It happens in every rental business.
You put a policy in place – maybe it’s collecting signatures at every delivery, or taking damage photos as part of each inspection – but it seldom gets followed.
Employees are focused on moving to the next machine, or the next delivery, and inevitably, steps get skipped. It’s almost like the procedure didn’t exist in the first place.
So: how do you make sure employees stick to your established workflows?
The simpler the process, the more likely it is to be executed correctly. Unnecessary steps and redundant work – even if well-intentioned – can get in the way.
For instance: do your sales reps log their calls in Salesforce, then add the same activity notes in a separate customer record? Finding a way for employees to do each task once makes it easier for processes to be completed as intended.
Don’t let human error get in the way. Workflow automation can ensure that tasks are carried out in the prescribed order, every single time – and that mandatory tasks are completed before moving on to the next step.
For example: you can create electronic inspection reports that require specific questions to be answered before the report can be submitted. If an inspector tries to submit the report without all of the required information, an error message prevents them from moving forward. But, once the inspection is complete, the form is automatically saved to the machine’s record – without the need to manually re-enter the information. This eliminates the possibility of questions being skipped – or saved for later and never revisited – in a busy rental yard.
Another example: you can build in recommended items to your reservation process, ensuring that your customers are offered everything they need for their project before they leave your shop. When a sales rep creates a contract for a jackhammer, your rental software can automatically recommend points, chisels, and other related items, increasing your upsell opportunities without leaving it up to memory - or chance.
Larger rental organizations often have formal training programs that give employees an in-depth understanding of policies and procedures – as well as the “why” behind them. A full training department may not be a viable option for small organizations, but formal documentation is always worth the investment. Make detailed training materials available during – and after – onboarding, with periodic refreshers to make sure all of your employees are on the same page.
“Set it and forget it” rarely works. Supplement formal training sessions with routine reminders during team stand-ups, reinforcing the importance of your established workflows.
Just as important as making sure people do the correct tasks in the correct order: making sure people don’t do things that deviate from procedure.
For instance: price overrides have their time and place, but they can’t be applied to every transaction. Make sure your systems enforce appropriate user roles, and you’re less likely to have well-meaning employees accidentally going rogue.
It’s easy to assume that everything is being done correctly – until it turns out it wasn’t. But who has time to constantly monitor status reports? Exception reporting can help you pinpoint problem areas – like unsigned contracts – and follow up as needed.
At InTempo, we know how challenging it can be to run a rental business because we’ve been there ourselves. Our team has decades of collective experience in rental operations, sales, and support; as a result, we understand how important it is to make sure your procedures are actually being followed. We can help you streamline your workflows; eliminate unnecessary steps; and automate the most repetitive aspects to make sure things are done correctly, every single time.