RER interviews Mike Pischke, development director, and Samantha Phillips, operations manager, Genisys Software, about removing the guesswork with telematics, its customer support operations, customizable dashboards and more.
RER: What are the new developments in your software during the past year?
Phillips, Pischke: As we continue to be reactive to our customers’ needs with enhancements and customizations, we’ve been proactive in certain areas like utilization analysis and fleet purchasing. A new fleet ordering system was created to allow store managers to submit purchase order requests for equipment, including options and costs, with a budget overview in mind. It provides fleet management with an organized process of keeping a rental fleet efficiently stocked.
What new capabilities and functions have you added in regard to e-commerce?
This is all dependent on the customers’ requirements. We will collaborate directly with customer’s third-party website company in order to provide the data integration desired. We have variations of website integrations.
Can you give an example of how integration between telematics and your software has benefited your rental customers?
Our integration with Trackunit and Clearsky has really helped from a maintenance standpoint. Equipment that is on a jobsite for an extended period of time will require maintenance. Knowing the real-time meter reading values removes the guesswork for scheduling maintenance of equipment on rent. Customers have utilized the geolocation to track their equipment to recover from jobsites and theft prevention.
What kind of support do you offer rental companies that use your software, i.e., call-in helpdesks, online chats, instruction for users, etc.
A partnership relationship with our client base is our priority. We find taking the time to learn each customer’s business benefits our support team in guiding them through the software. We know each business is unique and our software does not change how you operate, we will advise how your operations are best utilized in our software. We provide support from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST, with technicians available on call after business hours.
We use a ticketing system to manage our customers support, in this we have found we improved the response time and continue to keep our customers satisfied. Our ticketing system is shared amongst our entire support team, which allows our team to better support you in being privy with other support cases. Our email communications involve specific staff members who take ownership of a question or issue, and we are diligent in our follow up responsibilities. We consider ourselves to be partners with our clients, not just their software vendor. We have 25-year customers who continue to use our software because of the devotion of our support team.
In the day-to-day operation of a rental business communication is essential between the shop, sales staff, yard people, counter people and delivery drivers. How does this communication function in real time in terms of determining the immediate location and status of an asset?
AlphaRENTAL offers a robust availability routine which will show you the location and status of any rental item in your fleet. From there, you can easily drill down to see the jobsite, a complete rental history of this item, why it may be in shop, and other pertinent information applicable for various departments. Not only can you find answers to a specific data element, you can see an audit trail of activity within the system, which is vital to any rental operation.
What kind of dashboards does your software have and what information do they offer?
Our customizable dashboards include a serialized utilization page (see graphic – in a quantity or cost basis), A/R & A/P status, revenue breakdowns (including a type and sub-type breakdown), and daily, month-to-date, and year-to-date revenue comparisons. In addition, many reports in AlphaRENTAL allow you to export the data to a pie or graph chart.
What kind of automated notifications do your send to your customers, i.e., “reservation confirmed”, “the delivery is on its way”, “the equipment is due to be returned or you will be billed for another cycle”; “the machine is due for servicing”, billing notifications, etc.?
We have integrated with a text-sending company which allows AlphaRENTAL to notify renters of upcoming deliveries and pickups, among other automated notifications. You can also send a blast text to applicable renters for upcoming promotions or send them a ‘thank you’ for a recent rental. Our servers also send automated emails that some clients have customized to notify them of, for example, a cycle billing that now causes a customer’s credit limit to be exceeded. The possibilities of text or email notifications are virtually endless and are a great way to take advantage of technology to help manage operations and further improve the relationship with renters and their rental service providers.
What would you say are the reports your customers use the most, that they find most beneficial?
It would certainly be the utilization analysis reports. Whether you are confirming rental trends or wanting to proactively equip your operations with the right equipment for your customers, knowing how well categories of equipment perform and are utilized is a primary key to profitability.