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Equipment Management Software: 5 Key ERP Benefits You Need to Know


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Equipment Management Software: 5 Key ERP Benefits You Need to Know

18 Sep 2023

Aptean Staff Writer
Equipment rentals including lifts

The equipment industry is evolving rapidly, and technology is playing a central role in driving this development. To meet increasing customer demands and remain competitive in the market, you need to look for innovative ways to streamline overall operations and take your business to the next level.

Industry-specific equipment management software has built-in functionalities that can give your organization a single source of the truth—empowering you to manage sales, parts, services, rentals and more. If a major part of your digital transformation strategy involves eliminating inefficient pen and paper processes, or if you’re looking for a solution to support growing demand, then an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution will be integral to your efforts.

In this article, we will enumerate five key benefits of a purpose-built equipment ERP, including its functionalities tailored to your dealer management industry, whether your business sells, rents or services equipment.

Benefit #1: Inventory Management System Enhances Operations Visibility

Your business could be suffering from significant “inventory shrinkage” if you don’t have a powerful inventory solution in place. Additionally, dealers don’t often track part quantities once loaded in their service vans.

Moreover, managing multiple pieces of equipment and acquiring new ones is stressful if you don’t have a system for tracking interest and principal payments, as well as histories for unit repair and rentals. You could lose thousands of dollars in profits if you still rely on Excel spreadsheets for tracking all the costs associated with each of your assets, and the accompanied manual data entry is not only inefficient but could also lead to inaccuracies.

An ERP with a robust equipment management system gives you real-time, detailed inventory information, including data on your parts, sales, rentals and service revenue centers. Plus, you can add a new level of control in managing replenishment and fulfillment.

With the ability to gain real-time visibility in your entire organization, you can leverage the latest information available, which is crucial in making business decisions to further improve profitability and efficiency.

Benefit #2: Industry-Specific CRM Can Help Build Lasting Customer Relationships

How effective is your current customer relationship management (CRM) solution? Having the right CRM solution can help you build lasting customer relationships and leverage data to improve sales and forecasting.

A purpose-built ERP has integrated CRM functionality with opportunity and campaign management tools to help ensure your salespeople can seize opportunities and identify high-value customers with pinpoint accuracy. The same set of features also gives your team access to work order histories, customer profiles, available parts, delivery schedules and more. Additionally, you even have built-in sales management functionality to view real-time sales activity insights.

Benefit #3: ERP Mobile Integration and Automation Functionalities Can Increase Operational Efficiency

Your staff could be working inefficiently if your current system doesn’t leverage automation and provide access to essential data while on-the-go—and that in turn can lead to increased overhead expenses. The ongoing manufacturing industry technician labor shortage makes this an even more serious concern, as you need to do everything you can to streamline your current workers’ tasks.

Our tailored equipment ERP supports seamless mobile technology integration, empowering technicians, dispatchers and service managers in the field. If your team has access to the internet, they can use their mobile devices to access important data.

Integrating mobile technology as part of your long-term digital transformation also helps unlock these additional benefits:

  • Increased customer satisfaction through faster deployment of assets, parts and field technicians.

  • Greater workforce productivity thanks to the elimination of manual processes and real-time data access while working remotely.

  • Streamlined operations with on-site quoting and billing in the field so purchase orders go out promptly and payments are received on time.

  • Better efficiency in managing assets with ongoing insights into equipment utilization, maintenance schedules, requirements, maintenance operations and idle time.

Benefit #4: Cloud-Based Equipment ERP Can Help Save on Costs

Many equipment dealers like yours are implementing cloud-based ERP systems to reduce downtime required for update releases, receive the latest bug fixes and ensure they are on the most updated version of the software. With a cloud-based equipment ERP, you no longer need on-site servers, immediately eliminating associated overhead maintenance costs.

When your business expands, a cloud-based ERP is scalable to meet your needs without spending more money configuring your system. Many organizations, regardless of size, consider implementing cloud ERP systems to unlock the following benefits:

  • Better business continuity through improved security and increased data availability

  • Significant savings from software deployment to maintenance

  • Easy access to critical data for teams in the field using mobile devices

Moreover, consider implementing a cloud-based ERP if you want to strengthen your cybersecurity, especially in today’s environment, where ransomware has become a significant business challenge. Significant financial ramifications, damaged reputation, confidential data loss and legal implications are all potential consequences should you fall victim to a ransomware attack.

Benefit #5: Financial Reporting and Analytics Functionalities Can Help Drive Smart Business Decisions

Financial reporting and analytics functionalities are some of the standard features that you can find in an ERP solution giving you a single, definitive version of the truth. You get accurate data to leverage when making important business decisions; access historical sales data to help with demand planning and forecasting.

You can utilize equipment ERP’s functionalities to do the following:

  • Discover areas for improvement – Identify the cost of equipment repairs and maintenance so you can figure out if an asset is not being used efficiently or needs repair.

  • Make better investment decisions – Analyze equipment utilization time and determine which pieces could be sold or leased.

  • Manage inventory levels – Track which spare parts are still in stock, as well as the in-demand items you need to order soon.

Choose an ERP Solution That Has the Core Functionalities To Support Your Needs

If you’re looking to implement or upgrade your current equipment management software with a modern ERP system, make sure that it has all the functionalities you need in addressing the unique challenges of your business, such as:

  • Dispatch board – Allow service managers to dispatch and schedule all types of requests to technicians.

  • Technician availability – View all available field technicians, including their skills, certifications and the service calls they are making.

  • Service contract management – Manage all maintenance agreements and enter contracts, whether for service cycle or utilization time.

  • Work in progress (WIP) order and labor management – Leverage views of all open work orders, including time spent on each work order compared with the budgeted time.

  • Field service – Give field technicians easy access to real-time inventory, warranty status, customer data and timekeeping tools.

There’s a high chance that, should you stick with a generic ERP, you’ll need to pay for costly customizations or system integrations. You might be able to force the system to meet your needs, but you’ll still struggle to boost overall operational efficiency.

Aptean’s equipment management software solution has built-in core functionalities for businesses that rent, sell and service equipment—since every segment has its own unique challenges. Aptean Equipment ERP is an ideal solution for heavy equipment businesses whether you work with aerial lifts, agriculture machinery, construction vehicles, material handling rigs, power generators, trucks, intermodal trailers or municipal assets.

Aptean Equipment ERP is built upon Microsoft Business Central, providing a user-friendly interface and integrating seamlessly with other Microsoft applications. It can improve overall business performance by increasing visibility in real-time, building lasting customer relationships, increasing operational efficiency, saving on costs and driving smart business decisions.

When choosing a cloud-based equipment ERP, businesses like yours find it ideal to partner with software vendors who have earned global recognition in the software industry—like Aptean.

Are you ready to level up your business operations? If this is your first ERP implementation project, download our free request for proposal (RFP) template as your guide, or get in touch with our equipment ERP experts today and request a personalized demo.

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