Note: The following article was featured in the November/December issue of Pro Contractor Rentals

Rental companies, especially in the construction industry, are taking advantage of new technology to improve the way they manage business. Incorporating rental management software that not only provides cutting-edge features, but also integrates with many other applications (like AEMP telematics), is no longer optional; it has become a must for rental businesses that want to remain relevant in their markets. So what is this new technology and what does it do for rental businesses?

Telematics have taken the construction industry by storm. While they’ve been available for years with add-in devices, more manufacturers are now producing large equipment with built-in telematics features. Rental management software connected to those devices tells rental stores where their machines are, how much they’re being used, and whether they’re due for maintenance. Fleet tracking integration also allows stores to remotely turn their equipment on or off, lock or unlock it, and even restrict it within a geofence to prevent unauthorized site removal. Stores can also cap usage to prevent equipment from being overused if a contract has capping requirements.

Small tools are also equipped with RFID technology; stores that use rental management technology with integrated RFID can scan for precision and speed when filling contracts. For example, in Point of Rental Expert Software’s 2016 update, the Contract Fulfillment module allows employees to add over-prepped items, sell missing or damaged items, and use either of two new scanning features: blind or double-blind scanning. Blind scanning allows customer service representatives to scan incoming items without opening a contract – the items will automatically be assigned to the correct contract within a customer’s account. Double-blind scanning performs the same functions, but across the accounts of several customers, closing all fulfilled contracts automatically.

Analytics and KPI’s are an important by-product of the functionality created by embedded technology. With advanced reporting, rental management software now allows managers and business owners to mine data gathered from specific items. Trend reports provide insight into seasonal trends, to help you know when to defleet or refleet, buy or sell items. Quantity Compare Analysis reports allow you to see utilization to know whether to purchase more or sell off, as well as track sales to forecast future revenue. Integrations with technology that offers benchmark metrics also provide KPI’s that allow stores to compare performance against market competitors. Key information from this type of technology equips owners and managers to make decisions based on real market data.

Other technologies manage the rest of your business, such as online shopping carts, automated parts ordering, and CRM functionality, are integrations rental stores should look for in a rental management software. As contractors and construction businesses demand the convenience that today’s technology provides, rental stores are pushed to comply, so track the trends before it’s too late. In today’s market, having up-to-date technology helps ensure your store turns a profit.