Business Intelligence that engages with all possible ways to gather, analyze, and present knowledge is booming, affordable, and getting easier to learn and use every day. Equipment-driven companies that focus on rental, leasing, and services are looking at great opportunity for growth and innovation by putting some keytrends for equipment rental to work within their business.
Below is a brief glance at trends for equipment rental thatwe see as crucial to equipment-driven companies in today’s market. The foundation for our suggestions are:
You’re using or considering using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for operations
You see value in enhancing Dynamics 365 with integrated rental, leasing, and services software
You’d like to take advantage of Microsoft Power BI and third-party Business Intelligence solutions
Omni-source data integration: Not so very long ago, a centralized ERP database was a primary key to connecting organizations. Possibilities for data integration have grown exponentially, and are now part of the movement known as “digital transformation.” The mindset and technologies used to make data the driving force in your business are reflected in sophisticated, accessible toolsets such as Power BI. Equipment-driven industries can gather data from where it lives and then combine and connect it to form a 360-degree view that covers all angles for rental, leasing, and services. An ISV solution that is built on an open platform and provides connectors is as essential as native integration with Dynamics 365. You need easy ability to integrate not only with ERP, but with a universe of devices, apps, and interfaces, from IoT devices to mobile apps to third-party and customer websites and portals. Cloud-based and mobile-first approaches are critical here, but that should not be a scary proposition. Strong ISV solutions and Business Intelligence toolsets anchor those capabilities within a platform that lets you pace your innovations and expand existing approaches to data access.
Data governance that fuels collaboration: The need for diverse parties to work with shared information is becoming essential to equipment-driven companies. We’ve written recently about fostering collaborative relationships between equipment dealers and third parties, shippers and outsourced transport, and transport and logistics. Barriers to sharing information are dissolving, without compromising integrity or confidentiality. For example, manufacturers and dealers are learning that they can achieve mutual benefit by creating a culture of analytics that uses clean, centralized, and role-based data sources. The good news is that BI tools are making it possible to share data while adhering to compliance—from first use, all parties can feel confident that they’ll have the right balance of access, security, and performance.
Visual analytics that levels the playing field: The power of graphical planning boards can’t be overestimated for rental, leasing, and services. In a single view, they can transform tactics and execution by delivering real-time insight, collaboration, and communications that reach all areas of your organization. Operational-level analytics can be filtered effortlessly to reach the next level of KPI analysis and enhanced with toolsets such as Power BI, Targit, Clickview, etc. Both data experts and non-experts can think critically about data that’s presented as visuals that can target big-picture and granular issues. They can utilize query tools that range from drill-back to Cortana Analytics to drag and drop, using guided or free-form approaches—whatever works best for your company, department, or employee. Whether you’re looking to increase equipment utilization for a specific geography, ensure you meet multi-country regulations for routes, explore viability of new rental or leasing scenarios—name any challenge--visual analytics draws from omni-sourced data to give you a common language. Equally important, it lets all stakeholders contribute meaningful insight, as part of an analytics community.
Image 1: Rental BI cock-pit in Microsoft PowerBI
What’s so exciting about these trends for equipment rental is that they can be implemented quickly to eliminate data silos, fuel rich business relationships, and deliver insight that reflects multiple perspectives and areas of expertise. Equipment-driven rental, leasing, and services companies can and should welcome opportunities to make their focus on operations and communications a path to growth and customer satisfaction. The new world of BI can let you do that with ease and flexibility.
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