, as well as margins.

Service order resource requirements

Some Service Objects needs special resource skills when maintenance is performed. These requirements can be determined via the Resource requirements on Service Object level. When a service call is planned on an object with specific resource requirements the graphical plan board will automatically take this into consideration.

Service object attachments

Attachments can be stored on the service object and can contain valuable input for the service process. Documents like: pictures, drawings, BOM`s, spare part lists and much more can be associated with the object.

Rental companies need to know where assets are located, their historical and future rental contracts, service history, attributes and much more. But getting this data together can be challenging when not using a dedicated software solution.

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