Thieves: Beware!

Have you ever had your assets lost? Or even worse, stolen? We often consider these scenarios as consumers- i.e. how we prevent someone from breaking into our house- but businesses must also face the same challenges of living in a world with crime. It is in the interest of equipment owners to explore new ways to help prevent and deter crime. Despite current efforts by capital owners, thousands of pieces of equipment are stolen annually.

When a piece of equipment is stolen, a business suffers compounded losses. It loses the investment capital used to purchase the equipment. In addition, revenue being generated from that asset is lost. Going even further, the business will lose additional future activity revenues generated by the asset through extended contracts, prolonged maintenance, or a rent-to-own type of sale. Businesses also incur a different type of cost from the theft of services, which describes a delayed return of an asset without the client paying additional rental fees or late charges. States like Illinois have responded to the harsh impact of these consequences on businesses, and instituted stronger punishments for the theft of rental equipment.

Crime or theft are not aspects people like to include in their business plans. Ideally, we should find a way to eliminate it, or minimize it. Rental companies cannot afford to lose revenue on rented equipment, whether due to theft or customers defaulting on payments. Like any business, it requires a payment for its services. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the field of Telematics. Rental companies can now save time and money by tracking the location of their equipment.  By integrating telematics into an ERP solution, companies can better manage contractual updates, as well as aging and overdue payments on rental contracts. Businesses can rely on programmed alerts to notify renters of terminated contracts requiring the return of outstanding equipment. Telematics may help a business highlight which customers are more problematic, or more often default on their bills, allowing owners to take appropriate action towards the recovery of their assets. 

Equipment owners are beginning to realize the immense potential for added value to their assets with telematics. In one scenario, a client may be able to use the GPS tracking feature to pinpoint the exact location of stolen equipment. In another instance, a company can use ‘geofencing’ to keep equipment in a certain locations, further ensuring it stays on its routes and maximizes its efficiency. This saves those who are responsible for these assets, immense amounts of time and money.

Time is a crucial piece of generating revenue; it is what rental contracts are based on and it gives a company a metric for revenue.  The rental industry cannot afford to lose any time on rental equipment as it directly translates to revenue loss. Capital assets have a specific life expectancy based on usage and time.  With time directly tied to the dollars a rental asset can generate, it is important for companies to track every detail that can impact the use of their equipment in real time. Capital owners are being confronted with the need for more frequent and reliable status updates. Rental companies need to look to avoid losing dollars on investments of rental equipment and contribute ways to combat rising insurance costs.  In today’s market it is crucial to keep a tight watch over every asset that a company owns. Contact HSO for more information at

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