However, one area that may be lagging behind in terms of adopting new technology is the rental industry. The rental industry, already one historically resistant to change, should be looking to incorporating any new technology that can improve equipment rental companies’ ability to manage operations, communicate with customers, and deliver efficiently deliver equipment.
Running Operations from Your Phone
Rental business owners should leverage new mobile technology that allows a business to be run virtually from mobile devices, such as phones and tablets. Mobile apps can function as the command center for business operations, allowing business owners to email clients and partners, draft business models, get quotes on pricing, access customer relationship management (CRM) software, and so much more. Having such a wide range of functionality within one device will allow rental companies to be more nimble and move the rental process along much faster. For instance, a driver dropping off rental equipment can verify a customer’s ID, photograph the condition of the equipment, and have the customer sign off on it all from a mobile device. Upon returning the equipment, the business can immediately assess damages and have all the customer information available within seconds.
No More Paper
Using mobile technology also inherently means less paperwork. The rental industry has long been notoriously known for mounds of papers requiring signatures from both the renter, the employee delivering the equipment, and the company itself. New apps allow businesses to have electronic versions of legal documents accessible through phones and tablets, streamlining formally paper-based processes while still ensuring the validity and security of documents. Rental companies can then store all documents and rental agreements in virtual clouds, freeing up office space previously dedicated to files cabinets jammed with paperwork. These virtual clouds also make it easy to pull information and search for specific clients.
Renting on Demand
With the rise of technology and the streamlining of the rental experience, weekly, monthly, even daily rentals will be a thing of the past. Customers’ companies constantly strive for greater efficiency, so they will expect to be able to rent equipment for a mere few hours, use it to complete a job, and then return it – all within the same afternoon. Much like the recent rise of electric scooters and bicycles, rental companies should embrace technology and business models that allow customers to have access to a piece of machinery on-demand, pay for the exact amount of time the machine will be used, and then return it once they no longer need it. Adopting this model will allow rental companies to stay ahead of the competition while also staying relevant in this ever-evolving space.