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Top 5 trends that will revolutionize the rental industry

Nowadays, rental equipment is loaded with all kinds of sensors to read out data
LECTURA GmbH International
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Nowadays, rental equipment is loaded with all kinds of sensors to read out data

IMAGE SOURCE: www.softengi.com

DigiMessenger #8
 

By Florentina Chiriță · January 28, 2022

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Rental industry, the way we know it today, is facing unprecedented changes. Technology is continuously evolving, making important progress towards ease and speed, year after year, and creating new trends on this market. What now seems ‘’too complex ‘’or ‘’too sophisticated’’ will become the new normal for rental companies sooner rather than later. 

But how can rental businesses survive in an ever-changing environment? The answer lies in attitude - perceiving the changes as opportunities that will help them stay ahead of the game, rather than uncomfortable challenges - and speed - the faster rental companies’ owners understand that exploring the possibilities of using emerging technologies will help them increase performance, the better. 

1. Big data, Machine learning & Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays, rental equipment is loaded with all kinds of sensors to read out data. This data is already used in the day-to-day processes like GPS localizers, consumption information or to automatically generate a service call in case something breaks down. All these sensors are generating vast amounts of data that can be easily stored on the cloud. Via sophisticated algorithms that can be trained, machine learning can be used to find new relationships between all this data. The most interesting addition to such a way of working will be artificial intelligence, allowing these algorithms to do the training and data analysis entirely by themselves. This way of data analysis can result in completely new and unexpected insights, allowing rental companies to be more efficient and serve their customers from a new perspective.

At the same time, the use of AI in combination with self-driving and operating rental vehicles could open a whole lot of new opportunities, as currently many rental companies rent equipment together with an operator.

2. IoT & Predictive analysis

The Internet of Things (IoT) is generating a mass amount of data that could potentially revolutionize the rental market. By making use of IoT related data, companies can work more efficiently, gain a better insight into their processes and can eventually become more profitable than ever before! IoT data becomes even more valuable in driving new business insights if combined with analytical tools. As previously mentioned, typically IoT data is being used operationally for GPS data, consumption or error messages.

The complexity of IOT Analytics...<br>IMAGE SOURCE: www.softengi.com

However, this data could also be used predictively: to assure maintenance is done before a fault actually happens. By using data analysis companies can predict when equipment needs to be maintained, revolutionizing asset management. Typically, maintenance is driven by time or consumption. Rental companies follow the OEM`s maintenance schedules to assure their equipment is in optimal condition. But in the case that they are able to predict when equipment needs to be maintained it is also possible for them to save on unnecessary early maintenance, increase utilization rate and be more efficient.

3. 3D Printing

Rental equipment is often used in remote and harsh locations such as mines, forests or construction sites. When equipment breaks down, it can be very costly for both the rental and the renting company. To mitigate the risk of breakdowns, companies have large amounts of spare parts in stock ready to be used when something breaks down. By using IoT and predictive analysis rental companies can predict better when maintenance needs to happen, however, a breakdown can still occur without prior signs. With the help of 3D printing technology rental companies can have access to an unlimited range of spare parts where they need them and when they need them, by just printing out one on-site when they need it, without having to order it and ship it. At the moment not all materials can be printed, however, this will change in the near future. Besides minimizing the risk of breakdowns, 3D Printing also creates new sales opportunities. Instead of just selling spare parts, companies can also add the 3D models for sale to their catalog.

3D Lift Plan Knife jack lattice boom, DICA outrigger pads<br>IMAGE SOURCE: www.dicausa.com

4. Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & Smart contracts

A brand-new technology that can revolutionize the way data is stored and shared is Blockchain technology: “ a shared, distributed, decentralized and tokenized ledger that removes business friction by being independent of individual applications or participants. It allows untrusted parties to exchange commercial transactions.” In the rental space, information is often stored fragmented because of the many different information systems that are used. By using the blockchain technology, information about equipment and equipment-related information could be stored centrally and easily shared. Other OEM information that also could be of interest are purchase price, purchase date, warranty, recall information and equipment specs. Many rental companies are struggling to get a clear equipment life cycle view, and blockchain can potentially help achieve this goal.

Another blockchain area which could be of interest for rental companies is the possibility to work with smart contracts. A smart contract is a virtual rental agreement between the rental company and the customer. Via the blockchain a transaction can be made and verified and after the customer pays with cryptocurrency the transaction is completed. It’s even possible to arrange a digital interaction between several parties before the actual transaction is made.

5. Immersive Experience: Virtual and Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality are changing the way that people perceive and interact with the digital (and real) world. This new technology has the potential to change the rental market in many ways, as it can be used to guide operators on how to use the equipment to improve overall safety. It could also be used to find the best applicable piece of equipment. If, for example, a customer wants to rent an aerial work platform, AR could help to determine the size of the needed equipment by projecting the equipment in the actual space. AR can also be used to help rental companies to interact completely differently with their customers. A customer can set up a Microsoft Teams call allowing a rental company employee to see exactly what the customer is viewing. AR can also be used to streamline the maintenance process, providing an engineer with all the necessary information during the work order process. With object recognition, guided maintenance, IoT information, and real-time information about the system, the engineer has all the tools he needs to be able to repair a piece of equipment as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

Technological disruption is really changing the game for both equipment rental and the rental industry, therefore it is vital for companies to explore the use of these new technologies to stay ahead of their competition. Ultimately, the ones that will be able to act upon these opportunities will be more successful, will achieve higher customer satisfaction, and will become more profitable than the ones that will choose not to adapt. 

Text source: https://www.hso.com

Photo sources: 

https://dicausa.com

https://softengi.com

Next page >> LECTURA appoints Jörg Bachmann as the new Sales Director

 

Source: LECTURA Verlag GmbH

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