Asset Intelligence and Management

Asset Intelligence and Management

EZRentOut Case Studies Umpqua Valley Steam

Case Study

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub Increases Turnaround by 25% Using EZRentOut

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub - education equipment rental

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub is one of the 13 hubs in the State of Oregon. The Douglas County-based educational equipment lending library is funded by the Oregon Department of Education.

Being a non-profit, they aim to reach the underserved population across the State. Their educational equipment is rented out by educators who teach pre-kindergarten all the way through to 20-year-olds in a variety of platforms involving STEAM. 

The Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) Hub is the center of what’s happening within the county. 

Teresa Middleton, the Director of Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub is responsible for the overall activities of the Hub. 

She schedules professional development programs for teachers who can use the educational equipment effectively. She ensures that all activities meet the teaching standards. She actively works with educators and community partners and also collaborates with other STEAM hub directors around the State. 

She tells us that her Hub serves hundreds of educators, in the classrooms and outside the classrooms. The lending library of the Hub is managed exclusively by EZRentOut rental software.

Starting the STEAM Hub lending library journey with EZRentOut

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub managing 300+ orders, increasing turnaround by 25%, and saving around 30 hours weekly using EZRentOut rental software

Teresa tells us that the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub lending library is full of all types of STEAM equipment which is rented out to educators for free. 

The lending library is what they use EZRentOut rental software for. The Hub’s webstore and the orders taken there are all managed within the software. 

Most of the renting out (lending) is done during the school year when the teachers are at school. 

The Hub also partners with the local educational service district that has a shuttle. This shuttle is used for the delivery and pickup of the educational equipment lent via EZRentOut. 

In an average school year, the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub gets 300+ orders which are managed on the rental webstore. 

Since the Hub also serves out-of-school programs for any kind of educators, the webstore and rental software runs 12 months a year, for both formal and informal education sectors. 

Teresa tells us that the majority of users of the lending library are at elementary schools, which are kindergarten through fifth grade. That’s the most active sector, followed by the middle school (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade). The remaining lenders are made up of community partners, private schools, and childcare programs.

Catering to hundreds of educators through the EZRentOut lending library

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub photos from the educational equipment lending library using EZRentOut rental software

The renters or lenders of Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub, who are educators, visit the Hub’s rental webstore whenever they need any educational equipment for their students. 

The lenders can also contact the library via email or call the Hub. Teresa’s team then sends them a link to the EZRentOut webstore, where they sign up quickly, and rent out what they need. 

Since the lenders sign up using their school email address, they are automatically verified for the Hub. 

Teresa tells us that the lender’s journey to renting out equipment on the webstore is quite simple and easy. The check-in and check-out system is very intuitive for lenders. 

They add the required equipment to the order and rent it out. The Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub receives the order via email, prepares the rental order, and ships it out. 

The user accounts created by lenders (educators) become an automatic way of tracking their equipment throughout the county. Since each order is linked directly to a person, the Hub is always aware of who to call if a piece of equipment hasn’t been returned.

Utilizing email reminders to manage educational equipment availability 

Teresa tells us that emails are a great way of getting in touch with lenders. Her team uses it extensively to remind lenders when equipment is overdue or ask them if they want to extend the rental duration. 

The email reminders sent through EZRentOut help Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub remind the lenders that they need to bring the stuff back to the library on a specific date. 

The Hub’s webstore powered by EZRentOut makes it easy to quickly check where each piece of equipment is, how many have been loaned out, and what is available in the lending library at that given moment. 

The lenders are usually given a week to use and return the equipment, and 98% return it on time. The other 2% is reminded automatically through the EZRentOut email alerts which keeps everything streamlined. 

Managing diverse educational equipment inventory of the lending library 

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub, the educational equipment rental hub praising EZRentOut rental software

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub has recently added a diverse inventory of computer science and technology equipment to the lending library. 

The STEAM Hub has numerous educational equipment on its webstore which is managed in EZRentOut throughout the school year and beyond. These include the smaller most rented-out Bee-Bots to huge equipment like Rigamajig. 

Teresa tells us that the categorization of assets based on lending patterns has helped them get a better insight into what equipment is frequently rented, and what needs to be stocked more. 

The Hub has different sections for engineering, robotics, and early learning. They segment their lenders by different age groups of students. For instance, the kindergarten teachers will likely not rent out equipment from the advanced robotics section. 

The ability to add pictures to every piece of equipment in EZRentOut makes it easier for lenders to know what it looks like before they come and pick it up. 

Teresa informs us that seasonally, the same teacher lends out the same equipment at the same time every year since that is when they teach their students that particular subject. 

For example, the easily codable Bee-Bots are rented out at the start of the year. This is when the teachers are teaching the younger students who don’t know how to code yet, about coding. The Rigamajig is usually rented out in early fall, late spring, or early summer as it is best used outside because of its size. 

As the school year progresses, equipment from the engineering sections starts getting rented out. However, the equipment that can be used indoors gets rented out throughout the year.

Making use of reports to keep tabs on the equipment lent out 

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub uses reports to track what has been checked out, when it was checked out, and when that particular educational equipment is due. 

They have their equipment color-coded by area within EZRentOut to instantly track where each piece of educational equipment is at a certain time. Using color codes has helped them easily track equipment all across the county. 

Since STEAM Hub covers a lot of localities, using different colors enables them to quickly identify if the educational equipment is in the North, South, East, or West of the county. 

Using the reporting module in EZRentOut, they track the educator and the school that the educator is associated with. They stay informed on what equipment was lent out, when was it checked out, and when it is due back. 

These important metrics turn into weekly reports that land on the Director, Teresa’s desk for a quick overview during meetings.

The future with EZRentOut

The Director, Teresa, rates the EZRentOut customer service a solid 9.8 out of 10. She informs us that our Customer Success team has been amazing in promptly resolving the issue every time one was raised. 

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub will continue to use EZRentOut for its educational STEAM equipment lending library in the foreseeable future. 

She is delighted that EZRentOut equipment rental software is the best thing they have found to accomplish what they need it to do; serving hundreds of educators across the State.

“EZRentOut has everything we need to supply our educators with what they need to do their jobs”

Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub logo


  • Education Equipment


  • Douglas County, Oregon, United States


Using Since

  • 2020

Key Challenges

  • Managing education equipment inventory on a large scale

  • Keeping track of equipment location, lender, and return to Hub

Biggest Wins

  • Being able to track the vast inventory in the rental software

  • Increasing turnaround by 25% after using EZRentOut for lending

  • Saving ~30 hours weekly by automating rental workflows

Favorite Features

  • Using the rental webstore to cater to 80% of equipment lending

  • Customization of reports to track inventory across the county

  • Ability to send email reminders to lenders when equipment is overdue

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