Online rental software versus spreadsheets
Many rental businesses are using spreadsheets to catalog their products and analyze data to employ better business management strategies. Some of these business owners are under the impression that spreadsheets have been really helpful in optimizing their workflow. However, the time-consuming and unreliable nature of spreadsheets makes them a costly way of managing rental and sale orders. Spreadsheets are:
- Driven by conflicts and inaccuracies
- They are not scalable – do not evolve with the business growth
- Do not have the capability to track real-time data or run analytical reports
With the development of the internet and mobile apps, people want software solutions that give them instant and on-the-go access to their information. This need for faster and agile software solutions has led to an increase in the demand for cloud-based software. Implementing an online rental software offers a secure and more efficient way for rental management.
An online rental software enables you to showcase your products online via a customized webstore. This allows you to increase your digital visibility and create a way to boost your sale revenue. During a February 2017 survey, it was found that 69 percent of U.S. shoppers preferred to make electronics purchases in person.
Below image shows a distribution of consumers who preferred online versus in-store shopping based on different product categories:
Here are some reasons why rental management software is a more effective way for online rental and order management:
1. It amplifies your access control. Even when you want to access data off-location instantly. It’s usual to go outside of the office during office hours – either for an official tour or just visiting the warehouse. It would be great and convenient if you could continue your rental management on-the-go. If your orders are handled in the cloud, you are able to access all information on your rental orders via any digital device. What if you need to quickly check the status of an order? You can simply open your online rental software in any browser or the dedicated mobile app and check what action needs to be done in the order.
2. It improves your business’s digital presence through an online storefront. Gone are the days of brick-and-mortar storefronts, restricted not just in their geography but also in their reach, pricing, and convenience to the customer. Online storefronts have stepped boldly into this vacuum, revolutionizing the very way the sales industry operates and enabling businesses to lower their overheads. It takes only 8 seconds for someone to decide whether to leave a website. So the better your webstore is at making that connection with the passers-by, the higher your business growth is going to be. The cloud-based rental software enhances the rental experience for your customers crafted with supercharged features like accessibility, transparency, visibility, and convenience.
3. It increases adaptability to new trends and customizability. Using a software that is constantly adapting to rental and sales management needs means that the system is able to provide more specific functionalities that help retail businesses smooth out their rental management. For example, the software offers integration with an accounting software helps you sync all orders and related invoices from a single access point rather than managing orders on 2 different solutions one at a time. Or the system allows you to study the demand for a product and lets you identify its sales curve.
Did you know? In 2016, online sales of physical goods amounted to 360.3 billion US dollars and are projected to surpass 603.4 billion US dollars in 2021. Apparel and accessories retail e-commerce in the U.S. is projected to generate over 121 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2021. While in 2016, desktop e-retail sales in the United States amounted to close to 292 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.
4. It truncates the upfront and maintenance costs. When you are running a rental business or a retail store, the main goal is to achieve higher sales. But to achieve that there are layers of business management that involve an extensive process. In this process, businesses often ignore the importance of equipment maintenance and storage management. Renting faulty equipment and maintaining storage facilities can add up to your expenses. It can either make or break your business. Running regular service sessions and balancing the inventory stock with the help of a cloud-based equipment rental software, you can eliminate extra upfront and storage costs.
5. It optimizes data security and eliminates system downtime. Businesses that use spreadsheets to manage a large number of inventory and rental orders often find themselves stuck with corrupted data or frequent server downtimes. Data loss can be disastrous for your rental business. By opting for a cloud-based rental management software, you make sure that your data is secure and backed up online. You are able to restore your data on demand as well. During the peak seasons, it is important to keep managing your orders and a downtime can ruin that if you are doing that via spreadsheets. As per a study in 2011, the average downtime time for on-premise solutions was recorded 4 times high as compared to cloud solutions.
6. It minimizes errors on the balance sheet. A rental software helps you simplify your accounts and depreciation management. This is another one reason to make bean-counters or should we call them accountants happy! Your finance department will appreciate the fact that rental expenses are not considered to be a balance sheet liability. Among other things, you preserve more of your company’s borrowing power.
Delivering quality services efficiently and achieving cost savings are the top two drivers of cloud adoption. Even Gartner foresees a double-digit growth in the use of public cloud services in the government sector, with a spending forecast to grow on average 17.1% per year through 2021. While spreadsheets can be adopted to help in rental management, they are inefficient and unreliable. The specific nature of online rental software makes it a more suitable, reliable and efficient way to track, manage and maintain rental and sale orders.
Rental management software also enables business owners to adopt a centralized rental management system that allows staff users to easily share resources and rental orders with each other. Some may like to go online with their product catalogs while there can still be some retail stores or businesses that would still opt for making the in-store shopping experience better for consumers. Some 98 percent of survey respondents as per an online survey conducted in February 2017 indicated that they purchase groceries only in-store, whereas 2 percent of customers do grocery shopping online. In another story, H&M profits thrust as their customers skipped the in-store shopping and bought items via their online shop instead. Looking through all these numbers, it’s obvious that cloud is here to stay and so is online storefronts.
Still contemplating to go for Online Rental Software? Ask us!
EZRentOut is an equipment rental management software, used extensively by organizations and small businesses globally, for streamlined rental management to increase business productivity and revenue.