6 Must-Haves for Scaffold Rental Management Software

Scaffold rental management software is the engine that drives your scaffolding business towards greater productivity and profitability. 

There are many options on the market, and they’re not all designed the same. Some focus solely on inventory management, while others offer seamless integration with scaffold design software. 

No matter the purpose, some features are unmissable for scaffold rental management software.

Keep reading to know the six must-haves for an efficient scaffold rental management software. 

 

Must-Have Features for Scaffold Rental Management Software

For your scaffolding business to thrive, it needs a solid scaffold rental management software that has the following features:

 

Built Specifically for Scaffolding Industry

First things first, your scaffold rental management software must be built specifically for the scaffolding industry. Why, you ask? Well, using an industry-specific solution means that it’s able to handle specific job requirements. Developers of such solutions are aware of the ins-and outs of the scaffolding industry and their software will also address most of your scaffold management needs.  

For example, in the scaffolding business, it’s important to be able to track jobs and materials across different locations like branch office, laydown yard, staging area, and job sites. This is to ensure you get maximum utilization out of your scaffolding equipment and materials. 

Besides keeping track of equipment and materials, managing re-rent (cross-hire) in line with owned inventory is another important feature specific to the scaffolding industry. Using a software that enables cross-hire will let you know when you have enough materials to return to the vendor. It prevents costs from adding up unnecessarily and helps to maximize your scaffolding business ROI

 

Intelligent Scaffold Business Data Automation, Reporting, and Analysis

Too much data, too little time. Don’t let this be the case for your scaffolding business. Data automation is necessary in today’s digitized scaffolding landscape, where efficient data processing can raise your company’s profitability. One way to achieve this is by choosing a software that automates tedious and repetitive processes like customer order requests, invoicing, accounting, and many more.

The software must also be able to transpose business data into customizable reports and pivots to monitor how your business is performing and help you make profitable business decisions. 

Another capability of a scaffold rental management software is providing an instant view of inventory utilization. This feature can help you determine if you have enough available inventory to furnish a job. 

Besides that, the scaffold management system must allow a scaffold branch office or job site balance to go negative. This data analytics feature acts as a monitoring tool that makes your inventory auditing procedure (e.g. cycle count) more efficient.

Other important analytical features are return count and blind count sheets. They’ll help you track and bill your customers for lost, damaged, and missing equipment to recoup any costs incurred. 

 

Seamless Integration for a Streamlined Scaffolding Solution

Integration is essential, especially if you use different software to address different areas of your business. The resulting best-of-breed solution should then be intuitive and error-free.

The scaffold rental management solution should offer stable and seamless integration with scaffold design software. This way, you can provide an accurate drawing and materials list to your customers without incorrect data duplication. Afterall, poor data management is a major contributor of global construction rework.

Besides design software, the scaffold rental management software should also offer integration with common accounting systems that allow customized billing methods like arrears, advance, and first advance, then arrears. You can then choose the most suitable billing options depending on cash flow, customer payment behavior, service costs, etc.

 

Customizable Solution with Flexible Pricing Tiers

Being forced to stick with a common pricing package that requires a long-term commitment or per-user pricing package is frustrating. It’s even worse when the chosen package doesn’t even fulfill all your scaffolding business objectives. 

So, the software should be priced according to the size of your business. Most importantly, choose one with a per-branch licensing option. This way everyone from the job-site foreman to the branch Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will have access to scaffold inventory information. The end result? Improved efficiency across your company. 

 

Quick Install, Seamless Onboarding, Easy to Use, and Unlimited Support

For scaffolding businesses – or any for-profit business for that matter – time is money. So, the software should offer quick install with minimal business downtime. After installation comes onboarding and here, vendor support and training for your staff are equally important to enable timely software utilization. 

In addition, an intuitive system UI also empowers your staff to start using the software in next to no time. With unlimited support, ongoing updates, and new release training, you can successfully manage your business operations.

 

Quantify: A Powerful Inventory Management System for the Scaffolding Industry

Quantify is one of the most powerful inventory management systems built specially for the scaffolding industry. It expertly handles all requirements that a scaffolding business needs with unlimited and tailored support provided by Software Assurance.

With real-time inventory insights, Quantify offers accurate material estimates based on scaffold designs. The outcome is a production-ready proposal, minus the unnecessary concerns over equipment or material availability. Once you win a bid and get the job, instantly turn your estimate into a shipment right from the software, and you’re good to go. 

Since Quantify is an inventory management system, use it to monitor the materials and progress of each job at different branches. 

Use Quantify's Estimates tab to monitor job progress

Leverage Quantify’s Estimates tab to monitor scaffold materials and the status of each job.

 

Besides that, Quantify’s .NET API makes it easy to integrate with any accounting system for efficient bookkeeping. Scaffold estimates from Scaffold Designer are fully compatible with Quantify. All you need to do is to save your scaffold estimates and import the file into Quantify to complete the integration. Hence, you can easily avoid redundant data entry and inaccurate information.  

Integrate Quantify and Scaffold Designer

Seamless integration is possible between Quantify and Scaffold Designer.

 

Quantify has several licenses to choose from: Small Business, Enterprise, and Industrial. Each of these versions offers a per-branch license, not per-user. With everyone having unlimited access to inventory information, jobs can be completed productively. 

If you’re already using rental software, switching to Quantify and migrating data from your original system couldn’t be easier. Just import your existing customer, materials, counts, and rates with a simple tab-separated spreadsheet file.

Import information into Quantify

Import important scaffolding business information right from the Import tab.

 

Want to see Quantify in action? 

Book a personal Quantify walkthrough with our team today. 

Scaffolding rental maximize ROI

How to Maximize Your Scaffolding Business ROI

Do you have excess inventory gathering rust in your scaffold yard? Then, you could be missing out on an easy way to maximize your utilization and cash flow.  

The scaffolding rental market is projected to grow at 5.32% from 2018-2022 (source). Renting out scaffolding and equipment can help you expand your business and diversify your revenue stream.

While it is a highly lucrative business, many scaffolding vendors struggle to attain the levels of success they desire. 

Without the right inventory management systems in place, managing all of the moving parts involved can become a nightmare. 

In this blog post, you will learn more about the secrets to maximizing ROI with scaffolding re-rentals.

What Are the Challenges for Scaffolding Rental Business Owners?

First and foremost, a lack of inventory management is the biggest obstacle to running a rental business. Without the right forecasting, management, and invoicing systems in place, you could find yourself exposed to any number of risks, as described below.

Inventory Control

Most scaffolding firms still rely on spreadsheets and paper-based shipping documents for asset management and rental inventory tracking. These approaches are error-prone and full of costly inefficiencies.

Shipping documents are often duplicated or triplicated to track scaffolding rentals from the yard to job site, and back. But they aren’t always properly checked and signed. 

In some cases, the shipping list gets lost, making it difficult to keep track of rental equipment coming in and out of the yard. When the shipment arrives, it is not counted correctly due to the lack of verification against shipment. This makes it difficult  to capture over-shipments or missing components as they travel back and forth between yard and job site.

Another common problem is the lack of a formal count sheet or inspection procedure for rental inventory, thus limiting your visibility into stock levels. While some generic software can handle trackable items with serialized numbers, bulk assets don’t get accounted for over time. Without regular inventory counts, businesses can lose a fortune due to lost or stolen inventory. 

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many scaffolding businesses.

Billing and Invoicing

Inaccurate order tracking also causes all kinds of headaches to the folks in accounting. They rely on physical count of the stock to identify discrepancies between inventory records and the actual stock in hand. 

Missing or damaged components that fell off your radar end up not being billed at all. Mistakes in invoicing could cost your company hundreds of thousands each month. And this is where the nightmare begins. You can’t charge customers for repair or replacement costs if these problems get discovered too late. At the same time, a drop in inventory due to equipment failure could lead to unplanned downtime, affecting your rental activities. 

Yes. Running a successful rental business isn’t easy. 

Don’t pour your money down the drain with inefficient paper- or spreadsheet-based systems or manual inventory records.

We built Quantify to help you automate your rental management, so you can focus on closing deals and improving inventory turnover.  

“Quantify took us from tracking being almost an impossibility to being able to do it with a couple of clicks.”

– Jack Dalrymple, Commonwealth’s director of branding and operations

Learn how you can leverage a modern scaffolding inventory management system to manage your rentals with ease. 

Quantify: Intuitive and Powerful Solution for Profitable Scaffold Re-Rentals

Quantify offers an all-in-one platform that can streamline your workflow and boost re-rental profitability for both internal and external use. Keep reading to learn how Quantify solves common challenges in scaffolding inventory management and billing.

External use

You can either import product quantities into the estimate or create a new estimate for rentals based on the current inventory located at the job site:

product quantities and estimates
Quantify Estimates

Then, issue the delivery order from your estimate:

Quantify Shipping and Logistics
Shipping and Logistics

The best part? You can manage the entire rental fleet to ensure accurate stock levels for all customers in one place:

Working with multiple rental fleet
Working with Customers

As mentioned above, you can generate invoices for all charges, including billable amounts for rent and sales of consumable items. You can integrate Quantify with major accounting tools like QuickBooks, Oracle, and Xero, among others.

With inventory tracking, Quantify will immediately flag missing items when they don’t make it back from the job.

Inventory Tracking
Inventory Tracking

Internal use

Quantify integrates seamlessly with Scaffold Designer. This means that with just a click you can generate the materials list for your project in Scaffold Designer. Then, you can export it to Quantify to cross-check inventory and manage your project. 

Need to make changes to your plan on the fly? You can edit the Bill of Materials, such as adding parts and quantities, and then create instant estimates for your end-users. 

Sharing and managing scaffolding material lists
Sharing and managing scaffolding material lists has never been easier. 

Besides monitoring rented items and prices during shipment and return. You can also manage ongoing hire billing by items. 

These are just a few of the ways Quantify helps you unlock your company’s profit potential through re-rentals. See others below!

How to Maximize Revenue with Scaffolding Rentals

Beyond inventory management capabilities that you can find in generic software, Quantify takes into consideration every detail that goes into running a profitable scaffolding business.

Maintaining scaffolding utilization rate

Specialized software like Quantify allows you to manage cross-hire in line with your stock record. This way, you can collect data for inventory utilization forecasts.

Generic accounting software only reveals utilization trends over time, meaning you’re not able to use it to determine your actual capacity to handle an upcoming job. Quantify solves this problem with instant inventory utilization reports, enabling you to monitor your utilization rate in real time.

For instance, if you are already utilizing 90% of your current inventory, you may not have enough equipment to serve the next customer coming through the door. Or, if your utilization rate is below 70%, you may be leaving money on the table with too much equipment in the yard.

Ideally, you should aim for a 75% to 80% utilization rate for your equipment fleet to ensure a healthy inventory for immediate demand, and consistent revenue stream. 


Related: 5 Critical Metrics Every Scaffold Business Needs to Know


Generating revenue from the sale of consumable items

With Quantify, you can also sell consumable items that go to a job but never come back. If you have a good stock of items like gloves and harnesses, for example, you can make a profit from them. Quantify enables billing and invoicing of consumable parts as well. 

Increasing profit margins with asset valuation

Inside Quantify, you have the ability to track the list price of your equipment purchases and set your rental price based on various costing factors such as average cost..

By blending the original cost into total average fleet cost, you can ensure higher ROI from the monthly rental rate, no matter what happens with daily business transactions.

For example, if you purchase 100 items at $3 per piece and another 100 items at $6 per piece, your average cost is $4.50. Then, you can charge a fixed percentage of the list price ($4.50) as a standard rental rate.

Using an accounting software, you can also track the total asset value and take a depreciation deduction on your tax return to improve profit margins.

Think Scaffolding Business. Think Quantify.

To run a wildly successful scaffolding business, you first need to get organized, especially when dealing with high-volume equipment rentals. Leverage Avontus technology to streamline your processes, add efficiency to operations, and maximize your profit the right way. 

Track your asset movements with real-time inventory visibility.

Improve accounting efficiency with fast and accurate billing automation.

Gain insights into your business with industry-specific software solutions.

Are you ready to reinvent your scaffolding rentals? Get in touch with our team for a personal Quantify walkthrough!

Major Types of Scaffolding in Construction

Scaffolding is an integral part of almost all construction projects and has been used ever since the first structures were built. Commonly needed to get access to structures at height during construction, scaffolding can serve many different purposes. Sometimes scaffolding is used to support workers and their tools, other times they’re needed to support significant loads from building materials, such as bricks, blocks, stucco, or cast-in-place concrete, which is known as ‘shoring’ instead of ‘scaffolding’.

Even though there are many different types of scaffolding, new variants come out fairly often. Some of the most popular types of scaffolding around the world include:

  1. Wooden & Bamboo Scaffolding
  2. Tube & Clip Scaffolding
  3. Systems Scaffolding
    1. Cuplock Scaffolding
    2. Kwikstage Scaffolding
    3. Haki Scaffolding
    4. Staircase Tower Scaffolding
  4. Frame & Brace Scaffolding
  5. Suspended/Swinging Scaffolding
  6. Mast Climbing Scaffolding
  7. Shoring

Why are there so many different types of scaffolding?

Sometimes a specific type of scaffolding is common because the equipment is readily available and a lot of people know the system. You may already be familiar with these regional differences, like Kwikstage in Australia and Scotland, as well as tube and clip in England and Wales. There is a lot of local expertise on the intricacies of each system, as well as local codes written with these systems in mind.

Depending on where you’re working in the world, different types of scaffolding systems will be more common. In Scandinavia and Northern Europe where labor is very expensive, aluminum scaffolding is becoming more common. Since aluminum is lighter than steel, and most scaffolding has to be manually lifted to be put in place, lighter scaffolding means that the scaffold can be built faster, which reduces labor cost.

In some countries, aluminum is expensive and labor is much more affordable, so wooden poles and bamboo is fairly common. As a designer, make sure that you’re choosing the scaffolding system that works best for your project and follows local regulations.

Below, you’ll find more information about each type of scaffolding including common applications and where they’re commonly used around the world.

Wooden & Bamboo Scaffolding

Hong Kong bamboo scaffolding construction from CNN — Hong Kong’s Incredible Bamboo Spidermen

Although you can use wooden scaffolding almost anywhere (there are regulations for how to build it), it’s more common outside of North America and Europe. Pre-cut lumber was the most common type of scaffolding until steel, and the fabrication of materials, became much more affordable. Bamboo is more commonly used in Asia where it’s favored for strength, flexibility, and eco-friendliness.

Hong Kong is the most well-known city that uses bamboo scaffolding to build everything from opera houses to skyscrapers. Highly-skilled designers and technicians are responsible for constructing and maneuvering through multiple stories of bamboo. It’s so popular that there is a formalized manual, from which the diagrams above were found, called the Guidelines on the Design and Construction of Bamboo Scaffolds.

Tube & Clamp Scaffolding

Tube and coupler scaffolding construction example from Ponteggi Edilponte S.p.A

This is one of the earliest types of steel scaffolding and consists of two parts, including the tubes and clips, sometimes called ‘couples’. The idea is really simple and one reason why it’s so popular is because of the ease in assembly and disassembly. To erect the scaffold, you need to connect tubes together to make long runs and then connect the verticals and horizontals together with clamps built specifically for these tubes.

This system is very flexible as you can place the verticals wherever you need them. Where other types of scaffolding don’t easily form to odd shapes, tube and clamp scaffolding can be adapted to round, straight, or irregular buildings. The steel in this type of scaffolding is specially designed to protect against rust and corrosion, meaning it’s a good choice for regions with harsh weather. There are specific requirements that scaffold designers and companies must fulfill according to OSHA scaffolding safety regulations, which is where you’ll find more diagrams like the ones above.

Systems Scaffolding

Sometimes referred to as modular scaffolding, systems scaffolding consists primarily of vertical and horizontal pre-engineered components that connect together in a systematic fashion. Systems scaffolding is likely the most used type of scaffolding across the globe and there are hundreds of manufacturers, each having specific efficiencies. Some perform well in very highly loaded conditions and others are more suited to smaller repeated scaffold structures.

Systems scaffolding is an umbrella term that includes many different types of scaffolding that can be used to create standardized scaffolding bays. Some of the most popular types of systems scaffolding includes:

Cuplock Systems Scaffolding

Commonly made from galvanized steel, cuplock systems scaffolding is popular for its ability to support heavy loads. With cuplocks at every 500mm to 1,000mm, this type of scaffolding creates highly standardized systems that work well for scaffolding designs with repeated patterns. You’ll find many diagrams on cuplock scaffolding systems, as well as information on the different available sizes, like the ones above.

Kwikstage Scaffolding

If you’re a scaffold designer in the UK or Australia, then Kwikstage will likely be your systems scaffolding of choice. From commercial to residential applications, Kwikstage is both easy to erect and relatively adaptable. With just five components required, it’s easy to assemble and disassemble. Non-slip platforms and double guard rails included with Kwikstage improve its safety and reliability. There are plenty of resources out there for assembling Kwikstage scaffolding, including those from Work Safe New Zealand and Staluform.

Haki Scaffolding

Used in scaffolding, as well as shoring and suspended systems, Haki is one of the more contemporary systems. Unlike other scaffolding types, Haki is both a name for the manufacturer and a non-generic scaffolding system. Based on safety, quality, and adaptability, Haki scaffolding is lighter and has fewer components than other systems. The typical Bay length measures up to 3 meters and the system is approved for load class 6, making it into one of the more durable systems. You’ll find plenty assembly instructions and diagrams from Haki.

Staircase Towers

Most system scaffold manufacturers create special components that are used to build a staircase, like the diagrams above from Offshore Technology and Scaffolding Depot. Oftentimes these staircases are a part of the scaffold structure that enable the workers to travel from level to level, but sometimes a stair tower is used on its own. As a scaffold designer, these particularly come in handy when workers need safe, temporary access to a section of the building.

Frame & Brace Scaffolding

Frame and Brace Scaffolding example from Universal Scaffold

Very common for residential and commercial applications in North America and Europe, this type of modularized scaffolding consists of frames, braces, planks, and bases. This scaffold is very light and can be erected very quickly. It’s important to note that this type of scaffolding isn’t as strong as system scaffolding.

In the diagrams above you can see the frames stacked vertically on top of each other, and the cross bracing that connects them together. You can find similar diagrams from the Indiana University Scaffolding Safety Program and OSHA.  Frame and brace scaffolding is commonly used in small-scale projects where scaffolding could be made mobile.

Suspended or Swing Set Scaffolding

Suspended and Swing Set Scaffolding example from My Construction Photos

Although some scaffolders don’t classify this structure as scaffolding, since it isn’t built from the ground, we consider suspended or swing set scaffolding as scaffolding. Afterall, it’s main purpose is to support scaffolders and their supplies.

This type of scaffolding consists of a platform that is suspended by a cable system that allows the platform to climb up and down to various heights. Suspended scaffolds can provide significant savings on very tall structures that need light duty access, like ongoing building maintenance and small improvements. You’ll find plenty of examples of swing set or suspended scaffolding online, like the ones above from Shandog Haoke Manufacturing Equipment Co. and Lackner Products Corp.

Mast Climbing Scaffolding

Mast Climbing Scaffolding example from Superior Scaffold

Similar to suspended scaffolding, a mast climber can extend to various heights. Instead of hanging from wires, this scaffold can climb up and down on fixed mast structures that are placed on the ground. This type of scaffolding is favored by scaffolders who need to support heavy loads.

Where there is a brick or block wall that needs to be built, you’ll oftentimes see mast climbing scaffolding as it can be adjusted to get to various heights in small increments. These scaffolds range in height, some only a couple floors tall while others climb several stories. Since mast climbers don’t require a significant amount of space at the base of the structure, they’re ideal for projects with limited ground area. Above is a great example of single and double mast climbing scaffolding from Tamer.

Shoring

Shoring Scaffolding example from Saglam Orman

Whenever you see a concrete slab for a building floor, the concrete was almost certainly poured on top of a form in order to hold the liquid concrete until it cures into a solid that can support itself. Most often the structure underneath consists of scaffolding.

There are frame and brace systems that are manufactured to hold this weight, but it really can be built out of any available materials. You can find plenty of models and diagrams online, including the ones above from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

There are many different types of scaffolding that can be found worldwide. This list of scaffolding represents some of the popular types that we’ve seen designed with Avontus. There are other types of scaffolding you’ll find, including new frameworks that have yet to be created. If you’re looking to learn about the basic types of scaffolding, then this list should give you a nice overview of what you’ll encounter in most construction projects in North America and Europe.