When it comes to fleet operations, manual isn’t always better. Manual operations, while a common way to manage critical processes for rental-based businesses, have been known to drag down productivity, ramp up costs and cause mounting frustrations. And because many of these processes require human intervention to ensure they run smoothly, precious resources are tapped, taking them away from other necessary projects and tasks that impact the health of the business.
Technology has brought us advancements in several industries, including mobility, with the introduction of automation. Having the ability to automate manual and monotonous processes that are important to the business but often cause inefficiencies means rental-based businesses can modernize their operations quickly and easily with low impact to the customer and high returns to the bottom line.
In this blog, we’ll discuss four ways automation can help rental businesses upgrade and improve crucial back-office processes all backed by the power of technology.
Automation #1: Vehicle Maintenance, Service & Repairs
Automating vehicle maintenance, service and repairs puts the power back in the hands of rental businesses by allowing them to proactively address issues before they become a real problem.
By automating workflows that send a notification the moment a check engine light appears and schedules that vehicle for service immediately means the vehicle is repaired faster, easier and on budget, ensuring assets are always roadworthy and safe. Alerts can be configured based on severity to allow for quick prioritization of maintenance issues and rapid resolution.
Automation #2: Inspection Reporting
While incredibly important, completing, assessing, and filing asset inspection reports can be a real drain on time and productivity for most rental-based businesses. Through the power of automation and a mobile app that fits into existing technology, users can report damage to the vehicle before the rental begins.
Multiple images of the asset can be taken to identify any current damage as well as the existing condition, allowing users to tag the type of damage and provide additional comments before driving off the lot. Images taken through the mobile app are immediately recorded and filed for that asset, ensuring the right party is held responsible for the state of the asset at the right time during the rental.
Automation #3: Vehicle Immobilization
Protecting the assets that keep operations running and the bottom line healthy is often the top priority of rental businesses. In 2021, 932,329 vehicles were reported stolen1, resulting in $7.4 billion dollars lost due to theft2the year prior. Stolen vehicles have severe impacts that travel deep into the business. From lost productivity due to an asset shortage to negative financials from the cost of recovering and potentially repairing stolen vehicles, keeping assets secure and available is key.
With automation, vehicle recovery in the event of a theft becomes proactive, allowing rental businesses to automatically immobilize a vehicle if an unauthorized driver is present, the telematics unit has been tampered with or the departure of the asset from an authorized location. And should an asset be stolen, time to recovery is shortened from days to hours using the breadcrumb trail and asset history of where the vehicle has traveled.
Automation #4: Logistics Management
Adding or removing assets from your fleet is a process often riddled with paperwork, frustration and many back-and-forth communications with third-party vendors – all of which drain time as well as the resources assigned to managing that process.
By automating asset logistics management processes such as vehicle relocation as well as asset onboarding and offboarding, rental companies can rely on technology to take care of the intricacies involved in those processes and reallocate resources to other critical tasks. When time is of the essence to move a vehicle quickly and easily, automation helps reduce the number of phone calls and emails associated with asset relocation, which can typically take days, weeks or even months to complete.
In the next and final blog in this series, we’ll continue down the road of asset security and uncover the many benefits digital keys have in becoming trusted technology for rental businesses.
To learn more about how Ridecell provides greater fleet security to rental businesses while automating routine tasks to increase productivity, click here.
Stacey Papp, Director, Content, Ridecell
1 NICB – Vehicle Thefts Continue to Skyrocket
2 Insurance Information Institute – Auto Theft Facts & Statistics