German rental company Zeppelin Rental has introduced a new online rental platform, www.zeppelin-rental.de, which is due to go live at the end of September.

Wolfgang Hahnenberg, chairman and managing director of Zeppelin Rental and head of strategic business units rental and digital services and solutions for the Zeppelin Group, said, "With the digitisation of our business model, we are taking an important step in securing the future of our company and the networking with our customers.

“They benefit from a simpler and quicker settlement and get more transparency in terms of availability and price.”

With a few clicks, Zeppelin Rental said registered existing customers could choose a piece of equipment, select where they want it, how long they want it for and their delivery option. It said an interface between online rental and its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system provided real-time availability, individual conditions and transport costs calculations.

"There is currently no similar offers in the market," said Sebastian Wiese, head of e-commerce and digital business at Zeppelin Rental. "We are very excited about the feedback from our customers and will continue to develop our platform with them.

“The next steps would include features such as the online contract management or the free reporting engine. We also plan the introduction of e-payment, and direct access to customer ERP systems in 2017."

The company explained that consultancy-intensive products would be excluded from the requirement to hire, but could be requested online.

"The online rental is an additional channel, it does not replace the use of advice from our staff," said Mr Hahnenberg. "Of course we will support the rental process, especially with complex queries in the future with an individual personal counseling. For standard products but provides the online rental provides much more flexibility and time savings. "

The news comes after Zeppelin Rental launched Klickrent in 2015 as an independent business. Klickrent is also online equipment rental marketplace but its platform is also open to other German rental companies to list their equipment. Klickrent focuses on sharing equipment and addresses a much broader target group, according to a Zeppelin Rental spokesperson.

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