Choosing rental software is the same as choosing a company that you can fully trust with your business process. When clients request a consultation about this, it is safe to say that their goal is to simplify and automate their business, making overall operations and sales processes easier to manage.
Initially, a company realizes the need for software as they observe their industry, questions like why are competitors faster in gathering information? Why do clients prefer accessing competitors’ websites rather than ours? Most of the time, it is because of their efforts to digitalize their business.
Digitalization is a perfect solution to streamline your business and choosing rental equipment software is the first step to completing the milestone. When selecting a rental software we have a few steps to share.
Identify What Software Features You Need
When choosing the best rental software for your business, the first thing you need to do is identify the most important features you need. There are a lot of different software out there and some only specialize in a certain number of features.
These are just a few examples of popular features that can be a game changer for rental operations:
- Mobility & Cloud Integration
- Real-time Analytics & Reporting
- Rental Ecommerce Integration
- Inventory Management Solutions
- Order Management & Bookings
- Automated Invoicing
Knowing what you need is very important, and understanding the current capabilities of your business is an essential part of this step. What needs to be automated? Which part of the business needs immediate attention? These types of questions are helpful in the process of identifying your needs and wants from a rental software.
List Down Your Rental Software Options
Once you have identified the features you need, the next step is to research and list down the rental equipment software options you can find. Remember to be transparent about your prerequisites and check the pros and cons of each provider.
If there are important features you can’t find, check if there are customization options available. Most of the time, software companies require an additional premium for customizations. If you have a rental software integration partner, it would be best to ask for advice and have them guide you through the selection process.
Check for Free Trial
Software companies with free-trial are confident about their product. Reading through the reviews, user guides, and other materials can only help you understand the product up to a certain extent.
If you have the chance, try to experience the product firsthand. Remember to list down the pros and cons that you have encountered and keep an eye out for your non-negotiables – features that can’t live without. Rate the product based on user experience, design, functionality, and speed.
Documentation & Technical Support
The software can be crafted magnificently, but some companies fail to provide comprehensive documentation on how to use the product. Proper documentation minimizes the errors when setting up and at the same time, guides you through navigating the interface for the first time.
As for technical support, check if they have a good customer rating. Having great after-sales support gives a software company more credibility. A high customer satisfaction rating only means that they are in it for the long run.
Compare Your Experience
Choosing a rental software that fits your needs cannot be rushed, remember that once you have fully integrated with a rental software it might be hard (and sometimes expensive) to re-configure. Making sure that you have done the necessary steps to learn about the product would save you any future hassles.
If you have undergone the free trial and documented your experience, the next step would be to narrow down the selection by ranking them from top to bottom. After selecting the top choice, it is only proper to meet with a representative from the software company and conduct due diligence for any inquiries you might have reserved. Data privacy, acceptable use policy, etc. can also be discussed during the meeting.
Consider Cost and Budget
Rental software comes with different types of payment models, two of the most popular ones are subscription-based and one-time purchases. While doing your research, you might have observed that subscription models are prevalent in the software industry. However, on rare occasions, companies offer a one-time purchase for the license to use their program.
Although a one-time purchase payment model can be cheaper in the long run, the entry cost might be a barrier for many customers because it requires a higher up-front payment. On the other hand, the subscription model enables customers to use the software by conveniently paying a bite-size sum of money on a scheduled interval.
Keeping your cost low and ROI high would always be the bottom line for a business. This is applicable when selecting rental equipment software. When considering cost, you must always look at the bigger picture and understand all angles. How much time would be lost in the implementation? Will the training to use the software hinder the operations drastically? Does it have a direct impact on the customers in a bad way? All these cost and risk factors can be reduced by choosing the right software solution and integration provider to guarantee the benefits of your rental equipment software.
Update your Integration Team
Whether in-house or outsourced, your software integration team should be well-informed about your options, involve them right from the start as they might have technical insights out compatibility, etc. If you do not have a software integration team, make sure that you have done all the necessary steps to learn about the software through its documentation, especially the installation or implementation procedures.