“Raving fans for clients” is the mantra at Dallas-based Shag Carpet Prop Rentals. The themed-event rental company started in 2001 specializing in ‘70s parties, which stemmed from founder Gary Peto’s love for that decade. Over the years, Gary expanded his business to add props and décor for virtually any theme a client can imagine. From a 1964 VW Bug and Western saloon to a Rubik’s cube ottoman and a wood pier, clients can find whatever they need to make their events unique and memorable. Shag Carpet Prop Rentals boasts a reputation for high-quality rental items and superior service, which attracts event planners, corporate meeting organizers, and set designers to their 55,000 square foot warehouse.
“We would not have been able to handle the additional volume without ARM… Frankly, I don’t know how we operated without it—the difference is night and day.”
Limitations and Manual Processes
Shag Carpet used QuickBooks, spreadsheets, and Microsoft Word documents to manage the company’s accounting and day-to-day operations. As the business and the number of items available for rent grew, Gary and his team started running into limitations. “Our business relies on knowing what items are available to rent on what dates,” said Gary, who also serves as the general manager. “Whenever a client would want to rent something, we had to manually search through open proposals in Word to see what was committed.” Needless to say this was inefficient, inaccurate, and error prone. “It took an unacceptable amount of time to put together a proposal for a client because of the manual work involved. Additionally, we would forget what we had available for rent and the quantity of what was available since there was no central database,” said Gary. It was also possible that items would be double booked, which was a problem that directly affected client satisfaction and revenue.
“The summer tends to be our slow time,” said Gary. “This is when we look at our systems and processes and spend time improving them. Our business’s most complex needs revolve around rentals and outstanding proposals.” Gary started out searching on line for a rental system that had an integrated accounting system. After reviewing a few applications, Gary selected Automated Rental Management. “We liked ARM during the demonstration. The look and feel was intuitive and the features were what we needed,” said Gary. “I was also impressed with the experience ARM’s publisher, BCS ProSoft, had with rental companies.”
“We did the majority of the implementation and training with BCS ProSoft remotely,” said Gary. “This worked great, it was just like they were in the office with us. Even now if we have a question, they can remotely connect to our system and either fix the issue or explain what we need to do. It definitely saves us time and money.”
Automation Increases Revenues and Client Satisfaction
“The impact of automating our rental items and creating proposals has been tremendous,” said Gary. “Now, when one of our salespeople creates a proposal, the items are committed to that client. If another client wants that same item, we are alerted and can call the initial client to see if they want to move ahead with the contract, which has helped to increase sales. Our clients appreciate it because we hold items for them even if they have not signed the contract yet.” Clients also like how quickly they receive a proposal.
“Our sub-rent costs also have decreased,” said Gary. “In the past, if we double booked an item, we would have to rent, buy, or make that item to fulfill our commitment to the client. This was a cost that took away from our profit.”
Prior to implementation, Shag Carpet would create pick tickets manually from the proposal done in Word. Now they can print a pick ticket that goes right to the warehouse. “We also include a picture of the item on the pick ticket,” said Gary. “This helps make sure that the client receives exactly what they ordered.” Again, having the system in place allows for less opportunity for error and improved efficiencies.
To help him manage his business, Gary relies on the Business Insights Explorer module, which comes standard with ARM. This module pulls key pieces of information together in an easy-to-read view. For example, Gary can see quickly how many proposals were generated during a specific time period, which proposals are still open and what the dollar amount is. “We know instantly where we are relative to our monthly sales goal,” said Gary. “We can more closely manage our pipeline and cash flow.”
“The system also helps ensure that our clients are receiving top-quality rentals,” said Gary. “If an item needs some touch-up work or repair we know the lead time to complete that before the item is rented out again.”
Revenues Up 32% from Last Year
“Our business is up 32% over last year. We are able to do more proposals and get the proposals to our clients faster. The system helps us by knowing exactly what is available and when,” said Gary. “We would not have been able to handle the additional volume without ARM. No more cumbersome checking or lost sales opportunities. Our salespeople spend less time creating proposals and more time networking and visiting clients. Frankly, I don’t know how we operated without ARM. The difference is night and day.” Shag Carpet Prop Rentals plans to use ARM to manage their casino business starting early 2012.
“The impact of automating our rental items and creating proposals has been tremendous.”
“BCS ProSoft is excellent to work with,” said Gary. “They are responsive to our questions and have so much experience in the rental business. In the event business, you have just one opportunity to get it right. You can’t tell a client that you will ‘take care of it tomorrow.’ Our clients count on us to make them look good and for peace of mind. Having ARM in place helps us do just that.”