Robert Gray, vice president of sales and marketing, Wynne Systems, talks with RER about e-commerce enhancements, the new Wynne Hub; accurate billing with telematics; improving cybersecurity; 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?
Prior to this pandemic, many rental companies regarded e-commerce from a purely functional perspective. So long as their customers were able to reserve equipment online, they were largely satisfied with their e-commerce setups.
How have you developed your e-commerce capabilities to help your customers through this period?
Recent enhancements to our RenterLink e-commerce solution have focused around granting our customers the ability to craft their digital customer experiences. As a result, our customers have far greater control over what their customers see on any given product page. They can specify what product information is displayed, if they want to include any custom messaging, and can even suggest specific sales items when related equipment is selected. When paired with customizable emails and configurable checkout options, rental companies can design user experiences ideally suited for the needs and preferences of their customers.
What new capabilities, products and upgrades have you developed in the past year?
To better unify different departments within a rental branch, we have been working on seamlessly connecting our role-specific solutions together through a centralized services platform called the Wynne Hub. By enabling yard personnel, drivers, dispatchers, technicians, and sales reps to more effectively collaborate with one another and follow each other’s progress and workloads in real-time, productivity accelerates at a branch-wide level. And through a series of notifications and information sharing we refer to as intelligent tasking, the Wynne Hub nudges personnel to complete the right tasks at the right time.
What have you done to improve your software’s integration with telematics systems and other integration with machine data?
Over the past year, we have enabled integration of our transportation management system into RentalMan via our new centralized services platform, the Wynne Hub. In addition, we further expanded our already large catalog of web services to enable integrations with third-party products such as machine data (e.g. IoT and sensors). As a result, we can incorporate data from telematics-enabled equipment into our billing routines to ensure overtime usage is properly charged.
What have you done to improve mobile capability in the past year? Is this more important than ever in the age of COVID and more people working remotely?
Because software mobility has never been more vital than during this pandemic, many of our latest enhancements revolve around removing workflows that previously required users be face-to-face.
Until recently, personnel using our MobileLink sales and operations app would have to be near each other and touch the same mobile device during electronic signature capture. To make it easier for these employees to adhere to social distancing guidelines, we introduced a new signature request feature. With just a few clicks, MobileLink users can send a temporary link where recipients can sign contracts from anywhere with an internet connection. As a result, sales and yard teams can operate more safely and conveniently.
What are likely to be the new trends/new directions in software in the foreseeable future?
Looking forward, the rental software industry seems headed in at least three primary directions.
First, with the expansion of new technology from cloud software providers, there is an increasing need to integrate with their offerings. Web services and the ability to quickly integrate data from different systems will be key.
Next, there is no doubt that sensors, logistics, and IoT will continue to be a substantial value add to the rental industry. Software providers would be well-advised to plan their development with robust telematics capabilities in mind.
And finally, cybersecurity will become increasingly paramount over the coming years. As evidenced by recent headline-making ransomware attacks, large influxes of actionable data pose can become inflated attack surfaces if left unprotected.
What new features have customers been asking for that will be important?
Despite having an expansive catalog of over 200 web services, we are always working on new integrations as requested by our customers. Spanning integrations with ERPs, CRMs, telematics, and beyond, one of our software’s greatest strength is its ability to work in concert with whatever tech stacks our customers rely on.