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Interviews with Software Manufacturers: Cutting Edge of Technology

Interviews with Software Manufacturers: Cutting Edge of Technology

RER interviews Wayne Harris, CEO, and Jason Albus, director of application development for Point-of-Rental Software, Grand Prairie, Texas, about mobile technology, ease of payment, and the importance of customer feedback.

RER: What is new technologically with your company’s software?

Harris, Albus: In the last year, we have expanded our software products to fit the needs of all sized rental companies by releasing the Point-of-Rental CLOUD product, a web-based software platform to manage the straightforward, smaller rental businesses looking to take their operations to the next level. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Enterprise Elite was released this past year to provide a software solution for very large rental organizations. 

Additionally we rolled out many exciting updates for our current Enterprise users that feature such key innovations as employee scheduling capabilities, the contract fulfillment module, SmartEquip and RFID integrations, along with many other advancements.

Is strengthening the mobile functionality an important current emphasis? What are your company’s capabilities and strengths in that area?

With the increased efficiency and enabling of workers on-the-go, mobile is a continual focus for Point-of-Rental Software. We work hard to ensure our customers are on the cutting edge of technology, which is why we are constantly adding new features to our Mobile WorkForce App. Another product largely focused on mobility is CLOUD, our web-based product for straight-forward rental stores. CLOUD has application in many areas but some of our largest customer bases are in the AV, ski and bike industries.

One of our greatest strengths is that almost all of our staff has come from a rental store background, giving us key insight into the needs of our customers. We also have a team of talented developers building on crucial technologies to help provide new innovations for our solutions. For example, our Mobile WorkForce App utilizes smartphone capabilities such as wireless internet for real-time updates to contracts and call logs directly into the Point-of-Rental software. As well as utilizing other smartphone features like the GPS location for route capture and status reports, touch screen capabilities to collect customer signatures, time stamps for clocking in and out and much more. Regardless of what device you use to connect – smartphones, tablets, laptops – you can have the power of Point-of-Rental in your hands.

What are some of the advancements your customers are calling for that you’re working on?

Recently, many customers have been asking for the ability to receive automated alerts for their customers, and big integrations such as additional EMV credit card capabilities, SmartEquip, and RFID capabilities. We have listened to these requests and they included in the newest update of Enterprise that is currently being released to customers on a rolling schedule. Despite the many new features of the newest update, perhaps the most coveted aspect of any Point-of-Rental update is that our team uses customer feedback to create the new innovations, which is why customer feedback is so valuable to us.

What about payment by smartphone, how is that capability progressing?

Our software solutions can accept payments in every way that your customers can pay. They have the ability to make payments by clicking a link from your email or by going to the customer portal directly, which can be accessed by any network-enabled device–including smartphones. We also have integrations with non-credit card tech payments such as PayPal. One of our objectives is to ensure that our customers get paid in a timely manner and we do this by having a secure and easy way to make payments from anywhere.

Are customers concerned about the safety of their data, protection against hacking or other invasions of privacy and information theft? What is your company doing to protect your customers?

It is a normal concern for everyone to have not just with your business, but with personal protection as well. At Point-of-Rental Software, we take great steps to ensure the protection of our data, our customer’s data and their customer’s data. Within the software, everything is encrypted and securely connected. We encrypt and secure all sensitive information and ensure that it isn’t distributed anywhere that it is not completely necessary–for instance, mobile apps do not have this information available. With credit card information, we use a tokenization process that allows you to charge a customer’s card later on without having to ever store the card information within the software. This allows for secure information transfer. Even if one of our customer’s servers is breached, there won’t be any information to be stolen. Internally, we have the same level of security of any of the high level financial institutions and also take time to educate our customers on security measurements.

How important is it to be able to integrate with other types of software, for example, integration with SmartEquip and other software-related service providers?

We aim to provide the most seamless interface for our customers with key players in the rental industry. By integrating RFID capabilities through Positek, market metrics through Rouse Analytics, payment processing through Stripe, procurement through SmartEquip and various other integrations with accounting packages, we provide our customers with the most efficient, dynamic platform to handle all of their business needs. Our integrated solutions save our customers time by allowing them to manage their entire operation through our software, without having to manually transfer data back and forth between various other service providers.

How can your software help a rental company better analyze its cost structure and determine which equipment is profitable and which isn’t? How can your software help a rental company determine at what point a piece of equipment becomes unprofitable and should be sold?

The Item Utilization Report from Point-of-Rental Enterprise shows both the utilization percentage as well as the return on investment of each item for the current month/year. This report is a key tool to determine what level of efficiency a certain item is performing at. The most efficient rental items will have a high utilization rate and a high ROI percentage while rental items with low utilization rates and ROI should be decreased in quantity and price. Items with higher utilization than ROI indicate that they are a good investment, but that you should increase the price, while the opposite means that you should decrease your quantity on hand.

The Item Utilization Report makes it easy to determine equipment profitability and enables users to make the most informed decisions. In addition, our Quantity Overlap tool shows you the maximum quantity out per day and the optimum quantity necessary to have the greatest Return on Investment. Thus [the ability to pinpoint] equipment that has too much quantity and needs to be sold.

How about fleet inspections and diagnostics/interface with telematics systems, what is your functionality in this arena?

The AEMP GPS integration allows you to get the hour meter reading and location of items in your fleet directly into your Point-of-Rental Software. Your items will automatically be polled to get the current meter and update the inventory record with the current information. This keeps your ‘maintenance due’ and ‘service due’ up to the minute all the time! In the event your customer is running your equipment 24/7, you will know right away that you need to go service the equipment on site. There are also alerts that can be set to notify you for maintenance after the item has been operated a certain number of hours, which keeps your equipment up and running efficiently.

Additionally this integration helps ensure accurate rental usage billing. Rental stores can verify that hours are correct on contracts, and with this information, sell their service to customers. Also having hours and location at their fingertips speeds up closing tickets and makes outgoing tickets more accurate, all part of providing great customer service.

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