Rental management software is an investment with the potential for a high rate of return if chosen properly. While some rental store operators may feel it is easier to choose a low cost, basic system now, this decision isn’t likely to yield the greatest returns of lowered operating costs and time savings. Many of these rental stores end up needing to make a second investment in a more robust software only a few years later. How then do you avoid making this common mistake? Below are five suggested questions to ask before choosing a software company to help insure that you receive the best returns on your investment.
1. Is the software scalable and will it support your growth on every level?
The saying, “What doesn’t help you, ultimately hurts you”, is true even in the software industry. Growth is pertinent for any business. While certain software companies and packages may support your business now, how will they do in several years? Any software that doesn’t support company growth will ultimately be a detriment to your future potential. Having the ability to easily track information such as maintenance costs, missed opportunities and customer information can provide you with valuable information for managing costs and encouraging growth opportunities.
2. How often are there updates to the software?
A business will have limited capabilities if its software isn’t expanding technologically along with it. We live in a technical age with innovations surfacing daily, and if your software isn’t ahead of the technology curve, you’ll fall behind the competition. Before choosing a software company, we recommend that you research how the company has grown in the past. Has it shown innovative advances? Is it on the cutting edge of technology and has this been a consistent trend in its history? With an industry as complex as rental, you can’t be performing at your best while your software isn’t.
3. How customizable is the software?
The reality is that businesses range in all shapes and sizes, and cookie cutter software will not allow you to run your company to its full potential. There are many features that are unique to individual markets, such as deliveries and setup crews for the event industry, automatic meter reading and updated billing on heavy equipment, or service fees for portable toilets. A one-size-fits-all software won’t allow you to run efficiently if the feature set is solely designed for a general rental business. Being able to fully customize the software and add features as your company expands will allow you to keep operational costs low and provide you with full range to dictate how you run your business.
4. What level of support can you get?
Have you ever called a company to receive help, been placed on a long hold, and then transferred to a call center where no one understands your needs? The rental industry is a complex business with many moving parts. Having access to support whenever you need it is an important factor; though having support how you need it is often overlooked. At Point-of-Rental, we have a support team that has behind the counter rental experience, extensive software training, computer expertise, and rental knowledge, which allows us to provide you with the highest level of software support.
5. How transparent is the company?
Many companies will say almost anything to secure your business. So how can you distinguish between those who can stand behind their word and those who are only after your money? One suggestion is to ask for the full customer list. Any company can find a few customers that they can get to sing their praises, but what about all of them? Asking for a full customer list will allow you to do your own research and determine how straightforward the company really is.
Buying rental management software can often be an overwhelming task, and here at Point-of-Rental, we want to make your job easier. Let us show you our commitment to excellence and how our software will improve your bottom line by giving us a call at 800-944-RENT.