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.
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