Lunch and learn focuses on using tech in rental
By Brock Huffstutler

Lunch and learn focuses on using tech in rental

On March 30, Massachusetts members gathered over lunch at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Waltham, Mass., to hear insights shared by a panel of industry experts focusing on technology in rental. 

Panel experts included Aaron Hanel of TapGoods, Larry Weeman of Party Track and Blake Wiederstein of Point of Rental. The panel was moderated by Stefani Donabedian of Mobile Air & Power Rentals, who also serves as ARA of Massachusetts president. 

Attendees had the opportunity to ask the experts questions and discover what solutions software companies may have to help run their businesses more smoothly.

Topics discussed by the panel included:

  • Security. “Members were concerned with what is going on with Russia that there could be cyberattacks on small US businesses,” Donabedian says. “Widerstein said to be sure to use password changes, logging in measures, etc., and Weeman advised to ensure all of your devices have security running and are not expired.”
  • Compliance Signatures/AP measures. “Members are finding that certain types of rentals are not easy to do e-signatures with,” Donabedian says. “Initial Box can be a good substitute if you need multiple signatures on a contract. Hanel said that addendums can grab additional signatures or initials. TapGoods time stamps every move within the system. You can also use automation to trigger emails to collect payments or take automatic recurring payments.” She adds that “for signatures ensure you are capturing IP addresses of where the information was entered. Use automation to either run a credit card or send email reminders to run a card. No matter what, be sure to have a card capability.”
  • Integrations. “Weeman said that sometimes it is best to work with vendors who already have the capabilities. All system offer integrations for CRM, tax/accounting, etc.” she says.
  • Future Trends. “Wiederstein said that in the long term, we may go to booking everything rental online, but in order to do that we would need to gather more information from the customer. There can be stop points as well. Hanel said that automating the rental work flow for customers can allow companies to grow on a faster scale without the employees, and try to interface with a website. The modern rental is moving to want to just rent online — if you can offer custom solutions, but then, have the interaction after. Weeman added that you shouldn’t be restrained by what you have — ask what do you want to have, and then work with your vendor to make that happen,” Donabedian says.
  • Dispatch Features. “We learned how to track labor and time to see what the true cost is,” Donabedian says. “And checklists to automate the process. Wiederstein said that to make the process of setting up easier, Point of Rental has a checklist they can go through and a messaging system to the office if questions come up. TapGoods has Automation for delivery — 15 minutes before delivery gets there, a text/email is sent out to contact to ensure delivery can happen on time.”
Brock Huffstutler

Brock HuffstutlerBrock Huffstutler

Brock Huffstutler is the regional news editor for Rental Management. He writes and edits articles for ARA’s In Your Region quarterly regional newsletters, Rental Management, Rental Pulse and other special projects. Outside of work, he enjoys biking and spending time at the few remaining vintage record stores in the region.

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