Rental Equipment Industry Software: a step-by-step approach to not being left behind…


Change is inevitable. You don’t have to be on the leading edge but you can’t be left behind. To successfully accomplish this, the old adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” fits perfectly when implementing new software within the rental equipment industry. Just as eating an elephant all at once is not only overwhelming but impossible, so is overhauling business processes and systems in one fell swoop. This article explores the 1) importance of mapping out business logic and process rules in manageable sections and 2) emphasizing continuous improvement rather than immediate perfection. Change is inevitable and it’s important to navigate it. 

Understanding Business Logic and Process Rules

In the rental equipment industry, business logic and process rules form the backbone of operations. Business logic refers to the underlying processes that manage the flow of data and decisions across systems (e.g., pricing strategies, equipment availability algorithms, and customer relationship management). Process rules, on the other hand, are the defined procedures and criteria that govern these details (e.g., rental periods, maintenance schedules, and compliance checks).

Thinking through Business Process Areas

The first step in any software integration project is to thoroughly map out existing business logic and process rules. This involves:

  • Identifying Current Process: Document all current processes, across all departments, and their outcomes. Understanding what you have is crucial to determining what needs improving then ensuring you get what you want in the end. (Note: when thinking about departments, don’t leave anyone out…AR/AP, rental counter, rental management, parts, service, maintenance, etc.)
  • Highlighting Pain Points: Identify areas where processes are slow, error-prone, or completely absent. It’s good to get feedback from those who are in the process daily.
  • Engaging Stakeholders: Establish a team of key stakeholders to tackle change management. It’s critical to include input from various departments to ensure that all aspects of the business are represented when decisions are made. For example, when to use software, when to automate vs keep manual, and which processes need to be changed/eliminated/edited/remain.

Change is never easy, but with the right strategy and partners we did it. We love where we're at and where we're headed. I feel we're making moves that will have a positive impact on our business for years to come.

Establishing Process Rules

Once the business logic / workflows are mapped out, the next step is to establish or redefine the process rules. This might involve:

  • Simplifying Complex Rules: Break down complex rules into simpler, more manageable parts.
  • Automating Repetitive Tasks: Use software to automate tasks that are repetitive and do not require human intervention, reducing error, and saving time.
  • Eliminating spreadsheets and forms: Identify manual data entry and data manipulation in your processes and replace them with data driven processes.
  • Ensuring Compliance: Regularly update the rules to meet industry standards and legal requirements.
  • Creating Valuable Reports:  Identify what each department needs in the way of reporting, frequency of reports, and timing. And don’t forget the leadership dashboard.

The Elephant Approach: One Bite at a Time

Adopting a phased approach to technology integration is critical in the rental equipment industry. Here’s why taking it “one bite at a time” is not only practical, but necessary:

Avoiding Burnout

Trying to overhaul all systems at once can lead to significant disruption and cause burnout among team members. This is especially true for workflows that involve multiple departments such as Service and Accounting.  By breaking the project into smaller, more manageable phases, you maintain better control over the process, eliminate business disruptions, and greatly reduce stress on team members.

Ensuring Accuracy

Each phase allows for users to adopt new processes slowly while testing process changes with real day to day business needs, which is crucial for ensuring the accuracy of the integration. If/when mistakes are made, they can be corrected in smaller batches, which reduces their impact and cost.

Continuous Improvement

Technology and business environments are constantly evolving, shifting stress to different teams and process areas.  Allowing needed changes to “pile up” so that they can be tackled in a large project introduces risks because the changes are larger and more complex and it takes more time to react to business needs which may result in rolling out “rushed” changes. A phased approach allows for teams to plan for continuous updates and improvements without major disruptions, adapting more efficiently to changes in the market or regulations.

Learn As You Go

With every phase, teams adjust their day-to-day workflow with software and process changes which means you’ll learn something new.  This could be a new customer or tax requirement, or it could be a new software capability that would make a particular job easier. Incorporate those lessons learned into future phases so that each rollout becomes “smoother”.

The Downsides of the “Big Bang” Approach

Conversely, attempting a “big bang” integration — changing everything at once — has several downsides:

  • High Risk of Failure: Large scale changes are more complex, harder to test thoroughly and can lead to significant issues, which are harder to diagnose and fix when everything is new.
  • Operational Disruption: A big bang approach can disrupt operations, potentially leading to lost revenue and dissatisfied customers.
  • Resource Fatigue: Massive changes require substantial resources simultaneously, which can strain an organization’s financial and human capacities.  Preparing for large system changes can become a job in itself for several Operations teams.

Strategies for Organization

Communication and clear decision making are critical throughout the process.  Organizing a cross-functional team requires:

  • Establishing a steering committee to evaluate and decide on changes.  Changes can be simple processes that the business stops or starts doing, or changes could be additional software integrations that are identified throughout the course of a project.
  • Defining smaller teams to work on dedicated tasks, pulling in only those whose knowledge is needed to work the problem.
  • Conducting regularly scheduled team syncs to review progress, identify gaps in the solution, and remove roadblocks stalling specific issues.
  • Establishing a project manager to own and drive the project, following project management principles and deploying project management software to track knowledge, tasks, dependencies, and milestones.  We use Jira and cloud document storage extensively to track and manage software & infrastructure aspects of a project, and tools such as Asana to track other project tasks & milestones.
  • Investing in data mapping.  It will be an intensive process with collaboration needed between business process SMEs as well as Information Technology to understand the “lifecycle” of each data element and what can and cannot be changed.



Implementing enterprise integrations in the rental equipment industry is a complex but an achievable task. By approaching this challenge “one bite at a time,” companies can manage risk, ensure operational continuity, and adapt to changes progressively. This method allows for the meticulous mapping of business logic and process rules while paving the way for ongoing enhancements aligned with business growth and technology advancements. Remember, continuous improvement is the key to long-term success.

Let’s take the first bite together with a free discovery session and explore how these changes will affect your business.

Schedule a virtual coffee chat

To learn more about your opportunities, competitiveness, and how you can take advantage of your opportunities from our point of view.

More to explore