Assessing Patterns From the Data

Nov. 3, 2006
Bob Shaffer is president of Point-of-Rental Systems, Grand Prairie, Texas.

RER: How does your software facilitate shop management?

Shaffer: By setting up maintenance schedules on each piece of equipment and tracking said maintenance through our “out of service” routine, management knows what items are in for maintenance, how long they have been there, cost of the maintenance, who did the maintenance, when the maintenance was done and what was done to the equipment. An item’s maintenance and repair history can be displayed to assess patterns that may emerge from the data.

RER: How does your software facilitate the scheduling of maintenance according to manufacturer-recommended intervals?

Preventative maintenance schedules based the manufacturer's suggested intervals can be defined in each item record. Once an item reaches, is close to, or exceeds the suggested maintenance level the system notifies you through displays, when renting or receiving items and/or by printing reports. Instructions for the mechanic including parts to use can be printed automatically if desired.

Does Point-of-Rental software play a role in training of service technicians?

A detailed maintenance sheet can be printed for the mechanic that tells them exactly what needs to be done to the equipment at each level of maintenance.

How does your software facilitate keeping track of service history on an individual machine?

Each performed scheduled maintenance is tracked by date, meter reading (if applicable) service technician and any notes entered by the tech.

What about the buying or selling of parts online?

Parts can be set up as items in the database and sold to the repaired item at cost of the part. These items can be added from a purchase order.

How does your software facilitate cost management and cost analysis, the management of cost and income in the shop itself?

Maintenance expenses are tracked on a serialized item basis. Various reports including repair expense, repair expense as a percentage of cost and repair expense as a percentage of income generated.

Does your software provide the technician with a checklist of items to be performed at various intervals or items to check before a returned piece of equipment can go to the "ready" line?

Yes. For each of the four preventative maintenance intervals, a text file can be created to 1) List what has to be accomplished 2) How to accomplish it and 3) What parts if any are to be used.

What are some additional capabilities of importance?

Analysis is the key. For example, suppose you get a deal on ABC brand 185 cfm compressors. So, you buy 15 to replace your fleet of seven-year-old XYZ units. Because of inflation your cost per unit is higher but your remedial maintenance costs should be lower. Assuming rental revenue is flat, your ROI with maintenance costs factored in may well be higher for the new units because they incur less maintenance expense. So, your software should be tracking ROI and maintenance cost trends! These data can also identify inventory lemons collectively and individually. For example, suppose in year two the average maintenance costs for the XYZ units are four times what the ABC units were in year two. I suppose you won’t be buying the XYZ brand anytime soon!