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Automating Tool Rental Workflow

Inventory management can be a cost center or a profit center for a contractor. Missing tools that show up in inventory mean that tools won’t be available when and where needed. Tools that are ready to work but aren’t in the inventory list are too often replaced, at additional cost, by panicking supervisors heading to the jobsite. If these scenarios sound familiar, think about how a similar problem can challenge a major tool rental service.

Among the major national contractor suppliers, Home Depot and Lowe’s battle it out for customers. Each strives for efficiency matched to customer service and the winner can be different in each competitive location. To get a favorable advantage, Lowe’s Tool Rental is implementing procurement software from SmartEquip, a member of the Ritchie Brothers companies, to automate in-store equipment service and repair processes.

The SmartEquip Procurement software solution enables equipment owners in the construction field to streamline parts ordering and purchasing, resulting in increased technician productivity, eliminating spare part order errors, and improving tool and equipment fleet uptime and availability. SmartEquip’s single login access to suppliers enables Lowe’s Tool Rental to implement a solitary, consistent process, for every brand of equipment, at every location. With one consistent workflow, the platform makes the process easy to train and even easier to use.

As part of the integration, repair technicians can order directly with manufacturers and preferred dealers of more than 50 brands of equipment, while simultaneously updating purchase orders and work orders. The platform offers suppliers instant reductions in the cost of supporting equipment fleets on the SmartEquip Network, and improved efficiency in supplying spare parts.

Lowe’s isn’t alone is seeking this level of competitiveness. Europe’s largest equipment rental company, Loxam, is also rolling out SmartEquip’s equipment service and parts procurement network. In addition to supporting Loxam locations across France, where the solution is scheduled to go into its pilot testing phase this year, the platform is scheduled to cover the company’s international business units in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

The SmartEquip Network currently supports more than 600 OEM (original-equipment manufacturers) brands, with over 95,000 users across more than 42,000 equipment locations globally. The Network supports over $1 billion in parts transactions annually and the company is led by veterans of construction, technology, and data sciences.

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