A tool rental business can cater to a broad customer pool, ranging from DIY home project enthusiasts to construction companies. Renting tools and equipment can be an economical option compared to buying and propelled by these trends, the tool & equipment rental industry has grown to $4.4 billion and is expected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2022.
However, your business is only as good as the quality of the products and customer service you offer. A well-organized and well-maintained inventory is essential for business success but is not always easily achieved.
Tackle common maintenance challenges faced by tool rental businesses
1. Poor inventory management
Manual inventory tracking methods can be inefficient. Data is not updated in real-time and tracked across disparate systems, so it can be highly prone to errors and provide out-of-date inventory status. This leads to higher chances of misplaced or lost inventory.
3. Time-consuming data logging of tools
It can be a daunting task to check in and out hundreds of tools manually. This reduces employee productivity and may lead to human errors.
3. Lack of maintenance
Quality and safety can be quickly compromised without an effective system for tool maintenance. Tools used on hazardous job sites may cause damage or injuries. Ineffective tool maintenance of tools can result in defective tools being rented out, deteriorating customer service, and causing unhappy customers.
How rental software can help?
Efficient tool management includes keeping track of tools, from accurate inventory counts to replacing damaged tools. Rental software enables you to consolidate all your tool and equipment information into a centralized place that you can access anytime from anywhere. With real-time updates and full visibility into the movement of your items, across multiple stores, locations, and warehouses, your tool rental business can gain powerful control over the maintenance and management of your inventory.
1. Accurate inventory counts
The size, utility, and cost of equipment rental tools stocked by businesses can vary widely. This necessitates regular and robust inventory checks to avoid misplaced or lost inventory.
Incorporating comprehensive tool tracking software, a modern rental software system enables you to view at a glance which tools are in use, available, or under maintenance. You can easily save, edit and track inventory status, location, and other important details in the software. This helps you to stay informed and access inventory details even when you are not physically present on job sites or warehouses.
Tools and equipment are typically used and moved around more frequently. This is why barcode labels can be printed and attached to individual tools, so they can be easily scanned and their status updated in the system. Employees can easily update inventory status in real-time by scanning barcode labels on tools. They can check tools in and out and keep a transparent record of who had which tools and when.
Automating inventory count means your tool rental business will always have an accurate picture of which items are consumed, sold, or moved to another location. This makes it easier for managers to plan ahead and make proactive procurement decisions. Last-minute shortages of basic tools such as wrenches and trowels can lead to unfulfilled orders and cause delays.
The result: Unhappy customers.
Rental software can help mitigate such problems by sending alerts that you are running low on stock so you can quickly replenish out-of-stock items.
2. Track tools by locations
As a tool rental business owner, you might not be sure of the exact tools that were rented out to a job site, or their exact location, if your current tracking system is inaccurate. This means employees will have to spend valuable time locating items and if they can’t find them, that means lost or misplaced tools, which in turn increases the cost of replacement for your business.
It is crucial for tool rental businesses to keep track of all tools from warehouses to job sites so you know exactly what you have, where they are, and how they’re being used. To simplify this process, rental software helps you set location barcode management to track tools at different locations efficiently. Easily set up different locations such as warehouses or job sites in the system, assign identification numbers to these locations and move the items to the location where it is physically present.
Assigning identification numbers to your locations can make it easier to track the exact tools you need. For example, ID# 126.96.36.199 can be broken down into warehouse #20, aisle#121, stack#2, and item position#66. Tools with location ID can be scanned and instantly located down to the exact shelf they are placed on!
3. Create bundles and offer customized pricing
Most tools are frequently rented out together. For example, electrical workers would rent out cable benders, cutters, and pullers together. In such cases, rental software allows you to bundle such tools together per customer needs. You can offer these as a package deal saving. It also helps your team save time searching and selecting the appropriate tools.
The benefit of tools as bundles is offering attractive pricing to customers. As a tool rental business owner, you can forecast which tools are rented out more and which ones are not. Then you can find and bundle complementary tools with frequently rented out tools. For example, a digging bar, a solid metal rod used to dig hard surfaces can be bundled with an earth rammer used after excavation to level the uneven lower surface. An attractive offer on such bundles will not go unnoticed by customers and entice them to rent out from your business.
4. Maintain your tools for long-term use
Keeping equipment rental tools clean, dry, and organized is essential to enhance efficiency and reduce downtime.
Ensure quick service checks on tools after use. It is important to properly clean your tools so they don’t accumulate dust, dirt, and grease. Frequent maintenance checkups can be done with maintenance management in the rental software. The software helps you set maintenance dates and alerts you when maintenance is due. During the time the tools are under maintenance, you can even mark them as unavailable to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
You can also automate this whole process by setting up recurring services in the rental software to avoid missing out on tool maintenance. You just add the recurrence cycles and tools are automatically sent to maintenance.
Well-maintained and reliable tools and equipment lead to happy customers and a great market reputation for your tool rental business. It also prolongs the lifecycle and delivers great ROI.
5. Remove damaged and defective tools for safety
Depending on the use and age of tools, they can become damaged beyond repair. For example, some equipment rental tools can reach the end of their life due to conditions such as accumulated rust and grease. In such cases, it is better to remove these tools from inventory and replace them with new tools.
Inspect your tools after every use and remove defective items immediately. The rental software can help you create custom fields where special notes can be added such as damages on return, defective tool, or out of service for repair. This can be a mandatory field to add so every other employee is notified of the tool’s condition before use.
5. Run reports on tools utilization
Equipment rental tools have shorter useful life which is why it is important to keep track of how much each piece of the tool has been utilized and what stage they are at, i.e. performing well or about to be replaced.
The rental software can leverage all this data and enables you to run easy-to-read reports for key business insights for your tool rental business. You can choose rows and columns by tools’ usage over a specific time period and analyze utilization to plan replacement or maintenance accordingly.
EZRentOut, a cloud-based equipment rental software can help. EZRentOut offers companies in numerous industries seamless rental management along with a host of other features. You can integrate your website with our EZR plug to keep track of all your rental Assets and operations. Try us out today!