Anastasia van der Wielen Anastasia van der Wielen
Aug 2, 2023 10:28:17 AM

The equipment rental industry is embracing digital transformation, and one of the key drivers of this revolution is the Internet of Things (IoT). By leveraging IoT technology, rental companies can unlock new levels of efficiency, visibility, and customer satisfaction.

As a provider of equipment rental software, we at STAEDEAN constantly aim to innovate and enhance our solution so rental companies can stay competitive.

In this article, we will share the IoT benefits and capabilities of STAEDEAN Rental Management, our equipment rental software embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management.

Why is the Internet of Things significant for the equipment rental industry?

Keeping track of equipment is one of the most common issues in the equipment rental industry. When equipment moves from one location to another, the likelihood of theft and loss increases. This loss or misplacement affects rental operations, productivity, and customers.

Additionally, since most rental equipment (heavy equipment, construction machinery, medical devices, etc.) are expensive, losing even a single piece of equipment is a huge financial hit.

IoT can help solve this pertinent issue, among many others. With IoT, rental businesses can enhance equipment utilization, streamline maintenance, and improve customer experiences.

Research and Markets report states that IoT is a leading driver in the growth of the equipment rental software market. IoT produces a massive amount of data with the potential to transform the rental industry. Utilizing and analyzing IoT data allows rental organizations to operate more productively, understand their processes better, and increase revenue streams.

The concept of IoT will develop from this point on and will be able to simplify more processes soon. In fact, the global IoT market is projected to grow from $662.21 billion in 2023 to $3,352.97 billion by 2030, according to a study by Fortune Business Insights.

With an expected 26.1% CAGR over seven years, the IoT hype is real. IoT will emerge as a significant trend in the equipment rental industry, and it is simply smart to adopt IoT today rather than tomorrow.

Benefits of IoT for equipment rental companies

Here are some advantages you will gain using STAEDEAN Rental Management with IoT capabilities:

1. Track equipment in real-time

Our IoT connectivity enables you to remotely monitor equipment in real-time or at predetermined intervals, allowing you to customize the frequency of updates on the equipment location. You can collect data on equipment usage, performance, and location through IoT-enabled sensors attached to rental assets.

This data provides insights into equipment utilization patterns, allowing you to allocate resources efficiently and identify underutilized assets. By having a comprehensive view of the assets, you can make data-driven decisions to maximize efficiency and profitability.

2. Plan preventive maintenance

The STAEDEAN Rental Management with IoT can monitor equipment health, detect variances, and help plan preventive maintenance of assets. It minimizes unplanned equipment failures, reduces repair costs, and extends the lifespan of assets. You can schedule preventive maintenance by regularly updating equipment usage meters connected to maintenance plans which can be set based on time, consumption, or both, if required.

By gaining a holistic view of the equipment, your rental company can optimize maintenance schedules, manage spare parts inventory effectively, and deliver reliable and well-maintained equipment to customers.

3. Monitor equipment usage

With IoT-enabled equipment, you can precisely track the movement and usage of your assets, ensuring compliance with rental agreements. Real-time data on equipment usage allows you to monitor if customers adhere to their rental contracts' terms.

You can carry out consumption-based billing (available in the upcoming release) and charge customers with the 'pay-as-you-go' model, including allowance. This pricing model is tightly connected with regular meter reading updates via IoT and lets you identify discrepancies and take appropriate actions, ensuring fair billing and maximizing revenue generation.

You can stay updated on the location of your equipment through asset tagging methods and ensure to invoice the customer based on the actual usage of the equipment. For example, if the IoT data reflects asset movement over the weekend, which was not agreed upon in the rental contract, you can charge your customer for using the equipment for the additional time.

4. Streamline rental operations

By automating processes such as equipment reservations, contracts, and invoicing, rental companies can eliminate manual errors, reduce administrative tasks, and speed up service delivery. With data on equipment availability and utilization, you can adjust resource allocation, prevent double bookings, and enhance customer satisfaction.

With precise asset location information at your fingertips, you can streamline logistics, reduce delivery delays, and optimize fleet utilization. This helps ensure timely returns and efficient deployment of the rental equipment to the next customer.

Additionally, you can leverage the insights from the equipment location and rental contracts to have an overview of customer-related equipment via the STAEDEAN Rental Customer Portal and plan maintenance orders more precisely with the STAEDEAN Rental Mobile Operations.

5. Save costs in transport and service

Transporting and servicing rental equipment can be costly and challenging to manage. With IoT, you can reduce transportation costs by optimizing routes, minimizing travel distances, and maximizing asset utilization. By gaining insights into equipment location and condition, you can plan service activities more efficiently, minimizing downtime and saving on repair costs.

With round-the-clock updates on the location of your equipment, you can be aware of the exact on-rent, off-rent, and idle times, which helps you plan and strategize fleet movement.

6. Analyze data

IoT empowers you with data that provides valuable strategic planning and decision-making insights. By analyzing equipment utilization patterns, rental periods, and usage intensity, you can optimize asset allocation, plan resources effectively, and better serve your customers. These data-driven insights help you stay ahead of market demands and drive business growth.

Mining data from the equipment locations and utilization can also be a valuable base to serve customers better and further improve your subsequent investments. With a deep understanding of the data, you can strengthen pricing strategies and rental operations, increasing profitability and competitive advantage.

How does the STAEDEAN Rental Management with IoT work?

You can use IoT in the solution with the following steps:

  • Link the relevant rental object to IoT devices (there is no limit to the number of IoT devices you can link)
  • Set and link the IoT devices with the unique identifier
  • Import transactions via Connectivity Studio or other software
  • Check the transactions occurring on the rental object
  • Analyze the incoming messages and decide the actions from the derived insights

Here is a glimpse of how our STAEDEAN Rental Management solution supports three scenarios:

1. Meter reading

The IoT offers data on rental equipment through meter registration and running hours. This data then triggers work orders for maintenance to prevent your assets from breaking down.

You can check the meter value in the transactions in your rental object and then process the transaction based on the value. Here, customers are billed on the 'meter readings' provided by the IoT connection. The IoT readings show the actual consumption of the product, and you can bill the customers accordingly (available in the upcoming release).

2. Location tracking

This is to check if the object's location has changed in STAEDEAN Rental Management. Whenever a new address is added in the 'address' section of a rental object, the GPS location is updated through 'Google API,' giving information on the latitude and longitude of the object.

You can check if the location of the rental equipment is changed by reviewing the location value coming from the IoT sensors of the rental object. Calculate and compare the location value of the rental object versus what the IoT is showing. If there is a difference in both readings, you can mark it as an object location change.

You can process this, and the correct location (per IoT device) will be updated. STAEDEAN Rental Management transforms geo coordinates to a physical address, allowing you to always have the current location of your rental object.

3. Unauthorized usage

As discussed above, this is to check whether the rented equipment is being used per the mutually agreed contract (for example, during the weekdays and weekends).

For instance, a company was supposed to use your crane hire only during the weekday, but the IoT recorded some activity on Saturday.

You can add an extra one day of usage for the final rental invoicing, as the solution considers the distance parameter. You can also check the object's location for a specific time (like every 2 hours).

Want to get started with rental software with IoT capabilities?

As the equipment rental industry evolves, IoT will play an increasingly pivotal role, revolutionizing how rental companies operate in the digital age. If you want to learn more about the features in STAEDEAN Rental Management, check out this factsheet.

Anastasia van der Wielen Anastasia van der Wielen
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