RER talks with Isaac Ristich, director – innovation & technology, Texada about its latest enhancements, telematics, how to make rate structure changes, its rate simulation worksheet, and why it doubled its R&D.
What are the new developments in your rental software?
Ristich: The biggest change across our Rental focused software products is the introduction of RentalLogic and enhancements to FleetLogic and GateWay. RentalLogic is a streamlined rental management application designed for small to midsize rental companies built as a web application useable on any device. RentalLogic is launching later this month.
Through deep research with our FleetLogic users across the world we gathered insights into the key issues in rental operations. This led us to make significant updates to the mobile pickup/delivery, field service, and equipment check-in areas of the application.
As telematics grows in importance in the rental industry the relationship between telematics and rental software is important. Can you talk about the integration between your software and telematics systems?
Ristich: We view telematics as foundational technology, important for many rental business operations. The Texada platform has supported the AEMP 2.0 telematics standard for some time now and for users of our platform there are great insights that can be gleaned from integrating live machine telematics. In managing SLAs and keeping maintenance intervals and inspections current, a technology integration with telematics data, combining historical asset records and work orders from FleetLogic and SRM can provide a significant efficiency and management advantage.
Texada continues to deepen our partnerships with telematics hardware vendors and OEMs and we are exploring more customer-focused enhancements in this area to provide even greater value.
How can your software help rental companies determine the level of profitability of each piece of equipment?
Ristich: SRM has always been able to track financial information, costs, revenue, utilization for every asset. From original equipment cost including any freight, duty, or currency charges as well as all costs associated with servicing the assets over time, users have been able to roll all of this up to cat-class level for any reporting or to look at these details at an individual asset level. Adding to this, with fully integrated, accounting in SRM, contract, billing and equipment maintenance details can also be tracked via a single pane of glass within SRM.
How can your software help rental companies bid jobs or determine rates?
Ristich: Texada created the Rental Simulation Worksheet, which allows users to run price/rate change test simulations to determine the impact on rental revenue when a different special rate structure is applied, based on past invoice billings from contracts over a selected period. This will help clients make more informed rate change decisions across all of their customers/sites.
Increasingly rental customers want access to manage their accounts online.
Ristich: Our GateWay product has been offering this for the past several years, and the customer demand has exploded over the past six to twelve months. Not only are Rental Companies wanting to provide basic functions like viewing invoices and contracts, but also more rental management options like quoting/requesting/terminating rentals as well as paying invoices and requesting equipment service online.
Rental companies want to offer this along with their own branding, and making it accessible on any device from smartphones, tablets as well as traditional computers.
Any new developments in terms of software mobility?
Ristich: Many employees of a rental company work on the road, the yard, or the job site and mobile apps have become a critical tool for nearly all rental companies that want to remain competitive, increase efficiency and grow their market share. FleetLogic, our mobile work management system, covers your delivery team, service team, and rental operators by enabling everyone to get their jobs completed from anywhere. This year, we have shipped several major updates for FleetLogic with new productivity benefits and team management tools, making getting work done more accurately and faster than ever.
What future trends do you see in software?
Ristich: We recently doubled the size of our research and development team, who have been extremely busy working on several exciting new products, and significant updates to our products SRM, FleetLogic and GateWay.
We are really excited about our newest product RentalLogic, a streamlined rental management application designed for small to midsize rental companies. RentalLogic is launching later this month. We are also investing heavily into emerging technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, and Augmented Reality.
Earlier this year we launched an augmented reality (AR) experience - Vision X - which demonstrates our view toward the future mobile worker. We believe strongly in spatial computing and wearables, and just like the transition to mobile computing which has taken place over the past few years, spatial computing will be the next major interface shift. Wearables like AR smart glasses will enable new capabilities for mobile workers, such as interacting handsfree with multiple applications, or just using one’s voice for computing.
Using AI, and Machine Learning we hope to soon be able to provide users with smarter maintenance recommendations. Instead of using a maintenance schedule, which we already support in our platform today, we are looking to use multiple data sources, such as live asset condition (telematics) and historical maintenance data to optimize maintenance operations by lowering service costs, while also increasing asset uptime.