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Why rental companies should value APIs

API Visual Representation
  • Businesses across all industries are increasingly favoring SaaS solutions, primarily due to the flexibility they provide
  • As a result, it’s never been more important for the tools companies rely on be able to share information with each other (even if they were developed by different vendors)
  • When shopping around for software, businesses should look for solutions with APIs to ensure that any necessary integrations can be established without difficulty

B2B businesses have seen a major change in how they work over the past decade. Manualized business processes that orbited around a few pieces of monolithic software were once the norm. This is no longer the case, and most of the industry has instead seen the rise of a constellation of SaaS applications that provide best-in-breed delivery of business functions.

The equipment rental industry is no exception to this journey. The rise of modern enterprise application stack via platforms like Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and Stripe has revolutionized many of the old ways of doing business. Subscription-based platforms have allowed rental companies to improve their operational flexibility while streamlining finances by eliminating unnecessary CapEx once needed for software licenses.

Many rental operators are finding that this new way of doing things presents new challenges. The proliferation of so many apps has meant a growth in touchpoints for executing business functions, along with a wealth of data. If handled incorrectly, this could mean yet more confusion and complexity and a drag on operations.

But, if a team rises to the challenge, they can find many business operations streamlined and automated. At the same time, they can also discover a wealth of insights that can unlock tremendous value. The key ingredient to delivering lies is application programming interfaces – APIs.

What APIs bring to the table

APIs provide connection points for apps to talk to one another, allowing them to exchange data without human oversight or approval. For rental operators, APIs can provide a major boon. By automating the transmission of data across applications, APIs allow a business unit to quickly act on developments among other teams in an organization.

Take the classic and time-consuming problem of chasing payments from a client. In a world of siloed applications, a team member would have to flag a missed invoice to whoever owns the customer relationship, who would have to chase their client contact. With several points of contact, there’s the risk of a single missed or deleted email undermining the entire process. That’s not to mention the time that such mundane busywork creates.

In this case, an API eliminates this risk and automates much of the task away. When an invoice isn’t registered by the deadline, the application handling that function can send a request via an API to the customer service desk. The customer service desk can then automatically chase a client contact via a standardized email format. This removes most of the room for human error from the workflow, and it’s also far quicker than messaging a colleague in another business unit.

For rental operators, APIs can provide a major boon. By automating the transmission of data across applications, APIs allow a business unit to quickly act on developments among other teams in an organization.

The power of an open API ecosystem

The benefits of adopting an API ecosystem can be tremendous, especially in the case of an “open” ecosystem of APIs. As opposed to a one-to-one API connection between two given apps, in an open API ecosystem, APIs leverage web services to process and handle the intermediate steps between applications. This streamlines and expedites system integration, making it simple to connect applications.

As a result, open APIs allow teams to unchain their ambitions when it comes to the number of apps they wish to connect up. For rental companies, this means new efficiencies for every business function.

For example, rental companies can improve fleet use by automating the sharing of data regarding demand via an open API ecosystem, allowing teams to discover and deploy their assets to the most profitable location they can. This also allows teams to cut downtime for rental assets – using Wynne’s solutions, we’ve seen teams reduce their asset-related downtime by 27%.

We’ve also seen open API ecosystems cut their maintenance costs and reduce turnover of both parts and inventory. This is achieved by automating many communications between procurement, maintenance teams, and suppliers and cutting down on the time to make and process requests for parts or equipment. We’ve seen this have big effects on the bottom line, with some Wynne customers reporting cuts in their production and operating costs of up to 10%.

Making the transition

The SaaS applications many companies are using are powerful and generate tremendous amounts of data. Open APIs allow teams to finally start to leverage this data to create value for their organization. They also cut down on the complexity of the company’s software stack, integrating disparate apps into cohesive wholes.

Whether it be better management of complicated billing and scheduling, balancing asset portfolios and cash flow, improving customer service, or managing the equipment lifecycles, the modern business software environment provides tools to drive major improvements in every workflow in your company. But the key to unlocking this value is an infrastructure founded on open APIs.

With decades of experience, the Wynne team knows what the software ecosystem looks like for rental businesses and how to extract the greatest value for your company. If you’re interested in leveraging open APIs and our knowledge of the rental software stack, the Wynne team is always happy to help. Take a look at our solutions and reach out to a member of our team.

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