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DIFOT, the Metric Every Rental Company Should Be Tracking

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When it comes to gauging the satisfaction of their customers, rental companies have a myriad of methods to choose from. Surveys, a go-to approach for many businesses, straddle the line between art and science. As a result, while thoughtfully developed surveys can return valuable insights, the results they yield are inherently derived from subjective emotions and opinions.

KPIs on the other hand deliver the exact opposite–hard numbers that, when interpreted correctly, provide companies with a clear understanding of what areas they are excelling in and what aspects of their businesses they need to improve. Delivery in full, on time (DIFOT for short), is one such metric.

In the context of the equipment rental industry, DIFOT measures how reliably companies deliver equipment at the correct time and with the correct quantity of items requested, all in working condition. Those factors are what customers care about the most, and as a result, DIFOT performance can be viewed as a clear indication of overall customer satisfaction.

Understanding the Metric

In most instances, DIFOT is expressed as a percentage. For example, if a rental company fulfills 93 of every 100 deliveries within time and as exactly as the customer requested, they would have a DIFOT of 93%. It’s as simple as that. In fact, a core aspect of what makes DIFOT such a useful KPI is the fact that it is so straightforward. Clear as day, DIFOT indicates how consistently businesses are able to deliver the level of service their customers expect from them. With that knowledge, companies can then work to improve their equipment operations.

Setting DIFOT Goals

Once a rental company has determined their DIFOT, they can evaluate how satisfied they are with their delivery performance. If they are content with their record, they can simply monitor their DIFOT at regular intervals to ensure it doesn’t drop. Conversely, if a rental firm wishes to improve their DIFOT, they can set quarterly DIFOT improvement goals. In order to achieve that steady improvement, it’s crucial that rental companies identify their operational bottlenecks and/or what’s causing their deliveries to be late or incomplete. Is suboptimal maintenance performance to blame? Is their delivery process in need of improvement? Whatever the cause, in order to actually leverage the DIFOT metric into real-world business gains, companies looking to improve must change their processes for the better.

The Ultimate Goal

Consumers are savvy and they understand that they have many options when it comes to equipment rental. As a result, in order to retain customers, it’s crucial that rental companies consistently deliver on the promises they make. By keeping a close eye on their DIFOT, companies can understand how effective they are at fulfilling the most core aspect of their customer experience. At the end of the day, DIFOT is just a percentage. It’s ultimately up to rental companies to take the information DIFOT provides to them in order to implement changes that result in noticeable business improvement.

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