Canadian Rental Service

Features
Programs for rental management

This article originally appeared in 2009. You can find our most recent print software showcase here, or browse updated listings in our Software section. - ed
Developers of rental software are unlike the tool and equipment suppliers to the rental industry. Whether you rent compactors and skidsteers or tables and chairs, the products you buy are for your customers. But the rental software you buy is for you.


September 15, 2009
By CANADIAN RENTAL SERVICE

Developers of rental software are unlike the tool and equipment suppliers to the rental industry. Whether you rent compactors and skidsteers or tables and chairs, the products you buy are for your customers. But the rental software you buy is for you.

Ultimately, software is a management tool to help you run your rental operation. Unlike general construction equipment, where one manufacturer’s machine essentially does the same thing as another manufacturer’s machine, employing similar technology, computer program writers are developing software products that are fundamentally different from each other. However, the goals are essentially the same, optimize inventory, save time and money, or assess your Return On Investment (ROI), and each program has its own set of features that go about doing this. It seems the one main thing they have in common is that they help your bottom line because they help you become a better manager. But which one is best suited for you and your rental operation? There are a number of prominent software developers servicing the Canadian market who provide excellent products, which makes the decision making process that much more complicated.

Canadian Rental Service contacted the software developers to provide a summary of their products and one thing became clearly evident: Each company offers a software package that is unique.

Just as these software developers offer their own unique products, each rental company has its own unique operation. Based on your company’s own distinctive needs, this product feature will shed some light on which software supplier is writing the best program for you.

Xgensoft
Xgensoft Rental Manager is Windows-based software specifically designed for small to mid-size party and equipment rental businesses.

The company says the goal of the product is to provide rental companies with affordable, highly functional and reliable software.
Rental Manager is two software packages in one. It combines all the functionality of both a rental management program with a contact management program. You save time and money by managing your inventory and invoicing as well as your customer service and marketing using one program. The Deluxe edition adds a bookkeeping component with a “one-button click” export to QuickBooks. 

“Great functionality at a fabulous price point is a quote from a customer testimonial that we have adopted as our slogan because we feel that it exemplifies the essence of Rental Manager software,” says Diana Saunders of Xgensoft. “We have focused on integrating practical functions that support Rental Manager’s reliable order-entry reservation, inventory tracking and invoicing system to make your job easier,” she says. Examples include, automatic screen resizing, a schedule calendar, inventory lists and availability reports, e-mail capability, data searches on all relevant information, extensive reporting and importing from/exporting to other Windows-based programs (Excel, Text files, Outlook).

Xgensoft offers two versions of the software: Rental Manager 2 (released 2003) and Rental Manager 3 (released 2005).  Rental Manager 3 has the added functionality of kitting, cycle billing, usage tracking, maintenance scheduling and maintenance tracking. Bar code scanning is available for both versions and an ID scanner is also an option for Rental Manager 3. The company provides support and training via phone, email and online sessions. It says that customer satisfaction feedback is critical and it responds to suggestions and requests in yearly updates.
Xgensoft is now expanding its market beyond North America as it plans to make Rental Manager software easily accessible on a worldwide basis.
www.xgensoft.com

Orion Software
Orion Software is well known in the rental industry with its award-winning Sirius Pro, a rental and inventory management software for managing your activities, clients and inventories in an effective manner.
The company says Sirius Pro is a proven, world-class solution with a track record of success; the software has had more than 900 installations in 23 countries and offers the lowest total cost of implementation in the industry.

Orion is constantly seeking to improve its product and now offers an advanced Distribution Module to complement Sirius Pro. This Distribution Module allows rental companies to improve controls when reselling or sub-renting products. Also, Sirius Pro can now be accessed using an iPhone, allowing you to take your business on the road.

Another new addition is the advanced Staff Management module, which is an integrated function that helps the client to allocate staffing on transactions, and provides a calendar of availability to better manage their time. Also, a new customizable Dashboard has been added, permitting the client to avoid using menus, and put all their most commonly used functions and commands on one user-friendly screen.

Many other features have been added, allowing rental companies to expand and optimize the use of Sirius Pro in their rental operations.
“The world of rental is in a constantly evolving state, and Orion Software is dedicated to keeping its clients on the cutting edge to provide them with a measurable return on investment from their management software,” says Steve Milcik from Orion.
www.orion-soft.com

Point-of-Rental Systems
Point-of-Rental Systems is a developer of Microsoft Windows server-based management software for the equipment and party rental industries. “With Internet integration, graphics image storage and the simplicity of the Windows user interface, this software is a breakthrough!” says Wayne Harris from Point-of-Rental Systems, adding that more than 1,100 rental stores have come to appreciate the power and ease of use of Point-of-Rental’s Enterprise software since 1984.
The system writes transactions for rentals, sales, reservations, asset sales, quotes, internal repair orders, and work orders. It has features to clone, prepare a continuation bill, prepare a line item bill, reprint, fax or e-mail transactions. Other standard features are real-time inventory availability, petty cash disbursement accounting, preventive and remedial maintenance, day-at-a-glance dashboard and accounts receivable.

It can interface to most PC-based general ledgers, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) interfacing with Google, Outlook and Microsoft Calendar. It has the ability to attach files to customer, inventory and contract records, party CAD order uploads, and maintain an extensive transaction history, with more than 400 reports and the ability to store up to 15 separate parts databases. 

Other available features include time clock, signature capture, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) reading and imaging of driver licences. It can also do mass e-mailing and mass faxing of statements and closed contracts, purchase orders – integrated with rental and sale inventory – and credit card processing. Qualcomm GPS integration and delivery dispatching is also included “Support is an integral part of your rental management system experience. Point-of-Rental Software support consists of training in your store or at our offices, a complete reference manual and on-screen help,” says Harris.

Monthly and yearly support subscriptions are available that offer toll-free phone support seven days a week. Support subscribers receive software updates at least yearly offering new program features and options. Most support queries are answered without requiring a call back because each member of our support team has years of behind-the-counter rental experience.

The company also organizes an advanced training seminar held at the American Rental Association Rental Show.
www.point-of-rental.com

Solutions by Computer
Rental operators using Enfinity can now offer their customers online visibility into the status of their accounts, with reports that help them manage their equipment usage, budgeting and cash flow. The Customer Internet Portal is the latest customer-facing technology from Solutions, designed to immediately strengthen a rental company’s relationships with its customers by giving them:

  • the ability to create quotations and reservations online using customer specific pricing,
  • a real-time view of all equipment currently on rent by jobsite, showing rates and duration of rentals,
  • a real-time view of all equipment currently reserved, by jobsite,
  • an off-rent request function that designates equipment as ready for pickup,
  • accounts receivable aging with invoice dates,
  • easily accessed, printable screens,
  • secure, convenient log-in from any PC with Internet access,
  • no additional hardware required at the rental business or the customer’s site.

The Portal is among a number of new developments that debuted in February at The Rental Show in Atlanta, Ga., for Solutions’ Windows-based system. The release contains features designed to help tool, event and equipment rental operations maximize return on assets and serve the needs of their customers.

“Our Enfinity platform has proven to be a very strong springboard for technical enhancements such as those produced in Release 2.0. We remain fully committed to the ongoing development of our two flagship rental management systems, Enfinity and CounterPro, for the continued benefit of our users,” says Jack Shea, chief executive officer of Solutions by Computer.

Solutions by Computer has been serving the rental industry since 1982, with more than 1,700 rental companies, 2,000 installed locations and 9,000 licensed users.
 www.solutionsbycomputer.com

Texada Software
Systematic Rental Management (SRM) 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 translates directly into benefits that positively impact a rental company’s 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 for more than 200 locations. The rental industry is constantly growing and changing, and SRM is designed to grow with the customer.

The company says it has been built around intimate 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.

Features include:

  • Quick and easy service: Customers expect quick, easy and consistent service. Rental operators need software that enables personnel to find better, faster methods to deliver. Fewer keystrokes, quicker inventory checking, and easy contract preparation means less wait time for customers.
  • Real-time management reports: Accurate, up-to-the-minute information on revenue, profit and Key Performance Indicators; which of your customers pay promptly and which ones don’t. Do you know which customers are most profitable, what locations are most efficient, where to improve the various service offerings? SRM provides insightful information that can improve revenues and enhance the bottom line.
  • Maximize utilization, minimize downtime: Detailed utilization reporting highlight what is in demand, what is being used frequently and what is sitting in the yard. Downtimes are minimized by pre-scheduling preventative maintenance; functional equipment life increases, profits rise. Software that provides tools to simplify the decision-making process is an absolute requirement for every manager and executive in today’s economic climate.

www.texadasoftware.com

Genisys Software
Genisys Software offers a standard package that includes everything a rental company needs to run their business including inventory tracking for rental items, resale items and parts; the ability to sell new and used items, take trade-ins, do service and work orders, including customer repairs, warranty repairs, and internal repairs. 

The company’s smart phone, based on the Windows Mobile operating system technology, continues to evolve with new features being added all of the time.  Rental operators can now use, for example, pretty inexpensive Bluetooth-based bar code scanners with the phones, making them much more hands free in the field.  “Some models are very rugged and have built-in bar code readers; perfect for this purpose but a bit more expensive. There are also thermal printers that can be worn on your belt that are Bluetooth compatible so receipts can be printed in the field as well,” says Ray Bonestroo of Genisys Software.  “We are always doing integrations to other software packages as well, such as New Holland’s corporate systems for New Holland dealers, Qualcomm’s GPS tracking system and QuickBooks.

Some of the software features include:

  • Kit handling for required or suggested items, with real time inventory availability on sub-items.
  • E-mail or fax monthly statements.
  • E-mail or fax quotes, reservations, contracts, purchase orders or invoices.
  • Dispatch module to help automate deliveries and pick-ups for any given date by truck and drivers/crews.
  • Availability screen that shows inventory for multiple locations (if applicable) along with rental rates or sell price; all on the same screen at the same time.
  •  Extremely simple user interface with very powerful software features.
  • Optional integrated accounting modules (G/L, A/P and payroll) that look and feel exactly like the rest of the package.
  • Time clock software which then feeds the payroll module.
  • Produce over 300 reports, including global reports to bring together multiple locations.
  • The ability to automate any report to run on any printer at any time of the day, week or month.
  • Nightly automated monthly billing of all rental contracts that have been out 28 days or a month if not on a 28 -day cycle

www.genisys.com