Choosing a hire management software can feel dangerous. Nearly everyone in the company interacts with the software in some way, so finding something that meets everyone’s needs can be challenging.
You could make a list of everything each person in every department needs, wants, and cares about in a software, and evaluate every hire software out there against those check boxes, while understanding that needs and wants will evolve over time. And maybe that’s something you’ll decide to do in the future.
But for now, you need a quick checklist. What are the things your hire software needs to do if you’re going to be successful with it? We asked a handful of AI assistants, rounded up their answers, and looked at the top 5 things your hire software needs to do. Then we explained its answers a bit so we don’t feel quite as replaceable.
1. Reservation and Booking Management.
It’s not much of a hire software if it doesn’t allow you (or your customers) to reserve items, easily check availability, or send order confirmations. Your hire software should help you prevent double bookings and/or identify subhire opportunities. Look specifically at how the software handles reservation tracking, availability management, booking confirmations, generating hire agreements, and payment processing.
Why it’s important: If you’re not able to live up to the promises you make your customers, you’re not going to be renting things for long. Good hire management software also gives you plenty of data to analyze, which allows you to identify what you need more of, what your top performers are, and what you ought to sell to make room for the items people want.
2. Online Booking and Payment.
We’ve worked with thousands of hire businesses over the years, and we haven’t found one yet that’s been successful without being able to take customer payments. And in an increasingly online economy, you need to be able to take your bookings and payments online, securely. And to give yourself flexibility in the future, you’ll want to find a software that integrates with popular payment gateways, can handle different currencies, and accepts a variety of payment methods. Look specifically at how your customers can see item availability, reserve items online, make online payments, and modify orders online.
Why it’s important: Like we alluded to, without bookings and payments, you don’t have a business. Online bookings and payments allow customers to do business with you 24/7, so they’re able to rent when they have the need to rent. And when customers find it super easy to do business with you, they’re more likely to continue working with you in the future.
3. Mobile Compatibility.
If you’re renting out of a single location and your customers are always coming to you, you probably don’t have to worry about this one – if you’re doing anything away from the front counter, though, mobile compatibility is crucial to keeping your team on the same page. You need to be looking for dedicated mobile apps or, at the very least, a responsive web design that has an interface designed for mobile. Look for a touch-friendly interface, cross-platform support, and offline capabilities (for those times where you’re at a job site with poor reception).
Why it’s important: Mobile staff need access to realtime information quickly, too. Whether they’re on-site with a customer and needing to check inventory, working on an item and needing to check on a replacement, or just delivering equipment to a site and collecting signatures, getting realtime information to/from the main office helps keep everyone aligned and making the best possible decisions.
4. User-Friendly Interface.
One of the biggest challenges that keeps businesses from effectively using hire software is a poor user interface (UI). If your staff finds it difficult to use your software, they’re going to use it as little as possible. If they’re trying to use it, but it’s difficult to navigate – either the navigation doesn’t make sense or it’s difficult to find the right button – data entry errors start multiplying. It needs to be easy to use and easy to understand. In a UI, you’re looking for intuitive navigation, consistent design and controls, and visual clarity.
Why it’s important: Not only is a good UI going to make your team more efficient and minimize errors, but it’ll make them less frustrated about work in general. It will also help new staff members and cut down drastically on training time if the system just makes sense.
5. Pricing and Billing.
We didn’t do a survey on this one, but more than 99.9% of hire business owners like it when their customers pay their bills. And most customers like paying the price they agreed to, although they don’t often complain when given a discount. And the government tends to really get upset when you don’t pay the correct amount of taxes. Your software needs to: Provide accurate and transparent invoices, automate its billing, accommodate flexible pricing, comply with local and regional tax laws, and provide financial visibility and reporting.
Why it’s important: Unless you have only one hire period available, your hire software probably needs to provide flexible pricing options that include hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rates – and it needs to generate accurate invoices based on those rates. Automatic billing saves hours of staff time looking up who owes money each month and reaching out to them. And of course, visibility into your finances through reporting helps you identify problem areas, people to stop renting to, and which customers are best for your business.
If you’re keeping those five things in mind, you’re on a path to find hire software that’s going to help your business grow and keep your team and customers happy. Bring your key stakeholders in to check out any demos provided by a software company to get their opinions, and see which software suits you best while delivering the features you need.
If you’re ready to see how Point of Rental handles some of these challenges, watch the webinar above to see how we work with SitePro Rentals. And if you’d like to see how we’d handle some of the challenges you and your team face, fill out the form below to tell us what you’d like help with.