Sunbelt implements iPhone rental application

By Murray Pollok10 August 2009

Over 1200 Sunbelt Rentals staff are using iPhones for remote access to data on equipment and custome

Over 1200 Sunbelt Rentals staff are using iPhones for remote access to data on equipment and customers.

Sunbelt Rentals in the US has developed a rental sales application for Apple's iPhone and has equipped 1200 of its sales staff and field personnel with the tool.

The Mobile SalesPro (MSP) application gives staff a real-time connection to customer and inventory data.

John Stadick, Sunbelt Rentals' vice president of IT, said; "The iPhone and MSP allow our sales force to stay connected with their customers and with the rest of the company. The ability to respond instantly, even when standing in the dirt on a job site, truly leverages the technology and creates a huge competitive advantage".

The iPhones communicate directly with Sunbelt Rentals' Microsoft Exchange Server, connecting the company's workforce with email, calendar and contacts. The ‘app' connects the corporate point-of-sale system, inventory control and management platform and ERP system. Sales reps can retrieve sales data, inventory reports and complete customer histories.

Implementing the iPhone has also been easy, said Sunbelt, because installing the application is easy and because the iPhone is simple to use; "The iPhone user interface is the best I've seen on any mobile device," said Mr Stadick. "It does no good to roll out these devices if the interface is difficult to use. With iPhone, Sunbelt employees are instantly productive."

Sunbelt said the system was already winning business for the company. Dean Moore, Sunbelt's senior systems manager and architect, said; "We had a general contractor ask about a specific piece of equipment. The sales rep pulled his iPhone out and found a picture of the equipment using Mobile SalesPro, the contractor saw that the equipment would do the job, and we had a rental."

A case study of Sunbelt's iPhone application is now carried on Apple's website. Sunbelt is one of seven enterprises profiled by Apple for its use of the iPhone - others include Kraft Foods and Gannett. (See www.apple.com/iphone/business/profiles/sunbelt-rentals/.)

"We're pleased to have Apple acknowledge our development of MSP and the integration of the iPhone into our business," said Mr Moore, "We've only scratched the surface with what we can do and we'll continue to develop MSP and other iPhone applications to provide better customer service."

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