How an Online Marketplace Can Improve Equipment Rental Procurement Part II

Today’s guest post is from Robin Salter, CMO of KWIPPED.

In Part I, we noted that even though there are currently a few online marketplaces that support the construction/heavy-equipment industry, there are no true online marketplaces for equipment rental even though it is estimated to be a $38 Billion to $50 Billion market, of which construction equipment represents less than half of all rentals. In today’s post we will address the potential benefits of an online marketplace for equipment rental, but first we will discuss traditional equipment rental sourcing as a foundation.

Traditional equipment rental sourcing

When there’s a job to be done that requires equipment rental, the first step is sourcing the equipment. Most organizations have a policy that requires multiple rental quotes from multiple suppliers in order to establish a basis for comparison and leverage the cost reduction power of competition. The traditional equipment rental sourcing process looks something like this:

  1. Research potential suppliers
    (that carry your required equipment) through association directories, online searches, referrals and other channels.
  2. Contact the suppliers and do further background checks
    to ensure the suppliers are legitimate and reliable.
  3. Submit quote requests to each supplier
    that met your preliminary criteria. There will likely be some back and forth communication with each supplier to clarify rental details.
  4. Research additional suppliers
    after discovering that certain suppliers don’t have the required equipment available at the required time or don’t carry all of the equipment that the organization needs to rent.

How does an online marketplace benefit equipment rental sourcing?

Added efficiency

Procurement staff (or whoever is in charge of sourcing the equipment) could visit a single website. Select the equipment needed with a few clicks. Provide the details and dates just once and then allow the marketplace platform to do the work. Your single quote request would be automatically and immediately delivered to all of the marketplace suppliers that meet your rental criteria. Any additional details that you may need to communicate can be sent through the system once and distributed to all of the participating suppliers simultaneously.

The system manages the research and communications for you and then delivers multiple, side-by-side quotes for easy comparison. If you need to rent equipment immediately and don’t require quotes, a quality rental marketplace would offer the ability to select and rent specific equipment directly from uploaded supplier inventory. Tasks that traditionally takes hours, days and even weeks could be accomplished in minutes in an online marketplace environment.

Growth opportunities

An online equipment rental marketplace would provide such efficient access to all kinds of equipment that businesses could easily take on projects that they may have previously turned down due to a lack of equipment. In fact, a marketplace filled with categorized equipment could empower a business to proactively discover new ways to expand their services and their customer bases, simply by renting equipment they don’t currently own. Scrolling through various equipment categories could generate creative ideas about new service offerings and allow businesses to test them out without a large capital investment or strain on cashflow.

Quality Assurance

When the completion of a job is totally dependent on having the right rental equipment, it’s important to rent from suppliers you can trust to deliver quality equipment, and on time. A good online equipment rental marketplace will have processes in place to ensure the quality of their suppliers so you don’t have to waste time doing background checks and investigations. Suppliers are not only typically certified by the marketplace itself, but most online marketplaces will also include a rating system that allows renters to review and rate suppliers based on their experiences.

Cost control

Because marketplaces aggregate lots of rental activity, they usually have access to lots of data about how much specific equipment rentals should cost. A good marketplace will create a truly competitive environment, which is always good for the renter. Some marketplaces will even offer transparency so renters can easily see the going rates based on real-time rental transactions.

The time has come for a comprehensive equipment rental marketplace.

Thanks, Robin.

5 thoughts on “How an Online Marketplace Can Improve Equipment Rental Procurement Part II

  1. Douglas Brown

    I definitely believe that there are a lot of (possible) advantages to having an online presence, especially the one you mention about added efficiency. The steps you listed for traditional renting are indeed accurate, but sometimes I think people prefer that method. Either way, it is good to see that there are so many ways to get what people need.

    Reply
  2. Wilfredo Hernandez

    The efficiency of a website for equipment rentals sounds like it would speed up the search for equipment to rent and bring in a lot more customers. Like you said “Procurement staff (or whoever is in charge of sourcing the equipment) could visit a single website. Select the equipment needed with a few clicks.” This would make things much easier when renting equipment because long hours would not have to be spent researching different places to rent from.

    Reply
  3. Delores Lyon

    Thanks for sharing this advice on how an online market for rentals can improve it. I think that it is awesome that the Internet allows you to interact with any business you have worked with. Just the fact that you can leave a review or ask for assistance online is really convenient! In fact, the rating system you mentioned would definitely be helpful in directing new customers on what to get.

    Reply
  4. Westly Smith

    I think that the best benefit would be growth opportunities. Like you say, an equipment rental marketplace would provide access to all kinds of equipment businesses. That just increases the opportunities a business has to grow. It gets your name out there.

    Reply
  5. Joy Butler

    I agree that having equipment rentals listed online can speed up the selection and rental process. Having in depth information regarding the quality and mechanics listed online could create and easier route for customers to compare quality and price of different products and companies. Side-by-side quotes could increase satisfaction because of the increased convenience factor.

    Reply

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