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Best of Breed vs. Fully Integrated

Apr 29, 2014

You thought a single-vendor integrated software solution would be the best choice for your rental company, calculating that it would save you time, money, and angst; but while it helped one aspect of your business perform particularly well like finance, it left another, say operations, struggling. At a crossroads, you considered buying Rental Operations-specific “Best of Breed” (B of B) software from a rental specialist solutions provider, but you became apprehensive about the costs and complication of integrating it into your system.

It’s time to put your fear aside.

These days, B of B software may be a better option than single-vendor integrated solutions packages, thanks to cloud computing, which has rendered some of the main arguments against B of B applications – that they are too complicated and too expensive to integrate – moot. The reason you should care: As its moniker implies, “best of breed” software is the best of its kind to support a particular business function. Such applications allow you to work with specialized software vendors that are experts in their specific industries and to improve processes at the individual department level, while providing greater improvements companywide. Not only has cloud computing made B of B software easier and less expensive to implement, but by making it a viable option, it has also allowed companies to break out of the constraints of using one integrated software package that may provide superior support for some business needs, but fails to do so for all the others.

A February 2013 Wall Street Journal blog article, Best of Breed Applications Finally Have Their Day, issued this clarion call of sorts on the topic: “ After more than a decade of software industry consolidation and the dominance of ‘all in one’ software suites, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify a suite purchase. Business users were previously forced to accept inferior products in the interest of ‘seamless integration and simplicity’… that never materialized. Instead, all too often the attempts to install monolithic software suites ended in projects that ran well over budget, took months or years longer than planned and left business users with legacy options, if the projects ever went live at all!” The blog continued, “In the cloud, the Internet becomes the middleware. A company can pick and choose applications from many different vendors, integrate them through APIs or third-party cloud integration services and have the suite they always wanted in weeks, not years.”

At inspHire, where software is developed specifically for rental and equipment management solutions, the company has established a pure rental mobile solution in conjunction with rental companies like Elliot’s of Algeco Scotman group, rather than use a third-party generic solution with adaptations. And to the point of software for specific business functions, inspHire’s dashboard and KPI (key performance indicator) reporting focus on operational aspects – length of time equipment is in repair and unavailable for rent, identifying best and worst performing equipment, for instance – rather than on financial information like how much revenue a category is earning. All the financial reports are available, but the operational reports are much stronger and specific to rental companies.

In short, rental-industry-specific software has helped rental companies provide more robust services. Take the example of HB Rentals, which provides onshore and offshore housing as well as temporary accommodation and work units. The company switched from a single suite of integrated applications to inspHire’s specialist rental software Corporate Edition for better information about its stock availability and for comprehensive asset tracking routines. The change in software for these functions has led to improvements in the company’s business. “Since we have implemented inspHire we now have a much clearer understanding of how our assets are working for us through the utilization and asset tracking options,” said Katherine Knowles of HB Rentals, which now also uses inspHire software for other business functions.

When you consider that B of B solutions can lead to a stronger rental business, why not go that route? Here are a few other reasons why B of B solutions get a thumbs-up:

  • Without the added task of maintaining and updating an incumbent program, B of B solutions are exclusively focused on developing and improving the mission-critical front office functionality.

  • Because B of B solutions do not lock you into a single vendor, they allow you to replace individual components instead of the entire solution when necessary. Having multiple solution providers also minimizes the risk of running a product that becomes outdated companywide. *With multiple products implemented in a B of B environment, you have the flexibility to run the most appropriate solution in every department of your company. When upgrading or maintaining a specific department, you do not impact the entire company with down time. At inspHire, we’re here to help. To learn more about B of B rental software solutions, contact us today to book a demonstration suited to your business requirements.

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