RER talked with Martin Bestwick, sales director, inspHire, about its web portal, telematics integration, its asset analysis report and more.
RER: What are the new developments in your software during the past year?
Bestwick: Our newly introduced resource and operator scheduler delivers a full end to end digital process for complex resource-based scheduling and timesheet driven activities. Businesses will be excited by the ease in which they can assign their trained operators to machines, quickly cross-referencing availability against the competencies needed to carry out a job. This transformed functionality works wonders in ensuring that jobs are carried out effortlessly from start to finish, providing onsite employees with the ability to capture both productive and non-productive time while onsite through their cell phones, prior to obtaining sign-off, to help reduce invoice queries.
inspHire’s new business manager, Marc Tedeschi says, “We’ve worked hard alongside leading experts in the operated equipment, powered access and crane industries to release our brand-new resource planning module. Guaranteeing all the necessary features are under the hood of one system, we wanted to give businesses the ability to better manage resource, operators, shifts and schedules. Customer feedback has been pivotal in the development process.”
What new capabilities and functions have you added in regard to e-commerce?
WebPortal grants rental businesses the ability to serve their customers 24/7, helping them provide outstanding levels of customer service and increasing brand loyalty. Customers will also have access to key information such as existing and historical contracts as well as all associated documents like invoices, delivery notes, rates paid, quantities ordered and test certificates, allowing them to make informed decisions quickly. Users will also have the ability to request equipment rental, off-rent and contract extensions. Integrating seamlessly with inspHire, WebPortal will increase productivity and reduce time spent manually taking enquiries to simply converting requests to contracts.
Can you give an example of how integration between telematics and your software have benefited your rental customers?
We’re proud to have recently added seamless integration with the telematics systems, Trackunit, Teletrac Navman and CAT VisionLink to our repertoire. Bringing these systems together empowers users to view and cross-reference their telematics and rental data quickly. Tracking the location via GPS, recording equipment usage and operator performance, are just a few of the key features these new integrations bring to inspHire.
As well as these new integrations, we’ve also introduced a brand-new Asset Tracker, a screen within the inspHire system that allows you to pinpoint equipment based on the contract information. This latest innovation seamlessly links with Google Maps, giving users the ability to pinpoint the location and status of all their inventory on an easy to understand map view. Visibility across the entire fleet will enable businesses to optimize equipment utilization and move equipment from site to site easily.
Many of our rental customers are already reaping the benefits from these new additions. Consolidating multiple feeds into a single inspHire screen, alleviates the time spent cross-referencing multiple items. Real-time information is pulled through about the status of assets such as a dead battery, meaning that no time is wasted sending operators to a site in vain. Customers can also expect to see increases in revenue by identifying when machines are being used over periods they shouldn’t be and are not being charged. Keeping costs down also puts our customers in a great position to win large contracts by providing the end client with access to a wealth of useful information which will enable them to drive down their own costs.
To your knowledge are online reservations and communication of a piece of equipment being called off-rent increasing among your rental customers? How is your software making it easier?
While self-service is certainly growing in respect to placing hires, it’s still heavily weighted in favor of direct communication with the depots. We aren’t seeing a huge increase in other online activities such as off-rents being made electronically. They are still very much dependent on manual communications, however as we’ve seen with the gradual steady rise of online reservations being placed, I’m sure this will keep increasing over the next five to 10 years.
inspHire focuses on making the lives of rental businesses and their customers easier. Our integrated web portal is designed to give customers visibility to their rental information 24/7; view current and historical contracts, build, extend or end contracts, access key documents as well as see what they have on rent and contracts due to end, putting customers in control and encouraging brand loyalty. inspHire also offers a mobile app that replaces manual processes and paper forms, helping rental businesses get things done on the go; online or offline, stay connected as a team and deliver an efficient service.
What kind of support do you offer rental companies that use your software, i.e., call-in helpdesks, online chats, instruction for users, etc.
Once a business goes live with our software, they are automatically assigned a dedicated account manager to ensure they continue to get the most out of the system. In addition to this, inspHire boasts a strong team of over 30 Helpdesk representatives, who are on hand by phone or email to deal with any technical issues a user may encounter.
Also incorporated into inspHire is an easily accessible Help File. By simply pressing the F1 key, the Help File offers a wealth of guidance to the user and provides clear instructions on how to best use the software.
We firmly believe in keeping our customers informed through every stage of their inspHire journey, which is why our online customer portal was designed specifically to give users access to a wealth of information. Here, customers are able to watch insightful video tutorials, view all of the new release documents and download the latest updates. We offer online webinars which are perfect for keeping customers up to date with the latest developments in our software.
Our customer portal is also the designated area for users to add requests to our development Wishlist. We don't stand still and we're keen to learn about new requirements through our Customer Wishlists and regular Customer User Forums. Working together and creating a partnership with our customers allows us to continually develop additional products and features that will make their lives easier and improve business processes.
What kind of dashboards does your software have and what information do they offer?
Managers that review strategic business reports daily can react immediately, so, having access to live data, available rapidly, is invaluable. inspHire Business Intelligence Dashboards are simply collections of your critical data that allow you to quickly visualize how your business is performing and make informed business decisions. This browser-based product gives businesses access to real-time data such as utilization, and depreciation by week, month, year and depot. This data can be accessed anytime, anywhere and is customizable to show the information needed at a glance.
What would you say are the reports your customers use the most, that they find most beneficial?
The Utilization Report, What’s Out Where and Slow Rent reports are definitely the most popular with our customers.
The Utilization Report gives you a breakdown of time used against potential time used against time it could have been used for every piece of equipment. It will also compare the actual revenue against the potential revenue opportunities. Having easy access to this information empowers businesses to take action and do further research to discover why equipment isn’t being utilized to its full potential.
Taking the utilization report to the next level, the Asset Analysis Report details the depreciation value of an asset, revenue made and costs attributed such as maintenance and repair bills. This is a fantastic tool that can give you greater insight and help make more informed purchasing decisions. If you know a certain type of kit has spent a lot of time in the shop and is costing more than it should to maintain, you may veer away from this when looking to renew or expand your fleet. Alternatively, you might notice that particular items are exceeding your expectations, are popular with customers and you’re seeing a good ROI. With this information, you may decide to purchase more of these.
The What’s Out Where report does exactly as its name suggests. The report presents details of equipment that is currently out on rent, where it is and when it will be returned. Businesses can also give their customers access to this report for them to run at their own convenience, at any time via the inspHire WebPortal.
The Slow Rent report within inspHire provides information on how long equipment has been idle for. It's crucial that equipment is being fully utilized, so, having the data to predict upcoming trends or long periods of downtime means businesses can adjust inventory accordingly.
How can your software help a rental company determine a profitable rate structure?
inspHire tracks all on-going activities against an asset including all revenue, utilization, repair and service costs which provide a 360-degree view on your fleet’s performance. Having access to this information in one place allows our customers to see if a particular product range is underutilized, or prone to breakdowns allowing them to react quickly to fluctuating market conditions by adjusting their rates/fleet procurement policy accordingly, ensuring they maintain an acceptable profitable return on their investments.
Due to our many years’ experience within the plant rental sector, coupled with the maturity of our software offerings, we’ve developed a large volume of rental rate patterns that can be set up out of the box within the software.
Our reporting functionality then allows for the comparison of achieved rates and expected rates, against costs and revenue budgets. The rental company now has the ability to understand monetary utilization and whether it is achieving the budget, allowing them to understand if the rate structure is profitable.
To further expand upon this, inspHire’s built-in ROI reports allow users to understand all costs vs revenue – taking into account total cost of ownership (including depreciation, costs of maintenance, recharged maintenance revenue etc) as well as invoiced revenue, giving true ROI on equipment. This ultimately will allow the business to determine whether they need to increase rates to ensure maximum ROI on equipment.