Equipment Rental Company increases deliveries per day by unloading faster and decreasing paperwork
Increased equipment assembly by 20% per day
“We needed to put in a frictionless system that would ensure that the right equipment was in the right location at the right time.”
– JR Taalman, Director of Operations Excellence at United Rentals
United Rentals, founded in 1997, has become the world’s largest equipment rental provider, with an integrated network of over 880 rental locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces.
United Rentals manages over eight billion dollars of rental fleet including forklifts, scissor lifts, pumps, power tools, earthmovers, trench safety equipment, and many others types of equipment.
The company’s diverse customer base includes construction and industrial companies, utilities, municipalities, government agencies and independent contractors.
Accelerate Operational Efficiency
Equipment rentals is a competitive and complicated business. Each branch has millions of dollars of equipment fleet that needs to be turned as quickly as possible. And customer equipment needs and schedules are in constant flux. “We embarked on a major field automation initiative to accelerate operational efficiency,” says JR Taalman, Director of Operations Excellence at United Rentals.
The company wanted to digitize the entire rental workflow process and mobile-enable the equipment associates and delivery drivers so they could have all of the information they needed at their fingertips.
The equipment associates are similar to a pit crew at a racetrack. They prepare, load and unload equipment and manage the equipment fleet. “Our equipment associates were spending a lot of time going back and forth to the office to check on orders and often didn’t have the latest information,” says Nicole Haag, Area Operations Manager at United Rentals.
The company also wanted to improve order accuracy and customer transactions. “We have national customers with many construction sites and lots of equipment going in and coming out,” says Taalman. “We needed to put in a frictionless system that would ensure that the right equipment was in the right location at the right time.”
Android-based smartphones and applications development were faster and more cost-effective than industrial mobile devices
Mobile Field Automation Applications
United Rentals selected Samsung Galaxy S smartphones to connect with its suite of field automation apps. Over 2,000 Galaxy S phones have been issued to equipment associates and drivers.
The mobile phones integrate well with United Rentals mobile and IT systems. “Samsung’s APIs have made it really easy for us to connect to our IT infrastructure,” says Neville. “And the Android OS is an easy development platform so we can quickly expand our app functionality as business conditions change,” says Neville. “Samsung phones easily integrate with our mobile management software so we can centrally manage all 2,000 phones from one location.”
Samsung Galaxy Smartphones
Increase Driver and Associate Productivity by 20%
The solution has also enabled the Galaxy S phones and the field automation apps have driven major improvements in branch productivity. The phones have streamlined the equipment delivery and pickup process for the drivers so they can make more deliveries. “Our drivers used to make about eight deliveries a day and now they can do up to twelve deliveries – that’s a huge productivity gain for us,” says Haag.
The Galaxy S phones have also enabled the equipment associates to inventory and prepare the equipment more efficiently. “The Galaxy S phones and the apps are saving our equipment associates about two hours a day,” says Haag. “They have real-time information and everything they need to process orders right at their fingertips.”
“Our drivers used to make about eight deliveries a day and now they can do up to twelve deliveries — that’s a huge productivity gain for us.” — Nicole Haag, Area Operations Manager