Today, it is no secret that technology can radically reshape an industry. And never before in history has that change occurred so fast as it does now for many businesses in response to increased customer demands. In the consumer goods and equipment rental market, in particular, there is a multitude of changes and trends that will impact all aspects of the rental industry!
It’s undeniable that the rise of the rental economy has already had a profound impact on some sectors, helping a wide range of customers and industries reduce their fixed costs, outsource their risk and improve their sustainability. Still, as technology continues to evolve, rental companies that take the opportunity to explore the new possibilities of emerging technologies are the ones that will stay ahead of their game.
As the European Rental Association (ERA) highlights in its Casebook, thanks to digitalization, forward-thinking companies have already started to make their operations more efficient, improve their customer service, and create new solutions for their clients.
However, new trends keep coming up in the consumer goods and equipment rental industry.
That is why we will tell you all about the changes we can expect to see over the coming years in this sector, starting by sharing a brief overview of the rental market evolution and explaining why it is so critical for rental companies to embrace this digital age. So they can be prepared for the next big consumer shift and provide their businesses with solid foundations for the future!
There are many reasons why renting has become so popular in these last years, both for consumers and companies. Besides being much more affordable than buying, it offers a more sustainable model that contributes to the circular economy.
Until now, rented items have been expensive goods, such as real estate, vehicles, and heavy equipment that only a few could afford to purchase outright. The change we’re seeing today is that almost anything can be rented, including any everyday consumer product you can remember.
Like we have said before, there are many reasons why businesses choose equipment rental, and one of them is that renting allows them to free up resources to invest in their core business.
This probably explains why, despite the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 – when the North American and European markets experienced a significant decline in revenue recording a decrease of 9.1 and 6.6 percent – and now with Ukraine and its broader economic implications, there is still a positive balance of opinion of +52% regarding the conditions of the equipment rental market for the next months of 2022.
Then, of course, although it is still growing, the recovery in the equipment rental and event industry will be a multi-year process. Now more than ever, rental companies need every competitive edge they can get!
The technological advancements in the industry will play a crucial role in changing how rental companies manage their operations, customer service, and industry compliance to drive more productivity, efficiency, and even financial performance.
Here are some of the top technology trends that are having an impact on the renting industry:
1. IoT & Predictive Analytics: The Internet of Things (IoT) generates a vast amount of data that can help revolutionize the rental market. By using IoT-generated data organizations can improve process efficiency, gain better insights and become more profitable than ever! Which becomes even more valuable if you combine IoT data with analytical tools. So, if you’re only using IoT for GPS data, performance, or error messages, you’re not getting the most out of your equipment! Data analysis will allow you to use data more predictively to know when your equipment needs to be maintained while increasing its performance, efficiency, and utilization rate!
2. Big data, Machine learning & Artificial Intelligence: As already mentioned, rental equipment typically features all kinds of sensors to read out data used in the day-to-day processes like GPS localizers, consumption information, or automatically generate a service call in case something breaks down. This is where Machine learning and AI can be used to find new relationships between all this data, and continuously improve the asset in an automated way! Therefore, saving your employees time and improving data accuracy, allowing you to make more informed business decisions, improve machinery performance and boost customer satisfaction.
3. Virtual and Augmented Reality: As Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality are changing the way people perceive and interact with the world, you can deliver more immersive customer experiences! For example, it can guide operators on how to use the equipment to improve overall safety, help customers find the best applicable piece of equipment, determine the size of the needed equipment by projecting the equipment in the actual space, and much more. Also, streamline your maintenance process by providing an engineer with all the necessary information during the work order process. We believe it’s clear that these new technologies have the potential to change the rental market in many different ways.
4. 3D printing: You might have business intelligence tools and IoT-enabled devices to help you better predict breakdowns and ensure maintenance schedules are up-to-date. But when the equipment breaks down, it can be very costly for both the rental and the renting company. To mitigate the risk, rental companies could use the technology of 3D printing and have access to an unlimited range of spare parts on-site whenever they need them. While at the moment, not every part, or material, can be printed, the expectation is that this will change in the future. So you may start envisioning that instead of just selling spare parts, you could also add the 3D models for sale to your catalog.
5. Blockchain Technology: Blockchain is a relatively new piece of technology that can revolutionize the way data is stored and shared. Put into context for the equipment rental sector, where Data is commonly stored in different systems and formats, Blockchain Technology has the power to help you centralize all this information. The purchase price, purchase date, equipment specifications, customer contracts, and maintenance schedules can all be consolidated into one location, giving you a real-time view of the equipment lifecycle! In addition to the possibility to work with smart contracts, verify payments and enhance digital interaction between the parties before the actual transaction takes place.
As you can see, these examples of developments and future trends show us how technological innovation is changing the game for equipment rental and the rental industry in general.
Therefore, rental companies that act upon these opportunities will stay ahead of their competition and achieve higher customer satisfaction, ultimately becoming more profitable!
Equipment rental software is the backbone of any rental business model and can make the renting process more efficient according to each business’s needs while helping them achieve much more with fewer resources!
There is no doubt anymore that digitalization can differentiate you from your competitors and move you up the value chain!
So, our advice is to embrace it and don’t just add it on top of existing structures and processes. Instead, ensuring innovation is driven by what your customers and stakeholders want.
It is time to revitalize your equipment rental business!
And Utina is here to help you.
Through our component-based platform, our rental equipment software manages all points of the customer experience and operational processes, offering you:
– Better pricing strategies
– Contracts tracking and vendor management
– Enhanced customer satisfaction
Why take the whole software chain when you can choose only the components you need for each stage of your business?
With easy-to-use yet powerful functionalities, Utina’s software is an all-in-one solution for your renting business needs, aligned with the technology trends in the industry!
Our flexible and customized platform will allow you a smooth data migration and make it easier to scale and create significant leverage! Offering seamless performance and reduced time-to-market.
No more spending days to get a rental that can be done in one hour! Guarantee to your clients a quick financing request process management!
In short: if your business consists of helping people and businesses to acquire their equipment, we can assist you to satisfy them better.
Look no further! No matter the size of your business, we have the solution you have been looking for to drive financial performance.
Get in touch or reserve a free demo, to start futureproofing your business today!