8 Ways to Automate Your Marine Rental Operations

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Many boat dealers still use a pen and paper, and maybe a couple of different software programs to manage their rental operations. While those tools still get the job done, there are ways you can make things a lot easier for your team—and your customers.

Marine rental software has come a long way. Now, many parts of your rental business can be centralized and automated. Managing your slips/rentals in one place, digitally, will not only free up more time for your team to focus on revenue-driving activities but also help you deliver a more organized and convenient customer experience.

Here are 8 of the most common areas of a marine rental business that can be automated and simplified using boat rental management software.

1. Preparing Multiple Contracts

It can be very time-consuming to prepare multiple contracts. Especially if you’re still using pen and paper. There are a lot of good reasons to move to digital and bulk contracts, including making contracts easier to search and distribute.

Automate it! Digital contracts can be pre-populated with the contract terms, so all you need to do is press print and you’re done. What’s more, you can generate bulk invoices and contract renewals using your rental software. This makes it easy to renew contracts without needing to retype them. You can also send mass emails for invoices, instead of needing to send them individually.

2. Processing Multiple Payments

Processing and collecting multiple payments are not easy. You can end up waiting a long time to collect payments, or worse—missing payments entirely.

Automate it! Process and collect multiple credit card payments in one place using your rental software. Use a rental software that integrates with a payment provider like ChargeItPro, so you can store credit card numbers in one secure place. That way, you won’t need to re-enter credit card numbers every time you process a payment.

Using an integrated payment provider also makes it easier to identify overdue payments, so you can collect outstanding payments faster—and so no payments fall through the cracks.

3. Tracking Reservations for Multiple Types of Slip and Rental Businesses

Many dealerships offer several different types of rentals aside from marine, including RV, storage, campsite, and even short-term dwelling units. If you’re one of those businesses, then you probably know how much organization goes into managing it all. It can be easy to lose track of short-term and long-term reservations, resulting in short stock and double-bookings.

Automate it! Digitize your reservation calendar with a boat reservation software, to make it easy to identify what’s available or occupied. This will give you more control over your varying rental operations and can be done all within one central rental software. When your current and upcoming reservations are visible for everyone to see, your team can quickly identify slips or spots that are available or occupied for the times required. This allows you to set realistic expectations for customers and reduces miscommunications and errors.

Read Next: Interview with Port Harbor Marine on Perfecting Multi-Location Management

4. Managing Payments and Deposits

Managing payments, deposits, invoices, and GL transactions often requires a lot of rekeying information into your accounting system. Aside from being time-consuming, this also creates room for data entry errors.

Automate it! Instead of swapping between different software and spreadsheets, you can simplify accounting for your rental business by using marine rental software with a built-in accounting module. That way, instead of needing to rekey information and cross-check transactions in multiple places, you can have one single source of truth for your entire rental business.

5. Maintenance for Rates, Fees, and Taxes

When you’re managing your billing in a spreadsheet or separate accounting system from your other business software, changes to fees and rates can cause billing data entry errors—no matter how many times you check your work.

Automate it! Consolidate the process of updating rates, fees, or taxes by using marine rental software with a built-in accounting system. By maintaining all your data in one system, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of billing issues happening.

Read Next: Signs That Your Accounting Department Could Be Struggling

6. Creating Work Orders

Are you still using written Work Orders? Even if you’ve made the move to digital Work Orders, if your service system isn’t integrated with your rentals system, it can take a surprisingly long time for service team members to write out the details and pass them on to the right person.

Automate it! Generate digital Work Orders directly in your marine rental software. By using software with built-in Work Order capabilities, you can keep a reliable record of all jobs that pass through your dealership, including your rental business. Not only that, but by leveraging canned jobs, you can save your team the need to write out the same information for common jobs over and over again.

7. Setting Up Payment Plans and Recurring Billings

It’s important for your dealership to have flexible payment options, to accommodate the needs of different customers. These days, the most convenient option is the most likely to win customers. But convenience should work both ways—collecting payments from customers shouldn’t be a hassle that slows things down.

Automate it! Collect payments and deposits digitally, directly in your rental system. To make the process even easier, set up payment plans or recurring monthly invoices, saving your team the need to follow up with the customer manually.

Read Next: Interview with Strong’s Marine on Delivering a Superb Customer Experience

8. Providing Delivery and Pick-Up Locations

Losing a rental unit is costly and overall, a headache. Knowing where the rental units will be delivered or picked up makes it easier for your staff or customers to locate them.

Automate it! Include delivery or pick-up locations directly in your contracts, so you and your customer are both on the same page. This also helps create a digital record to refer to, should an issue arise with one of your units.

Manage Your Entire Slips/Rental Business with IDS

Every opportunity for automation covered in this guide can be done in IDS Rentals.

Keep your rental operations running like in shipshape, so you can improve the customer experience at your dealership.

Manage stock across multiple locations, evaluate your performance and automate manual processes – all from one dealership management software.

Take Control of Your Fleet

Manage stock across multiple locations and users with a customizable reservation manager and an interactive availability calendar and map.

Consolidate All Paperwork

Keep all your documents in one system and make them accessible to the whole team, so they can look up planned rentals, payment statuses, and other vital information.

Maximize Profits

Quickly create quotes and convert them into reservations. Automatically generate work orders for the service department and set recurring payments for long-term reservations.

To learn more about our marine rental software, call us at 800-769-7425.

marine rental automationwww.ids-astra.com/marine/departments/rentals

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