Top Specialty Contractors Are Seeing the Benefits of Using an Equipment Rental Network
“The construction industry is starting to fully embrace technology across many aspects of the project—from procurement to execution,” states Nick B., Project Manager at a national stucco company. “The change is about convenience. Online technology, via varying devices, is taking over the industry.”
Technology is changing everything. The construction industry has long held the reputation of being late to adopt technology. But the post-recession construction boom—coupled with the integration of technology into our everyday lives—has changed the way contractors work. In order to stay competitive and capitalize on new resources, construction decision makers, specifically in specialty construction, are embracing technology solutions that advance productivity, enhance safety measures, and increase margins for greater profits.
Challenges to the Traditional Rental Process
Anyone responsible for handling the rental equipment logistics for a project is familiar with the shortcomings of traditional methods for finding rentals.
- SEVERAL PHONE CALLS: Securing rental equipment usually requires the laborious task of making several phone calls to multiple rental companies to find the equipment needed during specific time slots.
- VENDOR VETTING PROCESS: If working outside of your region, you may not be familiar with local companies. This means time lost vetting new vendors.
- LACK OF AVAILABILITY: In some instances, the needed equipment is simply not available. This problem has become more widespread as the construction industry has seen a tremendous uptick over the last few years.
- ADDITIONAL LOGISTICAL AND ACCOUNTING ENERGY: When securing rental equipment from new and/or multiple sources, you need to dedicate more accounting time to internal logistics. Rental companies often require additional paperwork and credit checks before renting to a new customer. If you are renting from multiple sources you need to have a well-organized system in place to keep track of contract terms, equipment tracking, and account reconciliation to process payments.
The bottom line is: There simply is not enough equipment available in certain localities at certain times.
Equipment Rental Marketplaces and Platforms
More specialty construction firms are electing to use single-source equipment platforms and networks, and as increasingly more equipment providers are partnering with those providers, it is evident that the industry is moving in a direction marked by faster and more efficient solutions in the equipment arena. Contractors are seeking swift solutions to sourcing the equipment they need — and they are finding it online.
“In the past, sourcing was built upon relationships with salesmen and a quality product,” explains BigRentz CEO Scott Cannon. “The world today is based more on the convenience of access to product selection, speed of procurement, and ease of payment. The need for human interaction is dwindling, since everything is done via an app or on the web.
“What is happening is indicative of how business practices are changing across the spectrum and how people are feeling more comfortable renting online,” states Cannon. He notes that approximately 40% of BigRentz’ business is automated with no personal interaction (by phone or in person).
This self-service technology allows a contractor to order equipment, extend or terminate rentals, report any issues, and manage invoices—all online accessible by mobile, tablet, or desktop computer. BigRentz anticipates this rental trend will grow to 45% to 55% by 2020. Cannon claims that this method of securing rental equipment drives a better customer experience due to greater efficiency, fewer errors, and more cost effectiveness all around.
Choosing an Equipment Rental Source: 6 Questions to Ask
While consumers have embraced the use of online booking tools for a decade or more, for example in the travel industry with rental cars, Hotels.com, and Expedia.com, these tools are quite revolutionary for the construction industry. As project schedules are condensed, geographical territories increase, and profit margins become tighter, online solutions have become a welcomed addition to the project management process for many in the field.
Here are six questions to consider when selecting an equipment rental source.
Question 1: Does This Process Save Time?
“What I hear often from most contractors is that they are seeking software, apps, and other technology tools to help them save time and money,” states Nick, a specialty construction company owner engaged by many large construction firms across the U.S. “When a company like BigRentz can alleviate some of the hard work of chasing down equipment that I would do as a project manager, that’s a plus.”
Technology makes it easier than ever to communicate quickly with everyone involved in a project—owners, project managers, subcontractors, and suppliers.
Question 2: Is There a Diverse Selection and Large Pool of Equipment?
Working with a national single-source rental platform can be an ideal solution because it is designed to have a large selection of equipment and broad coverage area because it pulls from multiple suppliers. Calling on one source enables the construction company to secure hard-to-find pieces of equipment no matter the location.
BigRentz has seen enormous growth in suppliers electing to become part of their network. When founded in 2012, BigRentz had about 50 suppliers in their rental network. Today there are over 2,500, with a nationwide reach of over 8,500 partner locations.
Question 3: Is the Rental Process Efficient from End to End?
In order to save time and increase productivity across your entire operation, you’ll want an online equipment rental platform that is robust. Look for a rental company that provides an all-inclusive solution that offers:
- Delivery and pickup
- Lift termination
- Bulk ordering
Additionally, seek out a rental source with location-specific rates and equipment specifications online anytime, even afterhours.
Question 4: Are the Total Costs Competitive?
There is a price for renting a piece of equipment like a scissor lift, and then there is the larger cost of doing business. A single-source rental marketplace has the leverage to provide competitive pricing on equipment rental costs across the country—with all fees clearly laid out and no surprise charges.
Whether you are constructing in a big city or rural area, a rental source should be able to deliver a competitive rate based on a large, nationwide network and also be able to fulfill your needs—even during the height of construction season. There is a real value in working with one source that has better control over your total cost.
Question 5: Does It Provide Accurate Equipment Scheduling, Real-Time Updates, and Accurate Job Cost Tracking?
While we live in an economy where consumers are willing to “help themselves,” they still need to have confidence in the service they are using. Project managers need a tech tool that allows them to place orders 24/7 and still have the assurance that the right equipment will be at the jobsite as scheduled. Equally important are real-time updates online or via text message that show the number of days left on the rental agreement—so you can plan to extend or terminate easily and conveniently. Nick adds, “This is a huge benefit for my company—a large specialty contractor that does projects across multiple states—to have a single account.”
Many contractors are turning to online technology integrations to keep tabs on materials, safety, and job costs, which include rental equipment. When you select a single source for all of your rental equipment needs, you can quickly access these costs for job cost tracking.
Question 6: Does the Rental Source Vet Suppliers on Your Behalf?
A contractor needs to have the confidence that a supplier is reliable, is dependable, and provides quality equipment that won’t break down or cause delays on the jobsite. For example, rental suppliers within the BigRentz network have been vetted and are assumed to be the top performers in the industry. A rental source should regularly track criteria like late deliveries, equipment failures, service calls, and invoicing issues in an effort to solely align themselves with quality outfits and branches.
Top Specialty Contractors are Capitalizing on the BigRentz Rental Network.
The most successful construction firms are embracing technology in all aspects of their operation because they recognize the many benefits: increased productivity, streamlined project management, and ultimately larger profit margins. Securing construction equipment rentals should be no different.
“Technology in product procurement will continue to grow,” says Cannon. “The equipment rental business is going online because the world is going online.”
BigRentz is an online construction equipment rental marketplace. Our 2,500+ rental partners and 8,500+ partner locations represent the biggest equipment rental network in the nation. We use innovative technology to streamline the rental process and simplify the procurement and logistics challenges of renting construction equipment. Types of rentals available include aerial lifts, forklifts and material handlers, earthmoving equipment, compaction equipment, and site services to customers in a variety of industries. Visit www.BigRentz.com.
Vice President of Marketing at BigRentz
Jim Arabia is a marketing and branding executive with over 20 years of experience leading businesses with growth initiatives. In his role as Vice President of Marketing, Jim’s responsibilities include leading market positioning strategies, creating programs to align and support the strategic vision, and directing the activities of the brand advertising efforts. BigRentz.com.