As the demand for rental machines and equipment grows, companies must continually find ways to avoid losing money, find new customers and improve business efficiency. With the help of Hapn, companies can avoid making assumptions in their business operations, and track their equipment more effectively and efficiently.
This article outlines why rental companies should consider installing GPS technology on their rental equipment, including what some rental companies have to say about Hapn advanced GPS tracking technology. But first, how hectic is it to run a rental company without an efficient GPS solution?
- Running a Rental Company Without GPS Tracking
- Benefits of GPS Tracking for Rental Companies
- Need a Reliable GPS Tracking System? We’ve Got You Covered
Running a Rental Company Without GPS Tracking
Without rental equipment GPS tracking systems, business operations aren't easy. Adventure Boat Rentals, a renowned Missouri boat rental company that recently adopted Hapn tracking, admitted how difficult it was to handle some customer complaints beforehand.
"I didn't get to use my boat all day because of the weather–I want a refund," is one of the common claims they faced. Without a reliable GPS tracker, it was difficult to confirm such assertions.
“One of the greatest things about Hapn is the real-time and historical tracking feature –where we can map out our eight-hour days during the rental times to see the activity,” explained Wade Falming, Owner of Adventure Boat Rentals. “This allows us to go back and say, ‘well, it does say you left here and did all of this, which has helped us a tremendous amount.”
With GPS tracking, Adventure Boat Rentals has the proof of usage they need to maximize business on their rentals.
Other management pains of running a rental company without GPS tracking include the following:
A Lot to Manage
Without an efficient rental equipment GPS tracking system, it's hard for large rental companies to keep track of all their assets.
Adventure Boat Rentals, for example, rents out pontoons, tritoons, and even water toys like paddle boards, kayaks, and tubes at 3 lake locations.
At the end of the day, they should be able to tell where all the boats are and ensure they're returned on time, which could be a lot to handle without GPS tracking. "I once spent 2 hours trying to find a boat because the customers didn't know where they were at half the time," Wade Flaming admitted.
With GPS tracking, Adventure Boat Rentals can now quickly and easily locate rentals and customers without the manual time, effort and work.
Without rental equipment GPS tracking, your assets, vehicles, trailers, and more can become easy targets for thieves. Without a proper tracking system, the most you can do is report the crime to law enforcement, which can take more time than it takes thieves to sell it or scrap it for parts.
Island Golf Carts has been renting out golf carts in Folly Beach, South Carolina, and their operations are based on a model of delivering and picking up golf carts from customers. Without GPS trackers, it was hard to protect and prevent the risk of carts getting stolen and not being found.
“After experiencing some theft, we now have a tracker on each one of our golf carts. So, while it's out, we know exactly where it's at,” explained Annie Morris, Owner of Island Golf Cart Rentals. “Our customers don't know that we have trackers on most of our carts, which is a huge plus – we can keep track of them behind the scenes and our customers can enjoy a fun mode of transportation on vacation.”
Too Much Guesswork
Rental companies that rely on guesswork waste a lot of time managing their ever-increasing client base.
In fact, Wade Falming explained that boaters previously had to drop a pin to the rental company so that rescuers would know where to look for the boat. However, some boaters didn't know how to drop a pin, and the rescue teams often spent hours trying to find a boat because they did not know where to go.
“Now, when customers get lost, we can pull up their location immediately and start guiding them back to us. Most importantly, when we’re going out and doing a rescue, we know where they’re at so we can get to their location.”
Benefits of GPS Tracking for Rental Companies
Below are 7 benefits that Hapn's clients operating rental businesses experience after adopting rental equipment GPS tracking:
Improved Customer Service and Experience
If you manage a rental company, it's important to offer exceptional customer service. This also entails informing your clients about the availability of rentals in real time. With an advanced GPS tracking system, it's easy to monitor the locations of your equipment at any time. You can contact them early if your client has surpassed the deadline or taken a suspicious route.
At Adventure Boat Rentals, all boats are due back by 6 pm. Around 5 or 5:30 pm, employees can now reference the live tracker map to see if any boats may not be back in time –for example, if they are far away, or at a restaurant, etc. Then, they can give them a call as a reminder.
“It helps us to get the boats returned on time, and avoids any late evenings for the employees,” said Wade.
An Extended Business Lifecycle
How you operate your rental company dictates how long your business could last. With advanced real-time reporting from GPS tracking devices, you can avoid downtime or breakdowns affecting your daily rental schedule. By finding out which assets have been in regular use, you'll know when to plan for maintenance and ensure all your rentals are in good condition when needed for hire.
Another benefit Adventure Boat Rentals gets from using a GPS tracking system is maintaining their boats. With trackers on each one, they can see which boats are due for maintenance and when, so they can locate them and take them to the shop. Alternatively, they can also see which boats are at the shop so they can plan accordingly.
Making use of Hapn’s usage reports, lets rental operators know which pieces of machinery need to be serviced without the guesswork. It’s as easy as viewing how many hours each piece of equipment has been running in a given time period.
Even if GPS trackers don't prevent accidents, they can help enhance the safety of your rentals. Hapn smart tracking systems have safety features like Geofence alerts and speed alerts that ensure clients remain within their safety limits. These features help companies to monitor and track their clients' adherence to safety and route boundaries.
Island Golf Carts uses features like Boundaries and Notifications to make sure their customers are where they're supposed to be at all times. "We get an email or an alert through the app, and it's really easy to follow up on and stay updated if anything were to happen," as Annie Morris, the company's owner, said.
"Our customers don't know that we have trackers on most of our carts, which is a huge plus – we can keep track of them behind the scenes, and our customers can enjoy a fun mode of transportation on vacation," she added.
Efficient Monitoring of Equipment Condition
GPS tracking will help you schedule maintenance based on your equipment's runtime. Scheduled maintenance ensures your equipment is continuously in good working order to prevent costly unplanned repairs and breakdowns. Maintenance might be scheduled based on equipment runtime, for example a particular mixer needs to be serviced every 300 hours of usage. Or, maintenance might prove necessary due to more advanced telematics from engine fault code alerts.
For Adventure Boat Rentals, rental GPS tracking helps them to locate the assets due for maintenance and take them to the shop.
The last thing you want is to lose your business assets. Although authorities can get involved, they might have limited resources to help you track or find the equipment without a tracking device. The costly expenditure also takes plenty of time when the authorities play guessing games and can hinder your company's operations. With GPS tracking solutions from Spytec, you can monitor your rentals in real-time and recover them quickly in case of theft.
Thieves though are often sophisticated and have tools such as GPS locators that can make stealing equipment simpler to accomplish. That’s why many companies make the use of redundancy in their tracking, by utilizing a second tracker on an asset. The primary tracker might be hardwired into the equipment, but the secondary tracker would be battery powered and hidden out of sight. A GPS locator would find it difficult to find the secondary tracker, because it would only be transmitting and coming out of sleep mode perhaps once or twice a day for a few seconds.
Reduced Operational Costs
Insurance companies give discounts to rental firms with GPS tracking systems since such tracking minimizes the risks associated with rentals. GPS tracking also provides crucial reports such as overspeeding, fuel usage, and geofence alerts that help you make decisions to minimize fleet operational costs.
Additionally, utilization reports let you know which of your equipment is being underutilized. That way you can only stock the equipment that customers most want to rent and sell off the slow moving inventory.
Improved Tracking of Billable Time and Invoice Accuracy
GPS tracking helps you ditch old manual tracking methods and improve invoice accuracy and billable time. This is important if you bill your clients based on the equipment's runtime. Additionally, monitoring runtime will eliminate human errors and improve productivity.
Wade, for instance, explains that now his company has the potential to know when the boat was in use–and when it was not. "One of the greatest tools about Spytec is the real-time and historical tracking feature —where we can map out our eight-hour days during the rental times to see the activity," explained Wade. "This allows us to go back and say, well, it does say you left here and did all of this,"' which has helped us a tremendous amount."
Often rental agreements will dictate what times a customer is allowed to operate their equipment, and will have overage fees when used otherwise. The agreements also might restrict the locations the equipment is allowed to be used in, another way that clients might incur extra charges.
How to choose a GPS Tracker for Rental Shops?
The first thing you need to determine is whether you are tracking powered or unpowered equipment (or both). For powered equipment, you will need hardwire trackers and for unpowered equipment you will want battery-powered trackers. For very small equipment such as tools, you may need Bluetooth trackers.
Assuming you are able to find the right trackers to fit your particular equipment, the next thing you need to determine is what you need out of the software.
Do you need usage reports to analyze the runtime of your equipment?
Do you need advanced telematics to provide the equipment error codes?
GPS solutions are complex software systems. Therefore, not all GPS solution providers are created equal. The reliability and responsiveness of different systems can make the difference between making impactful mistakes in your business or something even worse.
Need a Reliable Rental Equipment GPS Tracking System? We’ve Got You Covered
If you own a rental company, you need accurate, down-to-the-minute information that tells you where your rentals are so you can gain peace of mind –and easily communicate with your customers if you need to. Hapn helps you enhance customer service, improve operations efficiency, and ensure the total protection of your assets.
Read more about how Hapn helped Adventure Boat Rentals and Island Golf Carts to know more about our solutions for rental companies.
In fact, Wade recommends Hapn. "I would highly recommend Hapn. It has been a great help for our needs, and we're very happy.” You could experience this help too.
Interested in learning more or trying Hapn? Get in touch with us today.