As the full impact of COVID-19 hit businesses across the world in 2020, rental businesses were no exception. Small and medium-sized rental businesses faced new and unique challenges including store shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, changing market needs, and a shift to remote operations – all while ensuring the safety of employees and customers.
The American Rental Association (ARA) forecast a 13 percent decline in equipment and event rental revenue in 2020 compared to 2019, dropping to $48.7 billion in the United States. However, they predict modest growth in 2021, ticking up 0.3 percent to $48.9 billion, before accelerating recovery kicks in with growth of 9.2 percent in 2022, 6.8 percent in 2023 and 4.8 percent in 2024 to reach $59.7 billion.
As rental market trends point towards a steady recovery, it is essential that you equip your business with the correct tools to succeed in 2021. A powerful rental asset tracking software enables you to access all business information from a single centralized platform and get efficient remote workflows for business continuity in this rapidly evolving business landscape.
Here five ways a rental asset tracking software can help you set up for a successful 2021.
1. Put your business online with a custom webstore
Even before the pandemic disrupted traditional business models, e-commerce was on the rise with no signs of slowing down. According to an estimate from Emarketer, by the end of 2020, US consumers would have spent $709.78 billion on e-commerce which is an increase of 18 percent – even as brick and mortar spending is declining.
In these conditions, establishing an online presence for your rental company will give your business a competitive advantage. You will expand your customer base and also enable them to browse through items from the safety of their houses. In more extreme cases, such as lockdowns, an online presence will ensure business continuity and consequently a positive cash flow.
On the webstore, you can showcase your full inventory online, upload high-resolution photos, and customize your catalog to show preferred data points. Moreover, an integrated online store enables you to make reservations, check items in and out, and accept payments online.
A rental asset tracking software will help to guide you through the process of setting up and seamlessly integrating your store with all your rental data . All updates within the software will also be updated on the webstore as well, so your customers will always get up to date information.
Read more: Webstore for Rentals: Setting up the Online Storefront in EZRentOut
2. Seamless online touchless payments
Even as you showcase your rental and sale items on a customizable web store, you can further facilitate customers by offering them online payments. This translates into a win-win situation for both you and your customers.
Customers can make the payment from the comfort of their own homes or from the mobile app if they are on the go. There is no need for them to come into the store- eliminating unnecessary contact as well as increasing convenience.
Online payments offer the added advantage of protecting you from no-shows. You can ask for an advance on payment to ensure that the rental order will be completed. This improves cash flow and also eliminates non serious customers who may not collect, or even cancel an order at the last minute.
You can choose from many convenient payment gateways and integrate them with your webstore. This ensures safe and successful transactions as well as timely payments.
3. Optimize rental asset utility and lifecycle
As businesses adapt to evolving customer requirements and changing market demands, it is crucial to offer differentiating factors. One way to do that is by consistently providing top-quality equipment that will guarantee customer satisfaction.
Rental asset tracking software enables you to gain complete control over the entire lifecycle of your rental equipment and optimize usage. One way to do that is via automated preventative maintenance. Ensure that equipment is always serviced and maintained on schedule to prolong life cycle and prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Use the capabilities within the software to set an automated and regular maintenance schedule for your equipment and assign tasks to team members. You can also choose to send items into maintenance as soon as they are returned and make them unavailable during maintenance.
With a single centralized source, remote employees can work individually or collaborate easily to carry out the maintenance tasks. You can track progress as well as encourage accountability through Alerts, Work Logs, and prioritized events. As an extra precaution, you can also attach employee health/hygiene checklists to ensure safety protocols are followed.
4. Schedule pick-up and delivery of rental items
Once you have enabled customers to quickly and easily place their order online, you can further facilitate them by offering convenient pick-up and delivery options.
Use your rental asset tracking software to schedule and streamline store pick-ups and deliveries. Create easy pick-up options that eliminate or reduce contact such as curbside pick-up. Configure the system so customers can either choose a slot to pick it up from your store or simply have it delivered. Both options limit in-person interaction and protect everyone from unnecessary exposure.
You can configure the system to offer convenient pick-up slots. These can be timings that work best with your schedule and also ensure that there is never any overcrowding outside the store. Control how many people can pick items up during a certain slot and once the slot is full, it can automatically become unavailable.
Likewise you can also offer delivery slots and also track the delivery status of an order. You send an invoice and even get confirmation from the customer that they have received an order by collecting an e-signature, all from within the system.
5. Take informed data-based business decisions
Data is power and increasingly businesses have been using it to their advantage. 2021 will be no different. However, the challenge is to harness the power of data. The more effectively you study, understand, and apply trends based on data, the more your business will benefit.
This is where a rental asset tracking software can be of great help. You no longer have to waste time and resources trying to make sense of reams of complicated information. Use the reporting functionality within the system to gather and analyze data. Run reports to gain meaningful insights and improve day-to-day operations.
You can gain insights into asset utilization, depreciation, maintenance and even on employee interaction with the equipment. How does this help your business on a daily basis? Running a report on an asset’s maintenance history can give you insight into whether it is costing you more to keep it in stock and whether you would be better off retiring and investing in a new asset. Find out which assets are being rented out most frequently and ensure their availability by placing timely procurement orders.
You can even create custom reports for specific business queries to take better, data-driven business decisions for your business in 2021.
Investing in a rental asset tracking software is a great way to tackle the unique challenges of the current business landscape and have a successful 2021!
EZRentOut is a cloud-based rental asset tracking software. EZRentOut offers companies in numerous industries seamless rental management along with a host of other features. These include asset tracking, maintenance management, customized webstore, and much more. Try us out today!