Employees: 23 Founded:1976 Founders:Bill and Ruth Veneris.
Current software products: Rental Software enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Additional services: Website Development Services and Virtual Bookkeeping Services. Both are agnostic of whatever rental software program a rental company uses.
Target customers: Any independent rental operator that rents equipment as well as people who rent anything from barges, lifts, trailers and portable restrooms to other niche rental items.
Number of clients:An estimated 300 companies.
What are the key reasons equipment and event rental companies should be using rental-specific software? “Rental is a complex industry with specific operational requirements. It takes companies like Alert, with decades of experience, to be able to support companies in the rental industry. Further, that experience helps differentiate the unique requirements for each market type, such as event, equipment, construction or specific industry segments. Rental software is not a one-size-fits-all product,” says Mary Crosslin, co-president and chief operating officer, who also serves as an American Rental Association (ARA) associate member director.
“While there are lots of software packages that can generate invoices, equipment and event rental companies need software that not only calculates rates in all their permutations but also can manage their inventory to help prevent overbookings and handle things like subrentals and repairs,” Crosslin says.
“In addition, a true rental software ERP will inherently integrate to other products that support rental and business applications such as website integration, global positioning system (GPS) and telematics information, accounting packages, credit card processing, computer-assisted design (CAD), analytics and business intelligence, parts ordering and more,” she says.
What is the most used new feature available with your software package? The Rover mobile app, a product that has been in development for nearly a year.
How does your product make a rental store more efficient? “In a world where labor is scarce and small businesses are trying to do more with fewer staff, Alert reduces touch costs, eliminates rate errors, automates invoicing and reporting, and helps your clients self-serve via our web services integrations,” says Kara Longmire, co-president and CEO.
What pain point(s) are you solving for your customers?“Most recently, we have added two new lines of services, not only for our existing Alert clients, but also any rental store using any rental software: website development/integration services and virtual bookkeeping services. We know from talking to our client base that these are two areas where stores are struggling to find proven, reliable talent. We have the experience, know the industry and can take things off an owner’s plate to allow them to focus on what they do best: run their rental operation,” Longmire says.
Why should a rental store choose your product? “Our people. We have decades of experience, with a staff that has a combined 300-plus years of rental industry experience. We are a small enough company that you will know our support staff and they will know you. We are consistently rated outstanding on our support surveys and keeping our clients happy is our No. 1 priority. In addition, Alert has the longest-running users’ group in the industry that meets annually for three days of roundtable discussions, market-specific brainstorming, classes, networking and voting on new features. We truly believe it’s the secret to our software’s development,” Crosslin says.
ARA Rental Software Reviews available to ARA members
The American Rental Association (ARA) has created ARA Rental Software Reviews, an online tool available exclusively to ARA members via ARArental.org.
The tool is generated from an ongoing survey of ARA members, which asked members to rate their current rental software system as well as the importance of common rental-specific software features.
The tool includes survey results detailing features ARA members are using, features ranked by importance, market share according to reviews, software comparisons, software reviews and software feature comparisons.
Reports also can be filtered by industry segment and by the size of rental company.