Leveraging Technology to Overcome the Equipment Rental Labor Shortage


 “The Great Resignation” which saw millions of employees quit their jobs during the pandemic has resulted in a severe staffing shortage for businesses in every industry. This is also true for the equipment rental industry. The American Rental Association (ARA) recently reported over 4000 available job postings in their portal.

This creates a costly and complex problem for companies who rent equipment while they try to grow their businesses in a time of high demand with limited labor resources.

Studies show that it costs between 21% to 75% of an employees salary to find and train their replacement. Therefore, employee retention should be a top priority for equipment rental companies.

Strategies that may help equipment rental companies retain their employees include:

  1. Offer flexible workspace options
  2. Nurture an engaging company culture
  3. Build strength through diversity
  4. Optimize current teams and resources with modern technology, like ERP systems.

A new SMB Group Infographic states that two thirds of SMBs worry about the talent shortage, but they’re also confident that they’ll meet their hiring goals in the coming year. Their confidence is based on taking specific actions to alleviate the concern, including using technology to automate tasks and replace human labor.

“SMBs are…putting automation to work to automate tasks and replace human labor—enabling their employees to spend more time on higher value, more engaging work,” the Infographic notes.

View our “Leverage Technology to Overcome the Rental Labor Shortage” webinar On-Demand

How ERP Systems Can Help

ERP systems are comprehensive business management solutions that gather and sync data from every department into a centralized database. They help streamline workflows, automate business processes, and integrate disparate systems. If the system is cloud-based, team members can access the system from anywhere and at any time.

With ERP systems, people, processes, and records are brought together under one umbrella. Employees don’t have to switch from one system to another, saving them time and effort. Managers have a 360-degree-view of the business, including the workload and resourcing of their teams, which provides insight into where and why pain points exist.

Working smarter with fewer people is a reality when equipment rental companies implement the right ERP system.

See the “Proven Practices for Overcoming Today’s Rental Labor Shortage” Solution Brief to Learn More

Elements of ERP to Attract, Retail, and Optimize Talent

There are some common elements that all companies that rent out equipment need in a modern ERP system in order to help them do more with fewer people:

Easy to Use

If an ERP system isn’t intuitive, your people will not embrace or adopt it. People today are accustomed to having easy access to apps for any function in their lives. The same should be true of the systems they need to use for work. The more user friendly an ERP is, the more benefit your company will realize from your employees using it.

Easy Reporting Without IT

When it comes to doing reporting, none of us like calling the IT department and asking them to create this report, and then begging for days or weeks because they have other, more pressing priorities.

Likewise, it isn’t beneficial to only have one or two people in the company that may know how to do Excel pivot tables, or some of the other things that everyone else relies upon for reporting.

Today’s users are smart, and if they can get data into Excel, or can create reporting that’s easy for them to modify, or to be able to filter and sort, then your whole organization will operate more efficiently. That’s really what people want. They want information quickly, so your technology needs to be able to deliver it to them quickly.

Remote Accessibility & Mobility

Because workers today prioritize flexibility of work location and environment, remote accessibility is essential.

Whether it’s working from a home office, on a laptop at a hotel, using a tablet as a sales rep going on site to a customer site, or on a phone doing approvals or collecting sign-off at equipment delivery, your people want to be able to access all of the data they need anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Leading Technology & Ongoing Development

Technology is advancing quickly. It’s important to work with an ERP vendor that has the flexibility to integrate with and adapt to new technology, and that is continuing to develop their solution to keep pace with relevant changes.

Built for Equipment Rental

When researching ERP systems, it’s crucial to find one that is designed to meet the needs of your specific business. Systems created by equipment rental industry experts provide generic ERP capabilities as well as specialized features tailored to meet your unique operational needs.

In addition to being industry-specific, the best ERP system should answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Can it be customized?
  • Are there cross-module workflows?
  • Does it provide real-time insights?
  • Is there low-code/no-code development functionality?
  • Is the solution affordable?
  • Does it integrate with critical third-party applications?
  • Can the system scale as the business scales?
  • Is the ERP vendor trustworthy?

How Rental360 and Acumatica Can Help

Acumatica’s award-winning cloud ERP software is built for the cloud, helping businesses thrive even in disruptive circumstances. Rental360 is a complete equipment rental solution built into the Acumatica platform that is certified by the ARA.

See the “Proven Practices for Overcoming Today’s Rental Labor Shortage” Solution Brief to Learn More

View our “Leverage Technology to Overcome the Rental Labor Shortage” webinar On-Demand

Originally published on June 8, 2022. Updated for relevancy and accuracy on September 15, 2022.