Product Showcase: September 2011
By Canadian Rental Magazine
Software solutions Apply a little machine intelligence to your operation.
By Canadian Rental Magazine
Software as a service
Orion Software recently announced the launch of a new hosting service, SAAS (Software as a Service). The launch will enable Orion Software to offer Sirius Pro software within a cloud environment along with the client suite of applications to provide a fully mobile solution. “Cloud computing is not a lease-versus-buy decision anymore, it is less expensive in the long term,” says Orion Software president and CEO, Patrice Boivin. “Cloud does not only offer a usage base and reliable solutions, it also opens the door to completely new functions integrated in a fully mobile suite. You can now manage all your business from a pad.” With the ability to handle massive volumes of traffic and ensure consistent availability and uptime, Orion Software offers improvements to customers’ IT infrastructure by rapidly scaling operational efficiency, and by offering better quality of service and flexibility.
The GPS integration feature in the latest version of Point-of-Rental Systems’ Dispatch Center is designed to put your dispatcher in the driver’s seat, providing the tools needed to succeed and allowing for superior customer service. Using GPS devices from TSO Mobile, along with a subscription to the data feed and the Point-of-Rental dispatch centre, your dispatcher can send stop-by-stop instructions or messages directly to your vehicles. The driver can view the stops on the display, hear turn-by-turn directions, and receive messages on the unit. The GPS unit transmits the arrival and departure time displaying real-time stop statuses and on-time reporting. In addition, reports may be generated to view vehicle speeds and routes.
Anchor selection app
The Hilti Anchor Selector application for the iPhone puts anchor selection at your fingertips. Designed to assist professionals in choosing the best anchor for their applications, the Hilti Anchor Selector app is now available on iTunes at no charge. The first of its kind, the Hilti app allows users to browse and choose anchors based on a variety of criteria, including load values, location, base material and baseplate geometry.
A Find Anchor feature makes searching for general information about a Hilti anchor easy and includes valuable information such as hole diameter, embedment depth, setting instructions and list of tools needed for installation. Using the My Favorites function allows users to save their searched or most frequently used anchors for quick reference in the future. Rental operators could find the Hilti Anchor Selector to be a valuable tool when consulting customers on a wide variety of construction projects. The Hilti Anchor Selector app can be downloaded from iTunes at www.us.hilti.com/iphoneapp. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad with software versions 4.2 or newer.
EMS Global Resource Management has introduced the LXE Marathon field computer. The device runs Windows XP with an ergonomic form factor and multiple data input options. EMS says it can be used to automate walk-around inspections to increase ROI for rental operators. Check-in/check-out, renter safety training, and upsell/cross-sell are just three of the processes that are more effective and efficient when delivered at the side of the equipment being rented, rather than in an office. The Marathon Field Computer offers rugged, ergonomic performance that makes rental businesses more productive and profitable when paired with @hand enterprise mobility software. The Marathon is designed to streamline unproductive steps within existing processes. Tasks that involve data input on paper forms or walking back to a PC to find data are inherently wasteful, yet most enterprises have been hard-pressed to automate them. The Marathon is designed to put laptop computing power into a form a worker can use anywhere. The computer weighs less than a kilogram and connects through an 802.11 a/b/g/n. It is powered by and Intel Atom processor. The Marathon offers multiple built-in data-entry options, including a seven-inch, outdoor-visible touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, an integrated fingerprint reader that doubles as a mouse and a high-resolution colour camera. SmartDock cradles allow one-handed undocking and user-friendly peripheral interfaces for both desk and vehicle setups. Additional accessories include a magnetic stripe reader, a 2-D imager and extended-life batteries for continuous eight- to 12-hour operation. All of these mount securely to the unit while maintaining and overall IP rating of IP65 for protection against dust and water.
Mobile card swiper
NetSecure Technologies has launched a mobile payment solution in Canada called Kudos. Kudos is a service allowing small-business owners to start accepting credit card payments on the spot via swipe terminals compatible with desktops, laptops and smartphones (iOS, Android and Research in Motion platforms).
Mobile payments have proven extremely successful in the United States, dominated by a startup called Square that provides a free service for credit card acceptance, charging users a flat rate for all transactions. This service has already been adopted by hundreds of thousands of small-scale merchants. Unfortunately for Canadians, Square is only available in the United States, leaving a vacuum for credit card acceptance for small businesses in Canada.
“Up until now, the Canadian market’s mobile payment arena has been virtually non-existent,” says McCann.
“Through the introduction of Kudos, NetSecure is bringing Square-style payments to Canada for the very first time, making it affordable and convenient for small-business owners to start accepting card payments and growing their businesses.”
The Kudos credit card acceptance kit serves as a complete POS-in-a-box solution for small-business owners. Equipped with a swipe terminal, POS software and a merchant account, users can begin accepting credit card payments through their smartphones or laptops for a flat rate of 2.9 per cent per transaction, with no monthly or ongoing fees.
Kudos’ key advantages are no limitations on the number of transactions and the added benefit of compatibility with RIM platforms, such as BlackBerry. Kudos also implements full end-to-end encryption, ensuring security for sensitive data.
Comprehensive rental package
Systematic Rental Management (SRM) from Texada Software is a full-function package that effectively manages all rental operations from counter to customer with full web integration, complete financials and back-office and full fleet management from purchasing through maintenance to disposal. Streamlined workflow and improved efficiencies translate directly into benefits that positively impact your bottom line. Nothing risks revenue like making customers wait at the counter or on the jobsite. SRM offers reliable system performance and quicker contract generation, with fewer keystrokes, greater accuracy and less wait time. Professional database support and enterprise class system performance has been proven at single deployments of over 500 users and over 200 locations. Your customer’s business is constantly growing and changing, and SRM is designed to grow with the customer. SRM has been built around practical knowledge of the equipment rental business, utilizing best management features and functionality. The management team at Texada Software has operated and managed with some of North America’s leading rental houses comprising multiple divisions and significant fleets. Texada Software provides clients with a partner that truly understands the tools necessary for success.
Integrates all information
Rental Manager from Xgensoft in Newmarket, Ont., is a total solution that addresses the time management challenges of those who own smaller and expanding businesses. It integrates all the information from rental administration, inventory tracking, and customer records into reports, organizational tools and marketing tools. Secure online payment processing, a seamless export of invoices and payments to QuickBooks, and an extensive reporting package provide the financial tools for daily and fiscal management. Organizational tools include an availability and overbooking monitor, a schedule calendar, kitting, maintenance tracking, cycle billing and bar code operations. All of this information is easily accessible from the main order screen to expedite the entire reservation, order and invoicing process.
Rental Manager 2 or 3 runs as a stand-alone or networked system on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 Professional, 32- and 64-bit machines. The 2011 release, written in Access 2007, provides faster data retrieval with significantly more simultaneous users accessing the data.
In the cloud
Solutions by Computer (SBC) has the inventory management solution for rental companies that want to gain rapid competitive advantages at an extremely affordable price point. Enfinity SaaS can dramatically reduce a rental company’s upfront costs and eliminate the need for a system manager in large operations by moving traditional server functionality to the cloud over the Internet. Repetitive maintenance tasks such as data archiving are handled automatically. Enfinity SaaS is sold on a subscription basis. It includes access to Enfinity’s latest range of rental applications introduced on Release 3.0, including Pull-for-Delivery order staging and change tracking; assemblies-enhanced kit capabilities for items that are often combined into a single rentable unit; but may also be rented separately, physical inventory-taking while open for business, with automatic adjustments to counts as transactions occur; and operational enhancements related to e-mailed documents; reservation-stage revenues; on-screen shortcuts; and more. Award-winning Enfinity software also provides intuitive tracking and processing of all rental transaction types, and can give end-renters the option of accessing their account information and reserving rentals through a secure Internet portal.
Windward’s RentalPOS is specifically designed to provide solutions for rental businesses, and is fully scalable to meet the needs of any size operation. Product features include rental history, easy access to rental equipment, easy up-selling, POS hardware integration, full costing, damage deposit handling, equipment notes and flexible rates.
Party rental software
With a range of flexible, easy-to-use features, RentMaster allows users to finally have high-powered control over all rentals and schedules. Inventory can be organized with as many categories and subcategories as desired. Paperwork is simplified by having rental equipment and items for sale on the same invoice. Users can save time and hassle by entering multiple items with one single click. Orders are streamlined with real-time inventory availability checks. The customer database is easy to use, searchable by any field and simple to update on the fly. Custom order status values are available, including reserved, shipped, received and cancelled. The payments history allows users to quickly accept and record multiple payments with a full range of different payment options (check, cash, credit card and more). RentMaster handles special order discounts, customizable delivery types and customizable payment methods as well.
Now on iPad
RMI Corporation has announced that its Advantage solution is now compatible with tablet computers and additional mobile devices. The announcement serves to add the Apple iPad to the list of devices supported by Advantage and RMI’s Help Desk Institute certified client services team. The tablet compatibility service takes effect for all Advantage Cloud customers providing even more value to the Advantage Cloud solution with no additional cost to customers. This enhancement enables customers to log into their Advantage account from virtually any mobile device, offering users the opportunity to work from absolutely anywhere with access to all the same resources they have at their desk. Tablet computers, with their lightweight and space-optimized design, enable true mobility by eliminating the need to cart around or even own a laptop or netbook. Accessible features include but are not limited to: RMI Advantage Classic, RMI Advantage Role Centers, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Business Online Productivity Suite (BPOS soon to become Office 365), SharePoint, SQL Reporting and Customer Portal.