Aniruddh Vijayvargiya, product manager, Texada Software, talks about the increase in e-commerce usage, for booking, calling offrent, paying and more; contactless returns; reducing manual data entry and more.
The pandemic led a lot more rental companies to become more serious about e-commerce. What changes have you seen among rental companies as a result?
Vijayvargiya: We are seeing an increasing trend to add online booking features to the platform. Since the pandemic, most of our new clients have opted to add our e-commerce product. Our existing clients have noticed an increase in online reservations, which is very promising because it unlocks a whole new way for renters to interact with rental companies. Technology-driven rental companies have done well compared to those that do not have the most updated IT systems in place. Many rental companies have realized this and prioritized their technology spend accordingly. In other industries, most end customers are comfortable transacting online, and the rental industry is quickly catching up.
How have you developed your e-commerce capabilities to help your customers through this period?
Our e-commerce product is plug and play, which enables our clients to launch their web stores very quickly. Our clients are now seeing great value in the seamless workflow that we provide. It begins with a reservation request on our Texada Gateway site and ends with the final invoice paid in the customer portal of Gateway. We can capture the customer's signatures via email or on a mobile device so that documents can be authorized paperlessly. Even off-renting can be completed with a click of a button in our customer portal. Apart from the regular on-account and credit card payment options, we also allow direct debit from bank accounts. All this information is stored securely in a tokenized format that is PCI compliant. Our clients can use these methods for autopay or cycle billing, reducing the time they would otherwise spend chasing payments. All data flows seamlessly through our platform so that other departments can see information updates instantly.
What new capabilities, products and upgrades have you developed in the past year?
We have built a seamless payment integration within our platform called Texada Pay. Texada Pay addresses modern scenarios such as collecting payments via an email link or web portal, making it easy to collect payments automatically through our system. We have also developed simple and easy-to-use drag and drop scheduling solutions for logistics and service managers.
What have you done to improve your software’s integration with telematics systems and other integration with machine data?
Texada continues to invest in tighter integrations with telematics providers. We recently added the ability for end customers to view machine locations of their on-rent assets to help manage their rentals better. Our partners include ZTR, TrackUnit, and Cellutrak, however, we have the ability to integrate with any telematics provider our customer chooses for their equipment.
What have you done to improve mobile capability in the past year? Is this more than ever in the age of COVID and more people working remotely?
Our mobile app has the ability to perform any kind of inspection and look at the entire history of work done on an equipment. We support paperless deliveries and pickups by using e-signature and digital photo confirmation. Entire equipment maintenance and repair workflow can also be handled in our Texada mobile app. We also support a quick contactless in-yard equipment return workflow to help rental companies check-in equipment efficiently.
What are likely to be the new trends/new directions in software in the foreseeable future?
Some trends that we expect to see in the future of software include the expansion of mobile functionality, higher demand for online bookings, and an increased amount of online rentals. We see the future moving towards that digital space where customers have much more control over their transactions and rentals.
What new features have customers been asking for that will be important?
Rental companies continue to demand more paperless solutions across their business. This includes paperless signatures, work orders, tickets, and even invoice payments. The less time a rental company spends manually entering data means more time they can spend building relationships with their customers.