Honeywell mobility solution improves customer ordering processand minimises equipment downtime for Kennards Hire
In 1948, Walter Kennard, a machinery merchant in Bathurst, NSW, was asked by a customer if he could borrow a new concrete mixer rather than buy one. Walter thought for a moment and then replied, “I won’t lend it to you, but I’ll hire it to you.” So began Kennards Hire®, which has grown into one of Australia’s largest and most respected family-owned hire companies, with over 170 sites and branches and more than 1,400 employees across Australia and New Zealand.
Kennards Hire recently worked with Honeywell and Skywire to deploy a new solution, featuring the Dolphin CT50 mobile handheld computer, to drive efficiencies in the hire equipment ordering process and minimise downtime between hiring windows for all equipment items.
Kennards Hire delivers reliable and safe equipment for their customers. Every item hired completes a ‘Ready For Hire’ process where it is maintained to the manufacturer’s guidelines, passes all certification and safety checks, and comes with the documentation required to make the customer’s job easier.
For years, the business relied on a manual paper-based process for the hiring and return of its equipment. This system was time intensive for customers who had to visit a Kennards Hire branch and manually complete details around the machine they were seeking to hire, or had returned. It was also inefficient for Kennards Hire, particularly the equipment returns process. Any returned equipment could not be listed as available to hire again until all the correct paperwork had been completed and lodged, meaning the status of equipment would not be accurately tracked in their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
A history of innovation
Kennards Hire has a history of innovation and in 2016 successfully introduced the industry’s first end-to-end online reservation platform that not only replicates the traditional hiring process online but transforms it.
“Previously the online hire process for customers was time-consuming and complicated. Customers would be able to browse our product range online, but there was no ability to hire the equipment, obtain an accurate price, or check availability for a piece of equipment at the desired store location without calling a branch during trading hours,” said Nathan Borg, Project Manager, Kennards Hire.
To facilitate the needs of all customers and to make the transition from offline to online hiring seamless, an online hire platform was developed that integrates with the entire Kennards Hire branch network. Customers can browse and hire products based on their requirements – by location, inventory, availability, and at their specific contract pricing – all in real time.
“With our new online hire platform customers have greater transparency, accuracy and flexibility in hiring equipment. After selecting products to hire, customers are given the option to either have them delivered, or Click & Collect from their selected branch,” said Mr. Borg.
Putting the customer first
Given the success of Kennards Hire new online platform, the company also reviewed areas it could further enhance the customer ordering experience, including making it easier and faster for people to hire and return equipment. For this, the business turned to experienced mobile technology supplier Honeywell and their Dolphin CT50 mobile handheld computer.
Today, customers can visit Kennards Hire’s website to view all equipment available to hire. They can place an order online, and then just drive into a Kennards Hire branch and collect the equipment that they have pre-ordered from the yard without having to enter the office itself. Using the Dolphin CT50 mobile handheld computer as a mobile point of sale device, the Kennards Hire team member can check-out the equipment for the customer to load into their vehicle and take-away.
“It’s a monumental shift for us; it’s great for the customer. We’re only as good as the service we can provide, so we work with Honeywell to make sure that we can stay true to our word,” said Mr. Borg.
The new automated hiring process is central to providing a superior customer experience for Kennards Hire. What used to require timeintensive manual paperwork in the branch, is now a streamlined and easy process.
Minimising equipment downtime, maximising hiring opportunities
Kennards Hire relies on having the right equipment, in the right condition ready for customer use at the right time. The time between when a piece of equipment is returned until it is listed again as ‘Ready For Hire,’ is all time that could be making a customer’s job easier. To overhaul its manual based returns system and minimise any equipment downtime, Kennards Hire deployed a system involving the Dolphin CT50 mobile handheld computer.
Traditionally, the equipment returns process would involve a Kennards Hire team member manually registering returned equipment before entering the information back into their ERP. This process was open to delay and could mean that critical pieces of equipment were not listed as available to hire, even when the equipment was within a Kennards Hire branch and ready for customer use.
By using the CT50, Kennards Hire team members can scan equipment labels and tags immediately on return of the equipment, billing the customer and scheduling the equipment for servicing in real time; maximising revenue opportunities from potential hires.
Efficiency Point of Sale
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