So, you have a rental management and accounting solution that does a pretty good job of keeping track of your rental fleet and can write contracts. Good for you! Aside from that, what are you getting from your system? Does it help you determine the best use of cash? Does it remind you when inventory levels are low? Does it “ring the bell” when a salesperson closes a bit deal? In short, does your system help make you more profitable?
The best rental and accounting system on the market today is worthless unless the data can be accessed easily. More precisely, your rental management system should be proactively watching for key indicators and notifying you and/or your staff when an event occurs that could impact your business short and long term.
Reactive vs. Proactive
All modern systems today provide the ability to view and print reports which visually represent the data stored on your server. Some even provide easy to use custom report writing tools that allow you to determine what data you would like to see. The problem with the standard reporting system is that it is reactive. In other words, you have to remember to print the report in order to get the information. Reactive access to data is fine in some instances, but what if the information is time sensitive?
A business management system that can monitor your data constantly and notify you when something important happens takes the information game to a whole new level. If you have ever missed a delivery, forgotten to close out a cash drawer, or found a billing error weeks (or months) after the invoice has been sent and paid, you should be asking your software vendor how you can get proactive access to critical data.
What Information Do You Need?
Having a proactive business management system is a little like having the Midas Touch. It is fantastic to be able to receive instantaneous updates on activity, but like King Midas, too much of a good thing, is, well too much. Before you turn on your messaging system, you have to carefully consider what information is relevant, who needs to see it, and when do they need to receive it. For example, you may want to send a single notification to your parts manager at the end of each day that includes all the parts that need to be ordered tomorrow vs. an email or text notification each time an individual part falls below the ordering threshold.
Too little information is dangerous, but too much information is overwhelming and will ultimately be ignored. When our consultants are setting up our notification system, we try to help the customer think through what is critical, what is nice to know, and what is noise. Sometimes it takes a little experimentation to get the information flow set just right for each organization.
Your system is capturing a lot of important data that can be used in a way that will help you make better business decisions, but not if you don’t know something critical is happening. The way I see it, you can spend more time in the business, micro-managing so that you see everything that is happening, or you can invest in a proactive business management system that will provide you with critical business information, whether you are on the sales floor, or on the 16th hole of the golf course. If I were you, I’d prefer to be putting on the green!
More information on Proactive Business Management