— By Jim Arabia —
How facility managers of multi-location maintenance projects can benefit from an automated, single source heavy equipment rental provider.
Every project manager and maintenance director knows the importance of having the right construction equipment delivered at the right time to ensure a job runs smoothly and cost-effectively. The last thing you need is to have workers standing idle waiting on machines, or sending staff home due to the incorrect equipment being delivered. It means wasted time — and time means money.
One headache in particular is the scheduling of planned maintenance work at scores of different sites. A prime example is when retailers require lighting systems maintained at all stores, or a restaurant chain is upgrading its outdoor signage. You may need to source the same equipment, such as forklifts or scissor lifts, with only the date and location changing.
Until recently, to source and procure these rentals for each outlet could mean placing dozens of calls to numerous suppliers to determine equipment availability and price, based on location of jobsites in various cities or states. Using different suppliers also equates to countless different vendor codes, purchase orders, payment due dates and different sets of terms and conditions.
However, with the introduction of new crowdsourcing technology, contractors and maintenance directors now have the option of using a single source equipment supplier to meet all their needs — making life simpler and saving time, hassle and money.
Here’s how it works. If you have a bulk order, say of up to 250 rental needs in various locations, you simply upload the list to the single source supplier via a spreadsheet. The single source supplier, using a sophisticated proprietary bulk order system, will process those requirements — hundreds accurately inputted and confirmed — within as little as 10 minutes. All rates are pre-negotiated in line with industry norm. Most suppliers do not have a proprietary bulk order system and need to input data manually, which is error prone and could take hours or even days to complete.
The end result is that all your planned maintenance work can be met with just one call or email, followed by one purchase order and, more importantly, no stress.
In addition, using a single source supplier with the latest technology allows you to receive automatic updates via text or email on the status of your equipment rental: when it is in transit, the anticipated delivery time and confirmation of arrival, etc. Another benefit to using an automated system is your entire booking can be completed online through your smartphone, tablet or desk-top — all at the swipe of a screen or the touch of a button.
A recent example of a retailer benefiting from this service is when a data cabling and wiring firm was employed to retrofit hundreds of stores nationwide.
The contracted firm could only work at night and needed the scissor lifts delivered and picked up during very odd hours so it didn’t impact the parking lots, operations or customer sales. Delivery and pickup of the equipment had to be scheduled outside of normal business hours. By using a single source supplier, this was fulfilled quickly and easily. The bulk order process effectively became an extension of the client’s service to the retailer, thus safeguarding its contract.
Another project manager explained he was spending at least 5 hours a week just procuring rentals, and by switching to a single source supplier, he saved himself 250 hours annually. Since he made the switch in 2015, he has serviced 646 jobsites, in 43 different states, using 97 unique supplier partners across the nation.
The same goes for a company responsible for installing and maintaining tech equipment for pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS. Technicians require aerial equipment for their stores nationwide and would previously have to source a local supplier in each area where the work was scheduled. A single source supplier provided them with equipment in 4,000 sites in 2 years, using 250 suppliers to fulfill the orders in all 50 states, as well as Canada and the District of Columbia. It put an end to their accounting and logistics nightmare!
Another great added feature of using a tech-savvy single source supplier is that clients can access a customer portal and log on to their account to place new orders, manage existing rentals, view in-voices or report any issues they are having.
Apart from the bulk order system, retailers and restaurants undertaking construction work can use the crowdsourcing technology for individual jobs, too, or just a few projects at different locations. You can simply log onto the website and place orders online 24/7. By entering the equipment required, date and location, you will be automatically streamlined to a checkout/cart page. This will show the cost, pickup and delivery times, tax and environment charges and transport fees.
— Jim Arabia is vice president of marketing at BigRentz, the nation’s largest online construction rental equipment network serving retailers and contractors across the U.S. For more information, visit www.bigrentz.com.