A hauling company needs an extra industrial-strength trailer for a four-day run. A manufacturer wants to buy a 53-foot storage container. A book distributor can’t afford its own 26-foot trucking container, and wants a long-term rental. Who do they call? Newrent, Inc. in Kearney, New Jersey.
For over 70 years, Newrent has been the solution for companies that need to buy or rent trailers and storage containers. And business has been booming lately—good news for Newrent, bad news for their antiquated accounting systems.
“This solution is an excellent product. It has saved us an awful lot of time, freeing us from clerical tasks so that we’re much more productive.”
Old System Couldn’t Haul It’s Own Weight
Newrent had been limping along with a proprietary non-Windows billing system. It required duplicate data entry and plenty of manual support. The system couldn’t distinguish between inventory, so they had to hike through the eight-acre parking lot to ﬁgure out which trailers were for rent or for sale. Answering customer inquiries quickly and accurately was quite a challenge.
As Newrent grew, its system began experiencing glitches with alarming frequency. It simply couldn’t handle the increase in rental volume. Staff members eventually lost conﬁdence in it. Its utility was now little more than an adding and accounting machine.
“It was horrible,” recalls Brian Fitzhenry, vice president of sales. “The antiquated system couldn’t keep up with us and we’re forced to do so much by hand. Too many people were wasting too much time on paperwork. We were all slaves to the data, instead of making it work for us.”
The ﬁrm couldn’t afford to continue this way any longer, so Fitzhenry began searching for a new automated rental management software package.
On the Road to Success
Fitzhenry wanted one system that would automate everything, from accounting and billing to inventory management. He discovered Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90) ERP and Automated Rental Management, (ARM), a full-featured integrated rental application from BCS ProSoft. Fitzhenry was delighted with the solution. He installed Sage 100 and ARM on six networked PCs, with one acting as a server. Now Newrent has a fully automated operation, with no redundancies, and better allocation of employee hours.
“ARM and Sage 100 do everything,” Fitzhenry says. “We use the system to print out rental agreements, complete with customer name, unit number, length and height of trailer, license number, make, year, and even whether the unit has swing or overhead doors. The rental agreement does double-duty as an inspection report, where we note any dings or dents before the trailer goes out. The system also manages our inventory, so we know exactly where each piece of equipment is, and how much it is being billed for.”
With the ARM and Sage 100, Newrent customer and rate information only needs to be entered once. Just this feature has resulted in monumental savings in time—four full employee-days every week.
Even the company’s more complicated transactions are easy to track. For instance, sometimes customers will have two identical “pup” trailers billed at different rates, due to special negotiations or contract considerations. ARM “remembers” the arrangement, and then invoices appropriately.
Inventory used to be a big headache, as well. “I was getting really tired of hiking around the parking lot to ﬁnd out if a speciﬁc container was in stock,” explains Fitzhenry. Now all he has to do is glance at a computer screen, where a running list details exactly which items are available each day. When customers call with questions, he can type the account number into ARM and answer questions about pieces of equipment and individual rates. Newrent found the new system very easy to use.
“If you’re used to Windows, you can work with ARM and Sage MAS 90 with no problems,” Fitzhenry comments. This has permitted the company to cut back on resources previously spent on administrative tasks, and boost sales, marketing, and strategic planning efforts. “This solution is an excellent product,” he says. “It has saved us an awful lot of time, freeing us from clerical tasks so that we’re much more productive.”