Canadian Rental Service

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Digital world

We live in an increasingly computer focused world, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. And why should it? The right software can help lower costs and increase efficiency.


November 24, 2010
By Anna Dawson

We live in an increasingly computer focused world, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. And why should it? The right software can help lower costs and increase efficiency.

Below we’ve showcased a few of the software packages available for professionals in the rental industry. All information presented comes from the manufacturer.

Inclusion in this section is not intended to constitute an endorsement by Canadian Rental Service magazine or its staff. As with any purchase, please research all of your options thoroughly before making a decision.

Rental Manager Xgensoft
www.xgensoft.com

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Rental Manager is a sales and rental business management tool that is designed for small and mid-sized businesses. It can be used in a networked system to easily accommodate business expansion.

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One handy feature of Rental Manager is the screens that adapt to any screen size, using oversize screens to reduce eye strain. Online payment processing was added earlier in 2010.

Numerous features and reports allow the user to organize and track many information streams, such as customer information, rentals, sales, invoices, payments and inventory.

The most recent Rental Manager release (Rental Manager 3 in 2007) included new functions such as ID-scan peripheral management, maintenance scheduling and tracking as well as kitting. Rental Manager is Windows-based and the Deluxe Edition includes one-button export to Quickbooks. The software is recommended for rental businesses that organize inventory in kits, equipment rental businesses that track usage and maintenance of equipment, and rental businesses that prefer to cycle-bill for extended contracts.

Rental Manager offers full support for its products (including demos) by phone, e-mail and Internet. A free demo is available for download on their website.

Rental Manager offers a variety of generic forms for your use, such as contracts, invoices, and delivery and pickup notices. Rental Manager also offers tax structures up to six decimal places.
Information is secure with Rental Manager, with user identification, log in codes and security status to regulate program accessibility.

RentMaster RentMaster, Inc.
www.rentmaster.info

RentMaster constantly works on its software to offer customers new features and improve performance.

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Inventory features include unlimited categories and subcategories, the ability to mark any category as “For sale”, unlimited product information, one-click add for multiple items, unlimited images per product and much more. Key order features include real-time inventory checking, payment history, special order discounts and an easily searchable and expandable customer database.

RentMaster offers export ability and compatibility with a number of other software programs. Information can be exported and synchronized to Microsoft Outlook, Intuit QuickBooks and Microsoft Outlook Calendar. Driving directions and maps can conveniently be attached with Microsoft MapPoint or MapQuest. Data can be saved in a number of different formats (HTML, XML, PDF, XLS and TXT) and reports can be likewise exported in a variety of formats (TXT, IMG, PDF, RTF and XLS).

RentMaster offers the option to e-mail rental agreements to customers as well as support for real-time credit card processing.

RentMaster offters the ability to easily convert quotes to orders by simply adding customer information. The software automatically verifies quotes when turning them into orders to ensure inventory is available.

An unlimited number of customers can be saved in the RentMaster system, including multiple addresses for a single customer. Customers can be categorized into custom defined categories.

RentMaster offers the capability to store driver’s Licence images and credit card details for customer profiles, with one-click access to the customer’s order and payment history. A repository is also available for related customer files, such as signed contracts, proof of insurance and other documents.

Sirius Pro Orion Software
www.orion-soft.com

Sirius Pro is a full-featured product that the company says enables you to track your activities and inventories effectively, thereby improving your controls, revenue, and ROI. Along with all the standard features found in most established rental software products such as quotes, reservations, contracts and invoicing, availability calendars, serial number management and fax/e-mail capability, multiple advanced capabilities are offered in the standard version. This includes picture and document integration, sales by scenarios, project billing, and maintenance and repairs history. A dashboard allows you to access the most common functions on a single screen and receive a snapshot of daily operation in a list or graphical format.

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Orion Software has also introduced many new features and add-on modules to enhance Sirius Pro.
 One is the new Distribution Module, which integrates all customer special purchase orders and reservations with a supplier’s purchases and sub-rentals, as well as with inter-branch transfer capabilities. The idea is to empower operation and purchase managers in order to efficiently fulfil customer needs using different equipment sources. Branch transfers, sub-rentals and purchases will be facilitated and prioritized in order to satisfy the customers’ expectations.

 Other modules include a Web Shopping Cart that gives your company 24/7 visibility, a Preventive Maintenance Module that allows you to schedule regular and ongoing maintenance of all your equipment, the Electronic Signature pad that enables you to record and store signed customer documents in an electronic format, and a Call Center to improve the management of sales and service activities.

 In addition, Sirius Pro is now offered on the iPad. This new system makes it possible to take your business on the road with real-time access and the creation of a rental agreement in the field.

Enterprise Point-of-Rental Systems
www.point-of-rental.com

Point-of-Rental Systems has a long history. The company was created by former software engineers who had opened their own rental store in 1982, and soon realized that many concepts they had worked on at NASA could be applied to rental management.

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Enterprise by Point-of-Rental Systems is a new generation of rental management software that offers Internet integration, graphic image storage, faster processing and the simplicity of the Microsoft Windows user interface. The software package is available in multi-store, multi-user and single-user configurations.

The focus is on transaction processing. Contracts, reservations, quotes, asset sales and work orders are created using the same user interface. Partial closes, partial quantity closes (scaffold), return of sale items and sales of broken items are all logically processed on the same contract. Contracts can be easily modified, cancelled and even cloned. 

Hour meter, diamond blade, odometer, helium and fuel readings are stored, prompted for upon return, and then automatically priced. Account customer records contain personnel authorized to rent and dunning call history. Inventory item records store preventive and remedial maintenance history for serialized inventory. Extensive transaction, income and payment history is automatically stored monthly for 10 years in the transaction, customer and item records.

Extensive parameters optimize the software for different environments such as party and/or equipment rental. Parameterized security down to the field level is provided via operator IDs and passwords.

According to Point-of-Rental, staff can learn the system quickly, as it features on-screen help and uses the familiar Microsoft Windows user interface. In addition, Point-of-Rental maintains a separate training database that is updated daily. New features are added frequently and provided at no additional cost to those subscribing to Point-of-Rental’s software subscription service. 

Enfinity SaaS Solutions By Computer

www.solutionsbycomputer.com

According to the company, Enfinity SaaS offers the maximum benefits of a rental software solution with minimal investment. The software does away with the need for an onsite server, as Solutions by Computer administers the whole system.

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Transaction flexibility allows for processing in any sequence. There is no predefined mandatory process in rental period, inventory information or customer information.

The Enfinity SaaS system’s database manage management allows you to define elements such as rate structures, accounting relationships, product classes, depreciation and other attributes. It also allows you to utilize customer-specific pricing and transaction printing formats.

The software also provides the ability to record collection activity and view customer payment commitments historically, review and/or modify prior payment applications, and view a graph of historical “days to pay.”

EnfinitySaaS comes standard with dozens of the most common management reports as well as customized versions of reports to help you utilize your information.

Systematic Rental Management Texada Software
 www.texadasoftware.com

Systematic Rental Management (SRM) is a full function package that manages all rental operations from counter to customer. Features include full web integration, complete financials and back-office, and full fleet management from purchasing through maintenance to disposal.

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According to Texada, professional database support and enterprise class system performance has been proven at single deployments of over 500 users and over 200 locations. The customers’ business is constantly growing and changing, and SRM is designed to grow with the customer.
The company says that SRM has been built around intimate practical knowledge of the equipment rental business, utilizing best management features and functionality.

Highlights include accurate, up-to-the-minute information on revenue, profit and Key Performance Indicators, including which of your customers pay promptly and which don’t. In addition, detailed utilization reporting highlights what’s in demand, what’s being used frequently and what’s sitting in the yard. Downtimes are minimized by pre-scheduling preventive maintenance.

SOFTWARE PURCHASE CHECKLIST

  • Determine your needs. Before you even start looking for new software, figure out what you’re going to want it to do. Don’t limit yourself to what you think is possible. It may turn out that software exists that performs even better than your wildest imaginings. You won’t find it if you set your sights too low.
  • Solicit input. You’re probably not the only using it, and staff morale will decrease if they’re forced to use software that is difficult to operate. Talk to your suppliers as well and see what they think. Reach out to competitors and see what they’re using.
  • Determine your budget. Don’t forget that you’re not just purchasing the software. You might need new hardware as well, and budgeting for support services is absolutely vital. As a general rule of thumb, the more you want the software to do, and the more customization that’s needed, the higher the price will be.
  • Determine your top picks. You might be able to eliminate quite a few packages right off the bat. Take a closer look at the products that meet your standards, and thoroughly research them.
  • Make your final decision. An important point to bear in mind is that you’re not just purchasing software; you’re basically hiring a vendor. If you like the product, but dislike the person selling and maintaining it, then it’s probably best to look for something else.


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