There’s no one-size-fits-all equipment rental software suite that can cater to all business models or types of equipment.
Many businesses need software that helps simplify online rentals, while others need to manage on-premise rental sales activity or electronic invoicing. Software suited to commercial equipment rental might differ greatly from software for party and event equipment rental.
Check out our buyer’s guide to find more information about equipment rental software and the functionality you’re likely to need for your business:
Equipment rental software is used for managing inventory, reservations, and maintenance of rentable assets. This software also assists with generating quotes and proposals and handling payment processing.
Equipment rental software is used for managing both the customer experience side and your business’s operational side:
From the customer experience side, you’ll want software that makes it easy for customers to see what you have available and allows customers to reserve the equipment they need online. The customer should be able to schedule a date to pick up the rental or schedule a time for you to drop the equipment off to them. When the customer is done, they should be able to either drop the equipment off or schedule a time for you to pick it back up.
From the operational side, you need to be able to keep records of all the rentable equipment you own. You can assign SKUs and catalog the equipment in your system to keep track of what you have available and what is being used. You’ll also be able to schedule pickups and preventative maintenance.
|Asset Tracking||Track the location of your rentable assets and who is using the asset.|
|Maintenance Management||Track maintenance history, upcoming preventative maintenance schedules, and predictive maintenance.|
|Lease Management||Store and access signed leases and review lease terms.|
|GPS Tracking & Asset Tagging||Use GPS tracking to see the current location of the asset. Tag the asset with a barcode, QR code, or RFID to scan your assets to find information on where it’s located, the cost of the asset, who is using it, and when maintenance should be performed.|
|Order Management and Tracking||Track the entire order process from receipt of payment to return of the equipment. Send late fees if the asset isn’t returned on time.|
|Invoicing||Create billing documents that detail the customer’s payment obligations.|
|Accounting||Track revenue and expenses with modules including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and a general ledger.|
|Fixed Asset Management||Track the cost, valuation, depreciation, and gain or loss on the assets you rent out.|
Having all of your important documents available in one place will keep your business more organized. You will be able to easily:
Equipment rental software will provide you with maintenance history data, as well as send notifications for predictive and preventative maintenance. When you stay on top of repairs and maintenance, the assets you rent out will have a longer lifespan, allowing you to continue renting them out longer.
Knowing whether or not your rentable assets are in use is critical for increasing ROI and reducing downtime. Equipment rental software makes it easy to see which assets are in use and which aren’t, so you can push the assets you have on hand, keeping them rented out more frequently.
Small businesses and rental only businesses (no sales): A small business or rental only business will get by with basic features like inventory management, accounting to track accounts payable and accounts receivable, and document management. You’ll want to be able to stay organized and easily view rental schedules, so you know which assets will be available at future dates to schedule more customers in the future.
Businesses with both equipment rentals and sales: If your business provides both rental and sales, you’ll want everything that equipment rental software features as well as some additional modules or system that tracks point of sale. Your inventory management system needs to be able to distinguish between items for sale or rent, as well.
Large equipment rental businesses: Businesses that rent out heavy machinery and large equipment especially need equipment rental software that provides preventative and predictive maintenance scheduling and notifications.
Rental management software is used by many sectors including, but not limited to:
|Industry/Business Type||Some Example Software Features To Look For:|
|Construction & Tool||GPS tracking and RFID tagging to track the whereabouts of your equipment.
Predictive and preventative maintenance to keep your equipment running smoothly.
|Commercial & Industrial Machinery||Preventative and predictive maintenance scheduling and notifications to reduce downtime.|
|Oilfield Tools||Asset tracking to manage the location and utilization of your equipment.
Maintenance and repair scheduling to ensure your oilfield tools are working properly.
RTMS is a popular solution that tracks location, utilization, cost, and revenue of oilfield equipment you own or rent.
|Automotive||Lease management to store and access signed lease terms and agreements.
GPS tracking to track the location of your vehicles and avoid theft.
|IT and Assistive Technology||Service maintenance reminders and scheduling to keep the equipment up-to-date and running smoothly.
Online rental scheduling to keep track of checked out equipment and avoid double-booking the same piece of equipment.
|AV||Asset tracking with the ability to easily store and access technical information on your equipment’s specs.|
|Party & Event||Inventory tracking to keep track of the props and decorations you have on-hand and in-use.
Schedule when the equipment or items will be in use to ensure they will be available when the customer needs them.
|Sports & Recreational Gear||Inventory tracking to manage large amounts of equipment.
Maintenance management to track repairs needed and recording if there is damage after the equipment is returned.
For many small businesses, QuickBooks is great for handling basic accounting. Some equipment rental software integrates easily with QuickBooks. The QuickBooks Apps store also lets you link various software solutions to your QuickBooks Online account. QuickBooks Apps lists some equipment rental software solutions including:
If you’re planning on keeping an existing accounting system like QuickBooks, be sure to check that your new equipment rental solution will integrate.
Keeping important information secure. Your rental equipment software will be storing sensitive information including the location of your expensive assets, as well as customer contact and billing information. The solution you choose needs to have security features to protect all of your private information.
Adapting to changing trends in your industry. Many rental businesses need to modify or expand the selection of rental equipment they offer to keep up with the evolving trends in their industry. The equipment rental software you choose needs to be able to not only manage what you have now but be flexible to grow as your business grows.
Keeping organized billing, invoicing, and contracts. Without equipment rental software, keeping track of recurring invoices, late fees, and signed contracts is extremely difficult. Forgetting to invoice a customer or incur a late fee when necessary will cost you. Equipment rental software will automate invoice payment reminders, send alerts for contract renewals, and assist with invoicing.
Unorganized or non-existent inventory tracking. If you don’t have a system for managing inventory or are using pen and paper or excel, you are likely losing money. Without software, it’s significantly more difficult to manage reservations and inventories. You could have equipment sitting around for long periods of time or accidentally double-book the same piece of equipment, causing you to lose business. Equipment rental software makes it easy to see what you have available and when the equipment is scheduled to be used.
Online equipment renting. More and more people and businesses prefer to rent equipment online. Having a system that lets customers see your available inventory and make rental reservations online is important today.
GPS tracking. ForConstructionPros.com’s article “Software Trends and Tomorrow’s Rental Business” states that GPS tracking is being used by more equipment rental companies than before. The size and cost of GPS tracking devices have been going down, making it a more viable option for businesses. Track your equipment’s location and deter theft with the GPS tracking functionalities in equipment rental software.
Technological advances are positively impacting the equipment rental industries. According to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365’s article: “How Tech is Changing the Equipment Rental Market”, technological advancements in equipment and tools are making it more financially viable for businesses to rent instead of pay a large amount upfront to own the equipment. Many businesses also want to try out new technology before purchase, making renting a more practical option.
Rental industries seeing revenue growth. As reported by Construction Business Owner, equipment rental industry revenue is projected to grow steadily through 2021. Equipment Trader’s article “Equipment Rental Trends: How Big is the Boom” reported: “In 2017, a whopping 77% of construction survey respondents report that, compared to last year, they are maintaining or increasing their equipment rental usage. Only 23% are decreasing how much they use rented machinery.” Make sure your business has the right rental equipment software to keep growing your business along with the growing demand.
Manufacturers are designing equipment with the rental industry in mind. According to ForConstructionPros.com’s article “Strong Rental Market Drives Equipment Design”, the Great Recession made many construction contractors turn to rental equipment to save money. In response, manufacturers have started designing equipment with fewer bells and whistles and focused more on durability and simplicity to increase ROI for equipment rental businesses.
Increasing competition in the equipment rental industry. The growing demand for rental equipment and technological advances like telematics and the Internet of things has made it easier for more businesses to get into the rental industry. ConstructConnect found that “even companies not traditionally involved in renting heavy construction machinery now play this game successfully (Home Depot, Hertz, etc.)”. With increasing competition, it’s important to stay up-to-date with great equipment rental software to provide your customers with fast, reliable services.