Point of Rental Software, a leading provider of rental management software solutions, has implemented the use of kiosk functionality in the latest update to Point of Rental Essentials cloud-based software. The update boasts many functions of interest to the rental industry, but kiosk functionality tops the list. Designed to enhance the customer experience, the kiosk feature facilitates the rental process by allowing customers to self-serve. When utilized with a barcode reader, a customer can scan a driver’s license to populate the customer record instantaneously. The system helps avoid duplicate customers by matching provided information as the customer pulls up or sets up their account.
In addition to general rental stores, including event or tool rental businesses, specialty rental stores are implementing Point of Rental Essentials for the kiosk feature. Spokes Bicycle Rentals of Vancouver, British Columbia, plans to put kiosk functionality in its Stanley Park store. Well-known as Vancouver’s favorite bike rental shop, Spokes is a family run business that has served tourists and locals for over 75 years. With a prime location at the entrance to Vancouver’s world famous seawall, the rental store serves large numbers of customers during peak tourist season yet still manages to get cyclists on the trails in record time. Spokes’ owner Brian Vetter has instilled a customer-first culture that resonates throughout the company. Recognizing that tourists on vacation don’t want to wait in a line, Vetter has instituted the goal of never making a customer wait. Point of Rental’s new kiosk is designed to complement this company policy, while the software as a whole provides necessary information to better manage inventory.
Tim Quarles, Spokes’ project manager who is overseeing the software implementation, explained that inventory management is the primary reason the company chose Point of Rental Software. “Not only is it necessary to know when a bike goes missing, it’s also important for us to better serve our customers,” Quarles said. “For example, if someone has a flat tire, we send a mechanic out on the exact replica bike so that the customer can get on the new bike right away. In order to do that, we have to know the exact bike they were sent out with. So really, that’s the catalyst for the project.”
While kiosks speed up the process at the beginning of the rental cycle, Quick Return is a feature Point of Rental developed to enhance the closing process. This feature allows store associates to scan the barcode on the bike and automatically return it to inventory.
“When bikes are being returned, many times a group will come in minutes apart, so we need to be able to receive, receive, receive,” Quarles said. “The Quick Return feature allows us to do this efficiently. Similar to the Kiosk feature, it will help us serve our customers quickly. Competition will chip into your market share if you don’t get people moving quickly.”
Evan Fort, Point of Rental’s Vice President of Cloud Products, and his team of developers utilize agile programming for Point of Rental Essentials, meaning that new features are added to the web-based software in “sprints” and updates are released every few weeks. This is has served the company well, with the software winning top ten placement in the Cloud Innovation World Cup last year, an award sponsored in part by Google. It is also good news for rental stores, as they reap the benefit of new features like Kiosk, Quick Return, and many other enhancements becoming available in rapid succession.
“We like to think of it as Christmas for our customers,” Fort said. “Every few weeks we surprise them with new features that will make their lives easier, their customers’ happier, and ultimately their businesses more successful.”