Business Brief: Practice what you preach

Seven steps toward cloud deployment for equipment rental organizations

You’re in the rental business, so you know all there is to know about equipment rental, including machine availability and reliability, insight into the return date for machines, how to maximize fleet utilization, and the upside of renting instead of buying.

Rental saves capital, provides flexibility, and frees your company from the cost and complexity of maintaining owned equipment. You only pay for what you need when you need it. Ring a bell? Ever considered cloud deployment of your IT infrastructure?

In simple terms, cloud deployment provides a way for you to rent your software solutions and eliminate the need for on-premise hardware and an IT staff to manage and maintain costly integrations and hardware. 

No doubt, you’ve already heard a lot about the cloud. But you may fear it’s too risky to allow your data to be managed outside the four walls of your rental business. The truth is, cloud providers  such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) spend more on security than you would ever be able to invest.

Infor CloudSuite Equiment Rental

When you’re ready to move to the cloud, move with Infor®. Infor CloudSuite™ Equipment Rental helps equipment rental organizations—regardless of size, geography, or micro-vertical focus—uncover new revenue streams, evolve their business models, and boost efficiency.

It includes proven equipment rental functionality that is already used by many of the top global rental companies — including the world leader in power and temperature-control rental, the UK’s leading independent equipment hirer, and the third-largest construction equipment and tool rental company in North America.

The solution is delivered in the cloud—which brings with it efficiency, cost savings, built-in support for
expanding operations, and security that follows industry-leading best-practice protocols. Infor CloudSuite Equipment Rental offers all the functionality you need in one complete solution. In addition, if you are only looking to add rental capabilities to your existing finance, dealer management, or ERP system, you also have the option to run it as a best-in-class rental management solution.

If you want to stay competitive, you can’t afford to wait to move to the cloud. Besides cost savings, cloud solutions offer a comprehensive way to unify business processes, increase visibility across departments and divisions, and enable better collaboration with suppliers, customers, and partners. The cloud also brings additional benefits such as performance elasticity (the ability to increase the processing power when needed) and state-of-the-art security.

Even better, the cloud brings good news to your finance department. The capital expense to replace current software will become an operating expense if you go with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. 

Before embarking on a cloud journey, there are some important steps to consider that can help you make sound decisions about your equipment rental management selection and deployment.

1. Prepare for digital transformation
Disruptive technologies and IT innovations are occurring at an astounding rate. To deal with this pace of change, choose flexible solutions and providers who are
forward-thinking and investing in product innovation. Make sure you’re dealing with vendors who can help your business launch a digital transformation process that can outpace the current wave of digital disruption.

2. Seek relevance
Whether you’re a rental company in construction, mining, agriculture, industrial, transportation, tools, or another industry, your rental management system and cloud
security requirements differ greatly from other industries. Choose a solution that supports the specific requirements of your business so you can reach full efficiency rapidly.

3. Make sure your research is current and applicable
Obsolete information is counterproductive. We’re challenged with rapidly changing issues and even more rapidly evolving solutions. Look for dates on the materials you read. Make sure the information is applicable to equipment rental organizations. 

4. Be flexible
Understand that IT solutions have changed substantially in recent years. What you thought you wanted might no longer be the best option for your future. Be open-minded about following where your research leads, even if it leads in a totally new direction—like to the cloud.

5. Allow enough time —but don’t drag your feet, either
Don’t make hasty decisions. Allow sufficient time to research your IT options thoroughly. Evaluate how well an equipment rental management system meets the needs of the rental industry and how well the deployment method meets your current and future business needs. On the other hand, prolonged hesitation is equally dangerous. If you are too slow to react to changing market pressures, you run the risk of losing customers and market share.

6. Involve a team
Choosing new IT solutions — and potentially new deployment methods — is a major undertaking. Bring in team members to share the workload and to share ideas. Team selection projects lead to streamlined adoption and implementation and also a
closer fit to various departments’ main needs.

7. Get the facts and see the big picture
Consider long-term objectives, like growth and TCO, as well as short-term needs, like flexibility and functionality. Remember, the solution you choose could determine the course of your business for the next 5 to 10 years or more. Also, don’t settle for anecdotal tales and vague worries. The newest solutions offer better security, performance, and
flexibility than ever before.