Total Control makes ordering equipment, tracking spend and paying invoices fast and easy.
Total Control®, United Rentals’ cloud-based worksite management solution, is a great way to monitor rental equipment utilization and cut annual rental costs by up to a third. But did you know you can also use it to streamline procurement and invoicing, save your accounting department time and effort and save your company from ordering redundant equipment for different sites or business units? Read on to learn more.
Avoid invoice discrepancies
Between procuring equipment and paying for it, costs tend to shift. One common problem: an invoice total doesn’t match the purchase order amount because the rental period was extended.
“If a customer uses a purchase order for a rental, they will issue one with a value that’s based on the approximate amount they’re going to spend. But if they keep the equipment longer than anticipated, the PO needs to be updated with a new value. That’s not always done before the invoices start arriving,” said Jenna Lansky, customer digital sales manager for United Rentals.
A company’s accounting system may reject the invoice when it doesn’t match the PO. That creates extra work for the accounting team, which must track down the discrepancy, update the PO and put it through again.
Total Control helps companies avoid that scenario. Access the PO tab on the Total Control dashboard to get the real-time status of all United Rentals purchase orders. See how much of the PO has been spent and how much remains on it.
Total Control provides that same kind of visibility into invoices. Use the invoice tab to view all your United Rentals invoices across all locations. Check which invoices are outstanding and which have been paid.
“On top of that, for the open rentals, you can see what you’re projected to spend based on the estimated return date on the rental contract,” said Lansky. If your costs are likely to exceed the initial purchase order, you can easily update the PO to cover them.
Pay invoices more easily
With digital payments for construction equipment, you’re in control of when and how you pay invoices. A new user interface in Total Control makes the process even quicker and easier. No need to wait for business hours to make your payment over the phone. Complete your payment online whenever it’s convenient for you—day or night.
Total Control offers a wealth of other features that make construction payment management more streamlined. For example, you can:
- Pay multiple invoices at once
- Add and edit payment methods during the payment process
- Make partial payments and apply credits to an invoice as payment
- Share invoice information with designated team members
- Receive notifications about key events, such as new or successfully paid invoices
Having current invoice information at your fingertips reduces the risk of surprise due dates or missed payments and makes managing your equipment rental finances more efficient.
Stay in control with alerts and reports
You don’t have to log into Total Control every day to stay on top of invoices and contracts. Configure alerts and reports so you never let something slip. For example:
- Set a purchase order expiration alert to receive an email notification when a PO has exceeded its limit or is projected to do so soon.
- Set up an extended contract alert so you are immediately notified when someone in the field has extended a rental contract. (That information often doesn’t get relayed to accounting until much later.)
- Schedule an invoice aging report to be delivered regularly to your inbox. It provides a list of outstanding invoices formatted to your preferences.
- Create reports on estimated rental costs over an upcoming period, such as the next quarter, based on projected return dates. You can change estimated return dates in the system to investigate “what if” scenarios.
Reduce rentals with cost splitting
Total Control lets customers allocate invoices between different cost centers or work orders. That avoids the cost of duplicate equipment rentals.
One manufacturer has taken advantage of this feature to reduce rental expenses.
“The customer has a number of business units at its facility, and the different units rent similar equipment from us. So rather than us delivering multiples of the same kind of equipment, we move the equipment around to different sites, then split the cost between the units on the invoice,” said Lansky. Instead of having two different rental contracts, they streamline it down to one.
She added that the customer, who has been splitting invoice costs for five years, has saved a significant amount of money over time.
Because Total Control is cloud-based, you can grant access to anyone in the company who needs rental information, including purchase orders and invoices, and they can customize the dashboard based on their role. For example, an employee in accounting can choose to see the unpaid invoices tab when they log on. A field superintendent can choose a different view.
In addition, Total Control can integrate with other systems. If you use another management system for your business, the United Rentals team can integrate Total Control into that system, providing a seamless user experience.
“For example, if a company has a system they use to generate purchase orders for goods and services, we can set up a punch-out catalog,” said Lansky. Procurement personnel can begin the order process within their company’s system, which will then “punch out” to a United Rentals page where they can place their orders.
“In one step, they’re creating a purchase order and generating a rental reservation order that comes to us,” Lansky explained. To make procurement even faster, United Rentals can build a catalog of equipment favorites that includes all the equipment for which the customer has a pricing agreement
Total Control can be especially helpful for companies that must stay within certain procurement guidelines and have valid purchase orders for every rental. Working through Total Control or the punch-out catalog ensures they create POs with all the necessary information, such as the cost center to which the equipment should be charged.