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Solutions by Computer introduces Enfinity, its new flagship computer system for rental, sales and service businesses. The system was unveiled at the American Rental Association's Rental Show in Las Vegas, Feb. 14-17, and was recognized as a winner of the New Product Spotlight at the show. Enfinity offers a Windows-based database platform that expands Solutions' product line beyond its UNIX-based CounterPro system. The company says that CounterPro has been the leading choice of rental businesses in North America for more than two decades. Now it's Enfinity's turn.

Jack Shea, president, says that although Enfinity is Solutions' newest system, it will not replace CounterPro. There are benefits to using both systems. Enfinity offers a Windows-style 8-level tree database; CounterPro only offers a 2-level tree. UNIX-based systems have historically provided businesses with a stable operating platform, while Windows has only recently risen to that standard. Shea says he knows of some UNIX systems that haven't shut down in 10 years. The Windows system can handle more than twice the users the UNIX system can. UNIX is faster, with no graphics to download. But the Windows-based Enfinity offers multi-layered graphical analysis of operational material and marketing data. It also stores, prints and displays product art, customer images, floor plans and schematics.

Shea says feedback on the new system has been great so far. “People love it,” Shea says. “It has a slick contract writing process.”

CounterPro is set up to finish a contract in less than 20 keystrokes. “With Enfinity, we can write a contract, with the contract screen on the monitor, without touching the keyboard,” he says. An employee only has to scan the inventory, swipe or scan a driver's license and swipe the customer's credit card. After the transaction is complete, the system will reserve the inventory for the customer and mark it unavailable to the store. Enfinity also picks up default rental periods. The system recognizes weekend and 24-hour rentals automatically.

One of the most important features of Enfinity might be its targeted customer relationship management capability. Customer grouping lets the rental company categorize customers into as many groups as needed for marketing and service purposes. For example, users could group customers by customer type, delivery charge schedule or longevity as a customer. They can also create different contacts within a customer's company and identify them by name and position. Rental companies could market their customer base proactively, by sending e-mails, calls or postal messages about new equipment that might be of special interest to particular customers.

Another helpful feature Enfinity utilizes is intuitive rate setting with automatic calculations, based on any one period entered. Users can set the system to switch between daily, weekly and monthly rates as rental time passes. Enfinity also uses precision inventory tracking to organize clients by location, customer, jobsite, shop and service vehicle.

Solutions by Computer sales staff will visit a rental center, review its operations and tailor the system to the company's needs for a demonstration. Shea says that Solutions realizes that companies that specialize in renting tools, construction equipment or event products all have very different needs. Following a demonstration of the software, customers can tweak the system with any changes they find necessary. Solutions offers support services as well, which include initial training, installation, data entry, ongoing toll-free telephone support, national and regional user group meetings, software suggestion channels and periodic training seminars. The first 90 days from the date of training are free and then customers pay to subscribe.

Solutions by Computer has developed and marketed mission-critical business management software exclusively for the rental and distribution industries since 1982. The company serves more than 1,800 rental companies, 2,300 installed locations and 9,000 licensed users.

Like to see your rental company's Web site featured in a future Bricks & Clicks? E-mail Erin Chapman at [email protected].

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