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Challenging the rental equipment industry through digitalisation

Businesses benefit the most from digitalisation when they are able to automate their operations as efficiently as possible. The best-case scenario is when a business and its solutions can provide a clear advantage to its customers. A customer can for example monitor the utilisation rate of the equipment they are renting in real-time, and return them as soon as they are not used. Using applications that take advantage of artificial intelligence and hyper-automation lead to significant financial savings.  

This was Renta’s approach, which in just five years grew into a modern rental company whose business already extends well into Northern Europe. In order to challenge the position of the market leader, it is important for Renta to have a partner that can produce turnkey solutions reliably and on time. The collaboration effort must be seamless.

An agile approach ensures swift development

As the strategic partner of Renta’s digital solutions development unit DigiOffice, WeAre has delivered the key applications for Renta’s equipment and space renting. As a part of the DigiOffice concept, WeAre Solutions goes through the development needs directly with business development managers and provides them with solutions that streamline their business processes.

Our collaboration with Renta began when they needed a simple mobile application for the sale and demonstration of their construction site units. This idea gave rise to Renta Modules for the planning of worksite barracks, which was then followed by the development of Renta Visuals, an application that utilises 3D augmented reality for the modeling and viewing of the worksite.

DigiOffice’s operating model has already produced several applications that support Renta’s service concept. The customer’s online store Renta Easy was created to ease customers’ equipment rental and fleet management, while Renta Tools is used for internal equipment maintenance and the optimization of the rental services. Renta Pro was developed for internal production control of the scaffolding business and site services. In addition, WeAre Solutions takes care of the entire cloud service as a platform. It also ensures that capacity expansion is done flexibly.

The basis of all development work is Renta’s customer-oriented business model based on digitalisation. WeAre’s artificial intelligence expertise and platform solution both support a unified application architecture and are a well-suited basis for development. 

“WeAre Solutions is the ideal partner for Renta. WeAre is able to answer our needs and to grow when growth is needed. They are able to provide us with expert profiles from database-professionals to coders. I recommend WeAre Solutions for companies that want to modernize their industry and are looking for a comprehensive partner to build and maintain digital services.”
Joel Särkkä
CIO

Sovellukset

Renta Easy

Smart equipment rental within arm's reach

In implementing applications, a usual bottleneck is an underlying non-flexible platform solution, which can be hard to adapt to your own needs. WeAre Solutions uses low-code components as a base for applications, which speed up the development work and provide direct access to ready-to-use applications. This allows the solution to be tested faster and the addition of new features does not depend on the limitations of the system. The user experience, operating environment and imagination guide further development.

Renta Easy, a smart fleet management application that fits in your pocket, launched in the summer of 2017. For consumers, Renta Easy acts in its simplicity as a webstore or rental service, while in business use it is a fully-fledged fleet management system. The development work began from the needs of the end customer.

The application allows you to rent and manage equipment through a clear interface. The use of the application must be possible by phone or tablet directly from the construction site. The customer can easily view equipment costs and, for example, optimize the amount of rented equipment on construction sites by monitoring their use.

Renta Easy shows in real-time e.g. the location information, utilization rate and site-specific billing information for rented machinery. If the customer is considering whether it makes more sense to purchase their own machine or continue renting, Renta Easy will help in assessing which solution is better for the customer. Missing machines have also been recovered based on location information.

Renta Easy makes smart proposals to the user based on their order. If you are renting a boom lift, the application will suggest a safety harness to go with it. Additional batteries are offered with battery-powered equipment and extension cords for corded equipment. When the application takes into account things that the user didn’t consider, it produces a great service experience, and increases customer loyalty. Both are incredibly valuable parts of online shopping.

Renta Visuals & Modules

Virtuality becoming mainstream

Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) offer interesting opportunities to present spaces, products, and environments. Developed to accompany the Renta Modules design tool, Renta Visuals leverages the 3D user experience.

If you only look at a floor plan, it can be difficult to figure out what the spaces will look like when installed and how they will meet the needs of the worksite. If you instead put on a pair of 3D glasses, and have a virtual walk inside the premises, you are making it easier for the customer to make suggestions for changes , and ultimately the decision to purchase.

Renta Visuals transforms plans into virtual reality, so the customer can see with 3D glasses, a computer, or a smartphone screen what the designed spaces look like.

For Renta, the Visuals app is the first step in leveraging virtual reality. In the future, the use of AR and VR may also be involved in equipment demonstrations, user guides, and training. This is an illustrative and memorable way of presenting that is suitable for many use cases.

Renta Tools

Internal processes in order with an intelligent ERP

The challenge in managing equipment maintenance and rentals has traditionally been the manual processes and fragmented information flow. Artificial intelligence can collect and combine information from a variety of sources and use it to guide staff in their activities.

Artificial intelligence in the Renta Tools application helps to optimize the flow of returning and outgoing rental equipment. It automatically sorts the returned equipment and learns to identify the equipment that has the biggest demand at any given time. Renta Tools includes an automated return process that identifies maintenance needs based on the device and its operating history. After maintenance, the device is automatically returned to Renta Easy, where it can be made available to rent in an area where it is most in demand.

In this way, Renta is able to serve a larger number of customers with less equipment. The customer is also able to monitor the usage of the rented machines, so that they aren’t standing idle at their construction sites. ERP assisted by artificial intelligence provides a cost-effective and effortless service. When the utilization rate of equipment is high and the functions are efficient, savings are also generated from an environmental point of view. It is concretely reflected in the reduction of the company’s carbon footprint.

The intelligent ERP system is able to extensively combine the data generated by the company’s business functions. From the data, it produces optimal solutions for e-commerce, maintenance, inventory management as well as for sales and management. In the transition to a digital economy, those who invest in learning and scalable technologies are the ones in the driver’s seat.