If Rental Companies want to stay competitive and maintain customer satisfaction in today’s Rental market, they can no longer just rely on their “old fashioned” Internal oriented ERP systems.  In this technology-based world, it becomes more and more important to share information and documentation pro-actively with your customers, preferably without any hassle.

For rental companies looking to make positive changes to how they run their business, careful consideration of web-based technologies can yield incredible dividends in terms of efficiency, productivity and overall customer satisfaction. A web portal can provide a single-point-of-entry for your customers giving them real-time information about Assets, Rental Quotes and Orders, Documentation, Invoices, and Maintenance information. A web portal can be used to eliminate customer’s frustration as it is available 24/7 and it reduces the double effort for both yourself and the customer by sharing documents and information efficiently.

A web portal doesn’t necessarily have to be complex to provide critical information to your customers and or vendors. If we take a look at what a portal essentially is I came across the following definition: “Technically, a portal is a network service that brings together content from diverse distributed resources using technologies such as cross-searching, harvesting, and alerting, and collates this into an amalgamated form for presentation to the user. This presentation is usually via a Web browser, though other means are also possible “.
(Source: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name=ie_portalsfaq).

Imagine you can optimize your customer’s digital experience across multiple channels and share all the information they need to serve your customers best. You can with Dynamics Portals!

With Dynamics Portals we have established a connection between Dynamics Rental Management and a Portal for on-the-go access to real-time information. Dynamics Portal integrates seamlessly with Dynamics Rental Management for real-time information about the Rental process. The portal information is not only limited to display information from Rental Management but can also show data coming from (for example) CRM or SharePoint. All the information is immediately available and you can assure all necessary parties are informed pro-actively.

Dynamics Portals is an easy to use online solution for your customers to check information, download documents, see actual statuses and even create Service requests directly from the portal. Through the portal, your customers are able to see an overview of the Rental Contracts, Rental Quotes, and Deliveries from start all the way to invoicing. Your customer can also view historical and current PDF documents online such as Contracts, Invoices, User Manuals, Calibration reports and Maintenance reports.

With Dynamics Portals, you can allow customers to access data anytime and anywhere on any device. The portal look and feel are responsive to assure the information is optimally displayed on any device. The Portal layout is customizable to assure it follows your company branding toward external sources. The portal can be used for all kinds of scenarios where customers, business partners and/or field employees need access to customer and/or asset related information from Microsoft Dynamics applications.

The Functionality

The customer can log in to the portal and by using Azure Active Directory Authentication it is possible to control what kind of information the customer can see:

When a Customer logs in to the portal, information about his Rental Objects, Rental Quotations and Rental Orders will be available:

The Rental Object page shows all the objects the customer is renting from you. When clicking on a Rental Object the history of the object is visible, allowing customers to see the Serial Number (if applicable) and the Rental Order History:

The Rental Quotation shows all the open Rental Quotations for the customer. When clicking on a Quotation more detailed information will be displayed, such as Quote number, on and off-rent date/time, Quotation status, Quotation line, Pricing, Quantity, Ship from site/warehouse:

The Rental Orders overview page displays a list with all the Rental Orders. In this view, it is possible to quickly scan through the different orders, check the status and the rental date/time.

When clicking on a Rental order detailed Rental Order content information is available:

The portal can also be used to share information about invoices. This functionality is not limited to Rental or Service invoices, also Sales order and Free text invoices can be made available. Besides information about the invoice, the customer is also able to download a digital copy of the invoice.

For every Rental company servicing the equipment is a relevant topic. As a Rental company, you want to avoid a standstill at the customer site due to (unexpected) maintenance. However, unfortunately, it can always happen that equipment brakes down and an engineer must be sent to the customer location. In this scenario, it is important to pro-actively share information about the service process, which is also something we can facilitate with Dynamics Portals.

A list with all the Rented objects is available and via the search functionality the correct object can be quickly found:

When clicking on the right object, all detailed information about the Equipment will be displayed like Object History, Warranty information, status, current location etc. Besides this object information is it also possible to access documentation which is linked in Dynamics Rental Management. Documents like User Manuals, Safety and Health Documentation, and Calibration to give all the needed information when equipment breaks down.

Via the portal, it is also possible to generate a Service Call. If the equipment is not working as expected, the customer can create a Service call (service request) themselves without having to contact you first (which saves a lot of time):

The customer can fill in all the required information and automatically a Service request is created in Dynamics Rental Management. Reduce the downtime of your equipment by starting the repair process directly from the portal, eliminating the middleman.

In conclusion: the use of Dynamics Portal has many benefits for you and your customer. Sharing process information, sharing documents, sharing invoices and even starting the service process is possible. Often portals are designed to only share information with the outside world, but with Dynamics Portals, we can actually start processes. This will reduce the downtime of your customers’ equipment, makes the communication leaner and improves the customer satisfaction by giving them access to critical business information whenever they need it and share important documentation to reduce the number of question asked by your customers.

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