Adam Kropf, head of product development, Texada Software, talks with RER about making software more mobile, integrated platforms, advances in artificial intelligence, and more.
RER: What have been the most important achievements of your software in the past year?
Kropf: Texada has delivered a new generation of counter operations with a whole new experience for counter operators to be able to start creating contracts within minutes of logging in for the first time. These are available to you regardless of whether they are at a desk or in the field.
Texada has expanded our solutions to the heavy equipment industry by acquiring Logimove for best-in-class mobile inspections, and Uptake Cloudlink business for CRM and equipment service management. With these acquisitions, we have added new components to the platform, which integrate equipment dealers’ and rental companies’ back offices with their service operations, their sales operations and e-commerce.
What have been the most important advancements in capabilities, i.e., enabling rental companies to improve their efficiencies?
Kropf: Rental companies using Texada can now easily complete check in and out inspections from their mobile devices, spot equipment damages by customer, count inventory, and manage hourly employees’ time clocks.
Some of the benefits include damage detection, which reduces customer disputes, and increases the chances of customers being willing to own and pay for damages. Inventory count through scanning QR/barcodes and managing a digital counting process which reduces or eliminates inventory count errors during audit. Time clock functionality is a feature that enables workers to digitally punch in and out and delivers accurate payroll / customer billing of services.
This question is not so much “What are your next products?” as much as “Where does your software go in the next few years?” or perhaps better asked, “What are customers expecting in the next level of software?”
Kropf: Customers are expecting their software to meet them anywhere, therefore software providers must offer mobile, SaaS, and web-based applications. They will also be looking for an integrated platform, where all of their tools and systems are accessible in one place -- one admin panel, one login, one platform. Enhancements in AI will likely be table stakes. In rental, insights like predicting customer behavior and knowing when to upsell will be some of the big wins that AI brings to our customers.
Last but not least, reporting and analysis will be just as important as other functionalities. It will be easier to visualize and identify trends, make better operational decisions using data, and get continuous feedback from customers.
I’m sure you keep your eye on software developments in the world beyond this industry. What are some of the developments or trends in software that you’ve noticed in other industries that you admire, whether or not they are relevant to the rental industry?
Kropf: This is of no surprise, but artificial intelligence and machine learning has had a significant impact on many industries, including healthcare, customer service, manufacturing and many more. It was impressive how quickly Microsoft adopted AI with the integration of ChatGPT into its platform.
More and more tools will require less development and the power is given to the users who become the creators. Technology becomes a commodity. Predictive technology around people and insights around training of people to reduce safety issues with analytics.
It seems there is a lot of discussion about artificial intelligence these days –AI is a popular buzzword. Is AI relevant to rental software?
Kropf: AI as a technology is very relevant to the equipment rental industry as it will help users be more efficient and make better decisions about their rental operations. Texada is currently using AI to automatically identify when a customer has damaged equipment while it is on rent and piloting with a large rental company who is finding hundreds of previously uncaught damages, enabling them to bill the customer.