Hyreslandslaget (HLL) is the machine rental business brightest shining star helping their customers with anything from angle grinders to bulldozers. HLL wanted to go digital but didn’t know where to start. We helped identify the first natural step, and found out that time actually IS money.
Insights through research
In order to solve a problem you must first understand it. Through field research following employees from stores to digging sites, we studied and interviewed HLL customers. HLL had such satisfied clients that we even had difficulty uncovering pain points. Unexpectedly, some of the most crucial insights actually came from studying how the HLL employees worked.
In order to solve a problem you must first understand it. So we met with our clients customers.
After gathering qualitative information, we looked at the data. Together with Avaus, we found some valuable insights: like how 1% of their customers stood for 25% of their turnover, and how a high intake of new customers concealed an equally high churn rate. With this knowledge we compiled a list of problem areas and prioritised those that would have the greatest effect in the shortest amount of time.
We knew that the best solutions would benefit two user types at the same time: customers and employees. One of our main metrics was reducing the minutes the sales team had to spend on the phone. A major part of phone time was helping customers estimate costs. While difficult to do over the phone, it could be done in seconds with the right tools. We set out to do just that.
HLL thought they needed a new phone system to reduce call minutes, but it turned out out they just needed fewer calls.
A very clever calculator
HLL thought they needed a new phone system to reduce call minutes, but it turned out out they just needed fewer calls. After prototyping and testing on users, we found the best solution for the job would be an app that could estimate the cost of renting.
One thing to note is while renting heavy machinery is a big thing for HLL, it isn’t for the user. Rental costs are only a fraction of the total budget in a construction project - something customers want to get out of the way quickly and easily. Because of this, we added no unnecessary features whatsoever. Straight to rental without passing go.
One challenge we faced was that users didn’t know what machines were called. They would just ask the service person “I want to demolish a bathroom, what do I need?”. We created a guiding interface that help the users find the right machine for the job. Because many users would not be Swedish speakers, we placed extra emphasis on imagery and icons.
Rental costs are only a fraction of the total budget in a construction project - something customers want to get out of the way quickly and easily.
Technology that works with the grain
At APE we take pride in creative concepts that remain rooted in reality, and that take budget into account. In that spirit, we adapted our concept to work within the constraints of HLLs IT system without requiring expensive and unnecessary changes.
We rolled up our sleeves and mapped out everything we could work with. Just understanding their business logic tool a month of work on it’s own. Our solution was to build a bridge between their system and our backend, a so called mediating layer. An investment like this in their backend-system was a bigger cost initially but once we develop their digital offering to involve more tools, it will pay off tenfold.
An investment like this in their backend-system was a bigger cost initially but once we develop their digital offering to involve more tools, it will pay off tenfold.
The simplest solution is the best solution
In addition to the estimation project, we also looked at how HLL could improve their logistics. This included which machines were available to rent, which were rented, where they were, and where drivers had to go for deliveries.
We started looking at purchasing an IT logistic system but after a number of workshops it became clear that we would achieve better results by improving their processes. The solution was as simple as a printed checklist for renting and returns. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.
This is just the beginning
While we’ve just released the first version of the first HLL app, it doesn’t mean our work is over. We’re monitoring our KPI’s closely to see what works and what needs to be tweaked. We’re also reaching into our backlog of insights, planning new projects that will keep HLL rolling steadily into the future.