Selecting the right equipment rental software is no easy feat. After coming to the conclusion that your business should start researching vendors, the first thing you’ll likely do is a Google search just to see what’s out there. As of May 1st, 2017, my search for “equipment rental software” generated 39.7 million results. I got to page 10 of my search results before I stopped looking, but that’s at least 100 viable software options.
Part of my job is to ask prospects what they want from their rental software. That question is easily answered, usually encompassing the ability to invoice, track equipment, analyze utilization—everything you require to run your business effectively. My next question is usually where I stump them (unintentionally, of course): What are your long-term strategies? Three years, five years, or even ten years down the road? It seems like an odd question coming from a vendor. Why do we want to know that?
Well, two reasons. Not only do we want to make sure that we’re a suitable fit, but we also want to know how our software aligns with your company’s goals. What features in our software will enhance your ability to get where you want to go?
We are consistent in our approach that your software should be tailored to how you do business, not dictate how it should be. Knowing the features you must have, would like to have and those that are irrelevant are important when approaching vendors. But understanding your company’s goals and whether or not your newly implemented software can help you achieve them is equally as essential.
Let’s take financial growth as one of your company’s goals. What kind of growth are you looking to achieve—organic growth or by means of acquisitions? Organic growth could mean you need software that can manage a slow but steady increase in transactions year-over-year, whereas growth via acquisition would warrant a software that can immediately scale up, regardless of the number of companies or locations you merge or take on. This difference is what will ultimately define what your software needs in order for your business to achieve success.
So when it comes time to start short-listing vendors, be mindful of where it is your company is headed in addition to what functionality is required. This will help define what it is, exactly, that you should want from your equipment rental software.