RER speaks with Tim Levron, vice president sales, Corporate Services, about new features on its mobile applications; its revenue and costs analysis; customer requests for custom interfaces; and more.
What are the new developments in your rental software since we last had these interviews a year ago?
Levron: Recently we have been focused on adding features to our iOS- and Android-based applications to support equipment and service dispatch, maintenance and repair logging, field purchase order and requisition and rental completion/pickup tasks. We have added additional data objects to support better analysis of equipment utilization, equipment purchases and maintenance costs and sales team performance data.
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?
Levron: We support reading data such as location, fuel levels, ignition on/off for runtime and any other parameters made available from our telematics providers. These parameters can be used to determine required maintenance, billing rates that are based on utilization and visibility into unauthorized equipment movements.
One of the challenges rental companies face is figuring out the profitability of each piece of equipment. How can your software help with that challenge?
Levron: Our solution is designed to give the customer a total revenue and cost picture of their equipment, either individually or per class. We consider rental and sale of rental equipment on the revenue side, maintenance costs, repair expense, depreciation, purchase cost, improvement costs.
Another challenge is the profitability of bidding on a job and what type of rate makes sense for the rental company. How can your software help a rental company determine a profitable rate?
Levron: Our systems are designed to make as much data as possible available to the user to support their job pricing decisions, such as job utilization and pricing history for similar jobs, current costs for equipment, parts, incidental items, or service labor rates and win/loss rates for prospective jobs. This data is used to ensure costs are covered as well as the rates the market will support for their products or services.
Increasingly rental customers want as much access as possible to manage their accounts online. How can your software help facilitate these functions?
Levron: We are seeing an increase in demand from our customers to offer their customers self-service portals for their rentals and account management needs. Typically, these service sites need to integrate into our customer’s existing website, and we use a standard set of components that can be designed according to their specific requirements.
Mobility has been a major topic in recent year, being able to do everything on a smartphone that can be done on a laptop or desktop. Any new developments in that area?
Levron: Additions to capabilities such as offline processing, dispatch of equipment and service, creation and completion of maintenance schedule/repair details, and tools for sales teams to enter prospect / lead information and new rental orders.
What are important future trends and developments that you see, both from what rental companies are asking for and what your programmers are working on?
Levron: The largest increase in requests for service have been related to custom interfaces and business logic to deliver efficiency for employees, support for defined workflows, data analytics to support business intelligence (equipment availability and utilization, ROI, customer valuation and retention, capital expenditure requirements, etc.) and integration of applications and services to provide the best possible solutions according to their situation.