To Rent or To Buy – More and More Often, It’s To Rent.
In some ways distribution has not changed over the past 50 years; but in other ways it really has morphed – I know, that statement was non-committal. But take for example product Rental Management. Your customers still want your fantastic product whether that’s cars, industrial equipment, cylinders, furniture, etc. and there is a paper trail to track those rentals and bill appropriately. Unfortunately not many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems easily track rental products so distributors are forced to look for standalone products and old fashioned paper trails – either way, creating a lot of work arounds or duplication efforts for a company. Epicor recently released a new application for distributors, and I for one, am extremely excited about it.
The new Epicor Rentals Management (ERM) solution makes tracking rentals within the Epicor Prophet 21 ERP (P21) simpler and more efficient. ERM handles the actual rental transaction while the P21 application holds all other data like customers, items, accounting, inventory, etc.
P21 Rental Management Tracking
Some of the primary benefits of Epicor P21 Rental Management (ERM) are:
- Efficient Rental Transaction Processing
- Manages Scheduling and Assignment Processes
- Flexibility in Pricing Rental Designs
- Flexibility in Product rentals for day, week, month, mileage, hours used, etc.
- Simplified contract maintenance
- Automatic Rental Billing
- Rental Availability
What is really nice about the ERM module is that when your customer service or sales team goes to enter in a new rental order, the process is just like any other order in P21 – using the Order Entry Window. With everything setup, the sales associate just enters in the a rental item and P21 switches the order to a Rental Order vs standard Sales Order. Switching to a Rental Order will cause the ERM module to open up and finish the rental processing; with information like state, dates, duration, even serial and lot tracking information.
A few of my favorites I’ve seen so far are:
Simplified Contract Maintenance
Contracts. Need I say much more before the room starts to groan? Usually contracts are done on paper – sometimes with carbon copies – though often times it’s a matter or printing, signing, and scanning. Thankfully ERM has helped simplify that painful (and let’s face it) rather wasteful process. Within ERM the sales agent can input the data, customer can review the contract and sign for it – making the entire process much simpler. This allows the final contract to be stored electronically with ease, or print or email once finished.
Automatic Rental Billing
The Finance department is going to love this feature. No more grabbing that monthly billing folder / file cabinet / or excel list with customer names and billing frequencies. ERM has automated rental billing which allows finance to set billing intervals and then generate the invoices according to your business schedule.
Every one loves tracking – dashboards, look up, quick reference, you name it. Having the ability to quickly find the data you need when the customer needs it. The ERM module makes it easy to see rentals by customer, rental product type, etc.
Let’s face it, at the end of the day, being a rental business is hard work. Unlike most manufacturers and non-rental distributors – who have little need to track their products once the item has shipped – you need to know who, where, how long, at what price, etc. and then rinse-and-repeat for the next customer. Epicor’s Prophet 21 Rental Management solution solves a large functionality gap for distributors.
To end this on a light note; I recently heard a funny rental joke:
Why was the mole’s rental fee so costly?
Because he burrowed and never returned
Questions or feedback on this article? Wanting more information on Prophet 21 ERP or P21 Rental Management? Let us know.
We are proud to announce that EstesGroup is an Epicor Software Corporation Certified Managed Hosting Partner. EstesGroup is certified to host Epicor ERP and host Prophet 21 ERP systems.
We are the only Epicor Partner to be Certified for Epicor Hosting, Epicor ERP Sales & Implementations, and Prophet 21 ERP Sales & Implementations.
This accreditation means that EstesGroup has met and exceeded Epicor Software Corporation’s rigid data center and expertise capability requirements for being awarded Certified Hosting Partner status. To learn more about these requirements please contact us.
“We are honored to be an Epicor-Certified Managed Hosting Partner for Epicor Software Corporation, and the only hosting partner to be certified for Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 ERP systems,” said Bruce Grant, CEO of EstesGroup. “Our company has both functional and technical consultants on staff who know Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 systems. This means we not only know Managed IT, but we know the industry’s best-practice business processes and the underlying software as well. We provide a full-service solution to fit our clients’ needs.”
Epicor Software’s Chief Information Officer Rich Murr said, “Epicor and I would like to congratulate EstesGroup for becoming a Certified Epicor Managed Hosting Partner. EstesGroup has a long history in working with Epicor Software Corporation and our clients as a reseller and implementation consulting organization. Last year they became the first and only US Partner to be certified in Epicor ERP and Prophet 21, and now they achieved Hosting Partner for those products as well. EstesGroup continues to provide clients with a solid foundation of experienced consultants and high level hosting standards. We are looking forward to continued growth and excellent service with the EstesGroup team.”
EstesGroup is Certified by Epicor Software Corporation to host and manage clients’ Epicor ERP and Prophet 21 ERP systems. As a Certified Managed Hosting Provider, EstesGroup guarantees better than 99.5% uptime Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for clients’ ERP systems (to see EstesGroup’s 99.7% SLA click here). EstesGroup is also a Microsoft Cloud Services Partner with SQL Administration, Security Administration, O365, MS Exchange, and Disaster & Recovery expertise.
To learn more about EstesGroup’s EstesCloud Epicor Hosting, visit our Epicor ERP Hosting page.
Contact EstesGroup today to learn more about Epicor ERP Hosting or Prophet 21 ERP Hosting.
Headquartered in beautiful Loveland Colorado, and established in 2004, EstesGroup (www.estesgrp.com) employees averages 25+ years of discrete manufacturing and distribution industry experience which they leverage to ensure client success. Their employees are spread-out throughout the United States which maximizes talent and local presence for their clients. EstesGroup is a certified reseller, certified implementor, and certified hosting provider for Prophet 21 and Epicor ERP 10. They implement full service cloud, hosted, or on-premise solutions based on client needs and requirements.
About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation (www.epicor.com) is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is a manufacturer of Enterprise Resource Planning software solutions. Today, over 20,000 customers in 150 countries around the world rely Epicor’s expertise and solutions to improve performance and profitability.
Epicor and the Epicor logo are trademarks of Epicor Software Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by EstesGroup and/or Epicor Software Corporation.
Recession-Proof Investments: Cloud Computing and the Refrigerator of the Future
We’ve long been told that necessity is the mother of invention, but when necessity is out of a sense of privation, reactions vary. Born and raised into the world of residential and commercial construction, I’ve felt the motion sickness that results from the ups and downs of the building cycle well into my earliest memories. And I‘ve been in business long enough to have stomached enough down-cycles to observe how different companies react to these changing economic climates.
As the current bull market gets slowly walked to the slaughterhouse, managers at all levels begin to wonder what it will mean for their own place within America’s larger business landscape. There is always the search for the investments that could be considered “recession-proof”—investments that will yield value during the current crisis, but would also serve as a foundation for future success. Simple cost-cutting is rarely such an investment—it yields short-term savings, but often at the expense of long-term objectives: I’ve never seen a hiker make it to the top of a peak faster by trimming down the soles of his boots.
That is, the most reactionary of companies looks to simple knee-jerk reactions to trim costs in order to get in line with shrinking revenues: eliminating optional programs or reducing essential services to their bare minimum. More innovative companies utilize this newfound necessity as a means of transforming their current state by getting ahead of the competition.
At the consumer level, the most well-known example of this phenomenon was the advent of the refrigerator. It was the Great Depression, of all things, that led to the broad use of the refrigerator by America’s large middle class. While it was, at the time, a significant capital expenditure for any given household, the refrigerator allowed families to save time and money: the ability to extend the life of the day’s victuals allows families to reduce waste, and thus cut costs, while also allowing them to expend the physical labor that would have been spent on the next meal on other activities. This rendered the old-fashioned ice box obsolete. In this way, times of downturn often have a way of surfacing new innovations—products that outpace their competitors suddenly emerge because the competitive landscape has reduced the viability of their less-innovative competitors.
Similarly, as America hit rock bottom in the late 2000s and early 2010s, cloud computing grew rapidly at the same time, as companies looked for ways to reduce cost and risk, while scaling up for the future. In this way, cloud computing may very well serve to become the coming recession’s refrigerator—the tool that will allow individuals and companies to strategically equip themselves not only for the hard times ahead, but also for the good times thereafter.
For Epicor customers, cloud computing surfaces as an opportunity to avoid the costs of replacing outdated hardware. Also, by moving installations into hosted environments, customers are able to eliminate the cooling costs required to keep their stacks on ice. Estes Group’s Epicor Cloud Managed Hosting offering (ECHO) is ready-by-design to protect and carry your company through the down-cycles and get you back into the saddle and riding the next bull market to better times. Looking to recession-proof your business? Please reach out to our team, and we’ll help you innovate a cloud computing strategy that will keep you ahead of the storm.
Are you looking for cloud computing options, or have questions on how we can help make your systems more flexible? Contact Us today or let us know below.