Schedule and track your events and equipment with ease

Free 14 day trials have launched!

Today, we're proud to announce a 14 day free trial of our equipment rental software.  Best of all, no credit card is required to get started.  At the end of 14 days, a regular subscription costs just $59 a year thereafter.  It's simply the best deal in inventory management software around.

Check us out, it's FREE!

Customer service means knowing your rental inventory inside and out

Businesses and companies often struggle for customers. From economic hardships to customer attraction, some companies just aren't cut out to be a force in an already competitive and tight market. While some companies are just destined to not be, there are some companies that are failing when they shouldn't be. These companies might manage several employees, have an impressive customer base, and even have some money channeled for marketing/advertising, but these facts mean little when you talk of customer service and inventory. If you own a company, but you aren't keeping an idea of your inventory, there will be consequences for you and your company. Knowing the amount and the kind of inventory you hold will make it extremely easier to provide to rental customers.

Why is it important?

You might be wondering what is so important about knowing your inventory. For some company owners, inventory poses no special problem, as they keep a routine eye on it constantly. For others, their own inventory may be a mystery to them, and its unknown availability is a consistent problem in running the business. Think of this as an example. If you work as a waiter at a popular restaurant, how important is the inventory for customers? The restaurant mainly deals with food inventory, and if you are constantly telling the customers you are out of this or out of that, they might reconsider and end up picking a different restaurant. The same goes for any business. If you are consistently out of stock, or if you are always unaware of the type and number of inventory, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Now, the question is, how do I keep track of my inventory?

How to keep track of your inventory?

Knowing the inventory will make you seem very professional with your customers and, in doing this, you are essentially providing good customer service. There are several programs and products available for inventory tracking. Once you are looking for a tracker, you will find there are several ones available for both use and purchase, making you able to keep track of your inventory in no time. One of them is EquipCalendar, a program specially devised to help its users in keeping track of their inventory. With EquipCalendar you will never be out of stock again, as it will serve as a easy to use tool for increasing your customers’ satisfaction.

Website and social media advice for your party rental business

Here are just a few tips for our friends in the party rental business...

Use the web for data because it has it, tons of it.  Research competitor rental prices and set your prices accordingly.  Research your competitors special offers and coupons, see if they appeal to the consumer in you.  Find out who has the easiest to read and navigate website in your industry and emulate them.

Social media is easier than you think and pictures rule the world.  With a single picture of your latest delivery and setup, you have a social media campaign, ready to upload and you didn't have to hire anyone extra for it.  Upload the picture, mention the city or neighborhood you delivered to, the type of party, and you've improved your search results for the next prospective customer.

Package your rentals to make it easy for your customers.  Prospective customers do not want to wade through a page for chairs, a page for tables, a page for linens with a calculator in hand.  Any items that are frequently rented together, perhaps matched by color or theme, create a "ready to go" package out of it and give them the discount price you would have anyways for bundling.  You could have a red package, a red+white+blue package, a cowboy package, anything you can dream up.

Do not put 25-50 links, buttons or categories on your website.  Your prospective customers will get confused.  They will have a product or search term in mind, and if it doesn't match yours or is tough to find amongst the busyness of all of your listings, you could lose the sale.  Try this out, for one month, when a prospective customer calls in, log the name of the product they are calling for, in their own words.  Those are the words you want on your website.

Create and experiment with a Display Network campaign on Google Adwords.  Simply put, this is an advertising campaign that targets mobile phones and tablets exclusively, in the city or cities of your choice.  You can pay as little as 4 or 5 pennies for a click.  You can even set a max budget per day, for clicks, at something as low as a $1.00.  That's cheap, less than gas for one or two deliveries.  We do the same thing ourselves and today (10/3/2014), our ads were shown to 11,000+ prospective customers and we only paid $1.94 for those that clicked on the ad for more info.

Create a service area page.  Chances are you serve a major metropolatin area, but you still need to tell customers, and the search engines, where you can provide rentals.  It's also a good opportunity to talk about delivery charges or maximum distance before surcharge.  Plus, not every person is a literal person, some people are visual so you need to include a picture of the metro area, perhaps drawing a "Shape" on Google Maps or use ScribbleMaps, then sharing it with your website visitors.

Get repeat or new business with an email campaign.  Do you know how much email campaigns cost?  Most of the time, it's a big fat zero until you get over 2000 users or 12000 emails in a year.  We use/recommend MailChimp for these reasons, it's affordable (or free) and to be honest, if you have more than 2000 subscribers, you won't mind paying a little to turn them into repeat customers.  Here's another secret, some visitors to your website just come there looking for an email subscription to get discounts or other offers.  They aren't there to buy (yet), they are there to try and get a deal.  Don't let those opportunities pass you by because they are free too!

Give coupons or discounts for reviews on Yelp and Google+.  It's a big social world out there.  People trust the recommendations they read online, even when they've never met the person writing it.  People check to see if you've been reviewed and if you have 4 or 5 stars.  If you've already landed a party rental client, ask them for 1% of effort on their part to write a review of their experience with your company and staff.  If 1% of effort is too much, offer them a coupon, perhaps a referral discount for a friend or their next party.

This info brought to you by EquipCalendar.  Track your events and equipment with ease!

Why you shouldn't use Excel for inventory management

In this economy, companies are constantly being challenged to grow, and when they refuse to grow, they simply shut down. Some companies have found the success formula and, consequently, they have found that their profits are at a good level. Other companies have been forced to shut down. Many of them have repeatedly made one common mistake – they mismanaged their inventories or even left them unmanaged. As a consequence, it turned out that keeping track of a growing inventory can be a very tedious task without the appropriate tools. Some companies used Excel as the last resort. It is a program that is often thought to be one of the very best solutions to managing inventory. Excel might be a common solution, but it is hardly the best tool for rental inventory management.

Why isn't Excel the best solution for rental inventory management?

Excel is one of the most frequently used tools for rental inventory management, but this doesn't mean it is the best option for company owners. Even though its benefits, such as user-friendly interface, might make it appear very rewarding, Excel should be avoided in performing inventory management. Excel workbooks are not real-time and the data represented doesn't work well in the real time with the customers. Due to its design, you are only able to use a single Excel workbook at a time, which makes inventory management very slow and tedious, especially when one wants to edit the inventory logs. Windows and Excel itself may corrupt your workbooks and the logs can be corrupted due to the limited security and maintenance that is presented in Excel.

Is there a better program for rental inventory management?

Considering that Excel may fail your company as an inventory manager, you should seek other choices that will prove to be a better solution to inventory management. EquipCalendar is an excellent program for inventory management, as it provides an easy-to-read and an easy-to- work system that runs smoothly. EquipCalendar will help you navigate through the complexities and difficulties of rental inventory management, as it is very easy to work with. Knowing how to manage your inventory is a critical skill to have, but it isn't a skill that is difficult to pick up on. Pick EquipCalendar today, as it is sure to be the easiest to use software in the rental management industry.

Introducing the Weekly View of Equipment Rentals

Get a weekly view of your equipment rentals using this new feature

Based on customer feedback, we recently added the "Weekly" view, which is a new addition to our other views, Monthly and Daily.

The Weekly view is pretty cool, especially for those wanting a print out of the next week (i.e. 7 days) of work ahead.  Consider it a weekly agenda or a getting things done (GTD) manifesto!
Note the handy 'Week' icon

The Weekly View can also switch between viewing your rental events (i.e. tasks) and rental inventory for the given week.

Weekly tasks view
Weekly tasks view