With the rapid pace of change in both the equipment rental industry and the technology industry, rental companies can quickly find themselves stuck from a technical standpoint.
Once you create the foundation for your software with the systems that you have previously put in place, you can’t change the way that system works. It is impossible to take advantage of today’s technology on some of the older solutions that equipment rental companies are using. In our work with companies in rental, we’ve seen that while you may be updating your warehousing solution or other systems, the core system that runs your business often gets neglected.
Most of the products that rental companies are running their businesses on today are very transactional in nature; focused on moving the transaction through the system, whether it’s an order that comes in, getting it to the warehouse or yard, getting an invoice out, or getting the financials done. This has been true of business management, or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for the first 25 years of their existence.
However, while the equipment rental industry has been focused on transactions, there has been a digital transformation in the technology industry. We’ve moved from transactional to the cloud, while challenging us to think beyond just the cloud. Digital transformation causes us to ask, “what can we do in the cloud?”.
With modern cloud ERP, we look at how an ERP system can do more than just transact, to how it can make us more efficient, how it can help us stay top of mind with customers.
About 8 years ago, we were introduced to the cloud and the focus started to shift to being mobile-enabled and enabling automated workflows – how can the system take information it is given and either take an action on its own or notify a human to take an action. That’s where the value is – It helps us drive efficiency. It gives us greater insight into what’s right, what’s wrong, and what actions need to take place. It helps us stay top of mind with customers because it is looking for these trigger conditions and then doing something, like sending an email or text to a customer, or notifying a salesperson.
That’s where we are today.
What’s more interesting is where we’re heading in the next 3-4 years. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the software is going the next step to look at other conditions and not just wait for you to interact with it – it’s going to suggest what you should be doing.
Even today, AI and ML are starting to make their way into the software by looking at PDFs and scraping information from a PDF, trying to determine what it is saying, and putting that into the system. Every time it does that, the system is learning and getting more and more accurate. There are lots of applications for that capability within the rental business setting.
When it comes to Digital Transformation, it’s not just about “what can I get if I change my system today.” It’s a question of “how can I stay competitive 3+, 4+ years from now when everyone else is starting to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to have the software help them run their businesses and make smarter decisions, or even making decisions for them in many cases.
To take advantage of where we are today and moving forward, you need to have a modern platform to do that on. That is what is made possible with Rental360 and Acumatica, the fastest selling ERP platform on the market.
Learn more about digital transformation in the food service distribution industry and how Rental360, with Acumatica, can prepare you to thrive today and tomorrow. View this on-demand webinar now!