Streamlining Information from Your Rental Management Software

I have a confession. I loved the Muppet show when I was a kid and I still love it. It’s one of these shows for me that stands the test of time. So I am pretty excited that it’s finally back on the air for me to enjoy.

Truthfully, I think I mainly watched the show as a kid because of the two guys Waldorf and Statler (the two muppets always seated in the balcony of a theater, cracking wise throughout the segment). Their conversations are genius and in fact, the older I get the more relevant they get (or is it I perhaps am getting more like them?). I think this particular quote is so relevant to what we’ve been looking at recently:

Waldorf: These seats are awful.
Statler: Why? Can’t you see anything?
Waldorf: That’s the problem. I can see everything.

Ensuring your staff and customers aren’t in the cheap seats can be tricky. No one wants to sit in the front row in the movie theater–it’s just too much. At the same time, you don’t want to be stuck behind the person with the big hair, seeing only bits but not the whole picture. Normally the ideal place is in the middle, slightly higher up. Those seats where you have the most space to stretch out, relax and really take everything in!

So how do you get your rental software to help you focus on what’s important? See the bigger picture but not get overwhelmed by too much. I’d like to share with you three ways to help refocus on what’s important within your system.

Tailor Your Screens: Review What Your Staff See

Having the flexibility to reduce down what you are giving your team to see in the system helps them focus on what’s key in your business to know by avoiding having to go through lots of pieces of data. Consider the following questions to help you really drill down to what’s important.

  • What do you need to know from the customer?
  • What helps you determine the price to charge? Let the system do this for you so no-one has to remember or look rates up on spreadsheets.
  • What do you need to know to pick equipment?
  • What helps you pick one piece of equipment over another?

Use configuration to remove options and define defaults/requirements so that it’s not down to the user to remember what they should and shouldn’t charge for or ask for.

Keep it Simple: Consider All Communications with Your Customer

  • Does the contract have too much info or info irrelevant to that customer? Contracts can be customized to fit a specific customer’s needs so if it needs to a specific format that can be done.
  • Being able to let them know quickly what they have on rent instead of having to go through piles of paper work or different dispatch notes. This can be as simple as giving them access to an online portal so they can self-serve what they need and not have to call to check information.

Avoid Paralysis of Analysis: Streamline Your Reporting Provided to Management

So I’m not advocating throwing out all your existing reports, or preventing management from getting what they need, but it’s certainly worth reviewing all your reports. I bet there are few that are being created that aren’t being used–just filed. Or reports that haven’t been run in months.

  • Look at what’s in your reports and consider what it’s telling you, why it’s there and what you use that piece of information for. Is it necessary?
  • If you are using a report to pick up on mistakes, incorrect processing or instances of incorrect charging, then perhaps consider looking further up the line. Perhaps put a process in place that avoids these situations by using the system’s configuration options to prevent information being missed or default useful information within your rental process. That way you don’t have to look for mistakes quite as frequently.
  • Automate your reporting to get the critical information to key stakeholders immediately, rather than on an ad-hoc basis.

And in the words of my favorite guys:

Waldorf: [after the ending theme plays] Uh, Statler?
Statler: Yeah, what?
Waldorf: Is that it?
Statler: Yes, it’s over. How’d you like it?
Waldorf: Uh, I don’t know. I slept through the whole thing.
Statler: Well, you didn’t miss much!

This article was written by Clare McCormick. She is an Implementation Specialist at Wynne and is responsible for ensuring that our customers get the best out of our software and achieve the ROI they want from the application. She has a software training background with a specific emphasis on Sales, CRM and Rental Processing.

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