WHAT IS Hiredesk?
Hiredesk deals with the preparation of hire/sales contracts, service and testing records from initial creation through to final invoicing and payment. It tracks all the components necessary that make up a hire contract and caters for both cash and credit customers.
The system is designed around a menu driven interface that enables easy and rapid switching between the component modules, and has been specifically designed to accommodate those with little or no computer experience.
The screens have been designed to provide the user with as much information as possible on a single page at the same time, and where possible, closely resemble their paper-based equivalent.
Hiredesk is composed of modules that are easy to access via a simple user’s code to ensure total security. Which users have access to which parts of the system is configurable.
Hire & Sales Contract Management
This module deals with the preparation and maintenance of hire/sales contracts.
The hire contract is the centre of operations and as such records all the details on the customer (including deposit and ID information for cash customers), transport charges, site address together with all the hire and sales items required. Information held on file for each customer including site addresses and charging basis can be utilized by this module. A full query & search facility enables easy location of both customer and item details.
Each piece of hired equipment can be linked with multiple safety and accessory items which are automatically offered on screen as a pick list and, if accepted, added to the contract at the press of a key. Sales items can be added either individually or rapidly in bulk. Re-sharpening items are treated independently and the system ensures that those that have not been returned are charged for at the completion of the contract. Percentage surcharges can be added automatically for such things as credit card transactions or services provided.
Once an item is off-hired it can be automatically tagged to prevent further hires until satisfactory safety test results are recorded.
Other options available under this module include: production of off-hire notes, exchanging of items, multiple off-hire notes, transferring of hired items to sale, damage/outstanding item letters and instant invoicing.
Various user configuration options are available. For example, sales items can be set to have prices displayed as VAT inclusive or exclusive. A choice can be offered, as to which menu options are offered as the default – on a user by user basis; the ability to see the margin on a transaction can also be made available to users as required. Deposits paid with a credit card can be set to be automatically banked, to simplify integration with electronic transactions.
For cash customers advance payments can be taken and refunds / additional payments displayed automatically at any time during the life of the contract.
A preview facility is provided to calculate the costs incurred by a customer on an ongoing contract up to any future date.
Customer Account Management
This section stores all information relating to both cash and credit customers on the system and allows the user to rapidly recall the data at any time. This includes the charging basis for hired equipment, sales prices, hire & sales discount structure, quantity breaks for sales items can also be set, and the financial status of the account reviewed.
Credit limits can be set and customer accounts can be automatically put on hold when this limit is exceeded.
A graphical history showing a customer’s use of any one, or group of items is available over any 12 month period, either for the entire account or restricted to a specified site.
Other features include a customer specific price list (for both hire and sales items), a list of items currently on hire, review of previous invoices and multiple site/delivery addresses per customer. Each delivery address can have its own contacts and delivery charges associated with it.
The basis for invoicing each customer can be changed as required between one invoice per contract, one invoice per site, one invoice per site per order number, or two levels of summary invoice which combine all contracts for a given account.
Additional user definable contact information can also be added.
Quotations & Bookings
Hiredesk allows the user to draw up a quotation for any customer, based upon agreed terms.
Quotations can be converted into bookings, allowing the reservation of any item and will show current commitments and free stock. The length of time a reservation is held can be user set, as can the look-ahead period for bookings.
Every quotation/booking can be converted into a contract without having to re-enter all the details again.
Quotations can also be printed as “pro-forma” invoices if required.
Hire Fleet Management
Hiredesk stores all hire fleet items using your own system of numbering. Items are grouped into “families” to make the management of pricing, discounting and hiring information easier and quicker. Items can be further grouped into kits (e.g. towers).
Recommended accessories and safety items to be offered can also be linked to these family groups.
Charging rates available include 2 part-day rates, 1 day, 2 day, 3 day, 4 day, 5 day, 6 day, week, weekend, subsequent day rate, plus fixed and long term rates.
For operated plant, charging can be defined on a time sheet basis. Up to 10 different charging rates can be defined to correspond to the driver/operators’ time sheet.
Holiday credit periods can be defined and applied to hire items as required for qualifying customers. As many Holiday Credit schemes as required can be defined giving the flexibility of different credit periods for different customers.
Depreciation is controlled by this module and is automatically applied to provide accurate financial records. Straight Line Annual Percentage, Reducing Balance Annual Percentage and Monthly modes of depreciation are available.
Decreasing Rate Discounting allows the definition of an increasing discount percentage on hire rates for prolonged hire items, with a maximum allowable discount limit e.g. 5% per month after 20 days to a maximum of 45%.
Sales Stock Control
Hiredesk records and reports on recommended stocking levels and last movement for each item. Again, the system allows for grouping the sales items into “families”. Items can be additionally split into discount groups that are used in conjunction with the customer file to provide customer dependant discounts for each item.
Historical information covering previous sales can be provided either on a contract by contract basis or viewed graphically.
A default, plus two alternative suppliers can be defined for sales stock.
Quantity breaks can be applied by item or customer, and to both of the standard prices.
Flexible pricing including net prices, discounts and cost +.
Multi-level discounting / surcharging: This module provides the capability to devise matrices of 3 levels of percentage discount (or surcharge) for 10 quantity breaks for families of sales items.
Sales stock items can be automatically transferred to the hire fleet.
Serial Number Tracking
This adds a further level of security to stock management for high value items. Stock items tagged as having tracking enabled require a serial number to be provided when booked in to stock and quoted when sold. The facility to deal with consecutive sequences automatically is provided. A ‘life history’ report is available either individually or for all items giving purchase date / price, current location and, if appropriate, account number and date of sale.
This optional module allows the integration of manufacturing into Hiredesk. Stock items can be tagged as raw material, component or finished item. Components can be combined in different builds to construct differing finished items. Consumables from stock associated with each build are logged and costed, as are labour charges and any other costs. Stock requirements for builds can be checked. Instructions for each build can be entered as free form text and reviewed as required.
Many manufacturers supply price lists on disk. These can be incorporated into Hiredesk so they are available for inclusion into contracts with out any re-typing. Multiple supplier provided price lists can be accommodated within the system.
Service & Safety Management
Hiredesk maintains a complete service and safety history (accepted by the HSE) for all individual items whether these belong to your own fleet or are serviced on behalf of a customer. A history of safety tests with all recommended safety checks prompted for can also be maintained.
User defined safety tests can be added to those already provided (electrical, non-mechanical, petrol/diesel powered).
Safety test results can be printed automatically at the point of hire on a mini till roll printer, removing the need for manual filing of records.
Additionally, the required safety test questions can be printed out at the time of off-hire if required.
Hiredesk will generate service estimates where required and keeps a record of all previous job sheets. These can be easily accessed for any item or customer.
A full service history for any item is available for review.
Receipts for customer owned items are automatically generated, as are return notes, job sheets and invoices. Optionally internal invoices can be generated for repairs.
Safety instructions specific to the plant and equipment on a contract, can be printed at time of hire.
Purchase Order Processing
Hiredesk provides for instant order generation based on the recommended stock level and supplier, entered as part of the stock control system.
This section also allows rapid recall of supplier’s details when needed. In addition, items can be added quickly via “family” groups, by individual stock codes or, if required, entered as free text. Outstanding orders can be easily reviewed.
Back to back auto ordering is also available.
A returns order facility is also included in this module, to track items that are sent back to the original supplier.
Hiredesk incorporates its own sales ledger to fully cater for the particular requirements of the hire industry.
This module provides for the entry of invoices and credit notes that are not directly generated by either hire/sales contracts or service job sheets in addition to automated invoice runs.
Invoices & credit notes can be printed in batches, and pre-sorted by customer if required.
Credit notes can be auto-generated as mirror images of invoices to avoid retyping.
Previously generated invoices and credit notes can be reviewed on screen and copies printed. Receipts can be analysed and reports are available showing the method of payment and which invoices have been paid.
Full account history is catered for with a “drill down” facility enabling the immediate display of invoices, contracts and, in the case of receipts, shows how this money has been allocated.
Statements can be generated, together with all the standard accounting reports; such as aged debtors and day books.
The Hiredesk purchase ledger mirrors the sales ledger in many of its functions, with the facility to enter invoices and credit notes received from suppliers. At the point of entry, these documents can be automatically checked against a relevant purchase order.
Full account history is catered for with a “drill down” facility enabling the immediate display of nominal analysis, and in the case of payments, shows how this money has been allocated.
Remittance advices can be printed at any time.
Purchase statements can be generated, together with all the standard accounting reports; such as aged debtors and day books.
For invoices that are paid by direct debit the posting of payments can be automatically generated and posted to the appropriate account automatically.
The cash book receives postings from the purchase and sales ledgers automatically.
Multiple cash book accounts can be set up to track physical bank accounts, and notional accounts such as for credit cards and petty cash. Funds can be easily transferred between accounts.
Regular fixed payments or receipts can be set up to be posted to the appropriate cash book account automatically on the designated date. Postings can be set up to occur weekly, fortnightly, four weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.
Full cash book reconciliation facilities and analysis reports are available.
This module contains all the essential functions found in a computerised nominal ledger.
Accounting periods are user definable in terms of duration and number; periods can be amalgamated and redefined as many times as required until a period is marked as closed.
Multiple account layout schemes can be defined using the simple interface.
VAT returns give full drill down back to the original transactions.
Journals are very flexible allowing the saving of recurring entries and auto reversal.
Profit and loss reporting can be across multiple or single periods using any of the defined schemes. Balance sheets are similarly available for any single period, range of periods or year to date.
Audit trail review allows selection of source ledger as well as the total data.
Diary & Messages
A diary is available to record appointments and activities on a company and individual basis.
Any bookings made are visible on the daily diary pages.
There is also the facility to send messages between users. When logging in, a user is prompted if they have unread messages.
Query Maker & User Defined Reports
Whilst Hiredesk includes many pre-defined reports, covering each area of the business there is an easy to use report generator included which allows users to create their own specific reports. This allows output in a variety of formats for use in popular word processing and spreadsheet programs.
In addition, any of the system reports can be sent to a file for importing into other applications.
In situations where sales representatives are paid on a commission basis, Hiredesk can record against each member of the sales staff commission rates for the various functions (Sale, Hire, Cross hire etc) and at what point in the sales cycle the commission becomes due. The system can calculate commission due for any date period and produce detailed listings by representative or turnover area.
Complete addresses can be generated from a customer’s house number and postcode, saving typing and allowing a basic security check.
Links to Other Accounts Packages
For users wishing to use an external accounts package in addition or instead of those features offered by Hiredesk there are a number of options. Most accounts packages have a file import facility. Hiredesk can produce file output suitable for import into the Sage Line50 range of programmes.
A mini-printer can be used for safety tests, cash invoices, repair receipts etc. Why print out a multi-part form for a box of screws costing 90p? The mini-printer can print a cash invoice in about half a second at a cost of less than 0.01p!
Bar Code Reader
Hiredesk can utilize bar codes. Both plug-in and wireless bar code readers are available.
A powerful feature that allows an e-mail to be sent directly from within Hiredesk. Multiple recipients can be set up for both customers and suppliers. Available for customer on hire lists, pro-forma invoices, order acknowledgements, repair estimates, purchase orders, remittance advices, invoices, statements, messages etc.
Hardware & Software Requirements
PC / Virtual Machine – Windows 10 or Terminal Emulator in other environments
Network/Multi-user systems supported:
Remote connections / VPN.
*Multi-user system using diskless terminals, ideal for dusty/dirty situations, intrinsically secure and robust. Ask for further details.