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Why Universities Should Consider Rental Software

Author: Nathan Crossley May 24, 2022 · 5 Min read
Why Universities Should Consider Rental Software

Universities handle a considerable amount of equipment used by students and researchers both on campus and at home. Usually, they will use dedicated laboratory software to manage this equipment. However, more universities are switching to using rental software to manage their internal equipment inventory and get great results.

As universities and other education institutions begin to digitalize their processes, they need to find software solutions. Many have operated in Excel or printed sign-up sheets for a long time. These processes are not only time-intensive, but they also leave a lot of room for human error. For fields where accuracy is of the utmost importance, this is unacceptable.

Of course, the natural solution these faculties turn to is software created specifically for these tasks. However, they often miss a key element that brings convenience to students and researchers. An online booking portal allows them to access the inventory, check if it’s available, and make a reservation, all without interacting with another person.

Let’s look at the benefits of using rental software to manage equipment in Universities.

The benefits of rental software for universities

1. Overview of all equipment

University equipment managers often find it problematic to get an overview of all of the available equipment. Equipment is frequently bought for a project, used, and kept in someone’s office or added to the general inventory. This makes it difficult to track what equipment is already on the premises and leads to it being purchased more than once unnecessarily.

Rental software helps universities keep track of all of their equipment in a single itemized system. When someone submits a proposal for new equipment, it can be cross-referenced with this database to determine whether it needs to be purchased or is already on campus. This leads to reduced spending and means projects can proceed much quicker.

2. Accessible from anywhere

When universities maintain a master list of their inventory within a spreadsheet, it often only exists on one person’s PC. This requires having access to this computer whenever someone needs to book out equipment. While if it is held on multiple computers, it constantly needs to be updated to reflect the current equipment available to the university.

However, this is no longer an issue with rental software as it is cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere. This means that even if someone is working remotely, they can access it from any device. It also allows multiple people to access the same inventory that is automatically updated when equipment is added, removed, or checked out.

3. Live availability insights

For students, researchers, and staff, it isn’t easy to know what is and isn’t available. Even if they have access to the master spreadsheet the faculty uses, it may not be up to date or even include this information. This makes it difficult to know what equipment they can borrow and what they need to apply for a grant to cover since they don’t know if it exists on campus.

Rental software with live availability insights means that anyone who needs it can access this data. Staff can keep track of inventory availability in the backend, while students and researchers can access an online booking portal. So, everyone who needs to know what equipment is available has instant access to this information.

4. Easy to locate equipment

Many universities find themselves needing to replace equipment because it has been lost somewhere along the way. This could be because someone failed to return it on time, or it could be hoarded away in someone’s office. However, this information is not always easy to attain and often leads to the equipment being considered lost and extra money is needed to replace it.

This problem is solved by rental software as it allows you to keep track of who has borrowed equipment—making it easy to reach out to this person to ask them to return it. It helps prevent loss and reduces unnecessary time and money spent looking for and replacing this equipment.

5. Automate time-consuming processes

Something that we could all use is more time. It is often hard to find, and you can never get it back. For universities, many tasks take too much time and could use automation to reduce waste. In the case of equipment borrowing, this can mean anything from tracking down equipment to booking it out and updating the availability in real-time.

As mentioned above, this can be achieved with rental software and benefit many of these areas. Equipment can be tracked down in just a few clicks as it is automatically assigned. Booking equipment out can be done without communicating through a web portal. Both benefit from equipment availability being calculated automatically without human interaction.

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How Booqable can help universities manage equipment

Booqable rental software makes it easy to keep track of all of your equipment, allows students and researchers to book equipment themselves, and automates time-consuming processes. Once your inventory is set up and itemized, it pretty much manages itself, and it is easy to add new equipment, track down old equipment, or integrate with existing processes.

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