Beyond the Basics

May 1, 2000
Get a better handle on your parts inventory by investing in comprehensive rental software that keys in more than just the basic sales functions. Almost

Get a better handle on your parts inventory by investing in comprehensive rental software that keys in more than just the basic sales functions. Almost every computer system catering to the rental industry today can process a counter transaction or an invoice swiftly. Most software suppliers, in fact, demonstrate these functions to prospective customers. However, potential buyers should not overlook a system's ability to handle parts, service, dispatch and preventive maintenance.

Your customers appreciate quick and efficient counter transactions, but they will appreciate 100 percent uptime more. Providing trouble-free units consistently means critical jobs will be completed without interruptions and makes your customers more confident about doing business with you.

Comprehensive rental software can enhance your fleet maintenance because it automatically will track a part's history, alert service personnel about maintenance visits and schedule recurring maintenance tasks. In addition, knowing that your equipment is in good repair gives you the confidence to service your customers better. Plus, you don't waste precious time issuing credits and dealing with upset customers when their equipment breaks.

A good service management system should provide information to help users determine when a unit should be retired. Cumulative historical evidence can indicate when maintenance costs are closing in on revenue generated. A fully integrated service management system should also help you track how long rental units take to be repaired so you can figure out what percentage of your labor dollars is productive.

A fully integrated parts management system ensures that the parts department has the necessary inventory to facilitate timely fleet repairs. Your parts department needs the right parts on hand and the right quantity of parts to do the job. What you don't need is an overabundance of costly inventory that's not being used. For this reason, your computer system should provide an extensive and flexible history-based stocking formula to make sure your needs are met as efficiently and timely as possible.

The whole package Whether your rental store is large or small, and whether it operates independently or as part of a large consolidator's team, your needs are unique. But your ability to serve your customers' needs is what keeps them coming back. When looking for rental software, do not limit yourself to rental features only. Look for a complete package that provides comprehensive parts, maintenance and dispatch capabilities to complement and interface with the rental portion of your system. This includes a complete customer history for each rental unit, dispatch and scheduling with graphical interface capabilities, and remote terminals in your service vans to provide you with real-time information.

So the next time you're in the market for new rental software, remember, basic is boring.