A-Plant, part of FTSE 100 company Ashtead Group plc has embarked on a journey to upgrade its extranet and deliver a new technologically advanced customer portal. The company has committed to invest over £2 million in new technologies that will help keep it at the forefront of the hire industry.
A-Plant originally pioneered the extranet system in the hire industry and has constantly developed it since its inception at the start of the century. The introduction of the upgraded online customer portal will allow customers to manage hired equipment across A-Plant’s vast product range from any of its divisions via a single platform. This could be for on- or off-hiring, making payments, tracking equipment, managing telematics information or creating bespoke usage reports.
The system is being designed to appeal to all of A-Plant’s customers, whether they are small local contractors, or large national companies with various departments requiring access for a multitude of purposes. There will also be the facility for customers to upload their own fleet of equipment and the management of any third party hires. The new portal will have the capabilities to meet future customer requirements in relation to Building Information Modelling (BIM), allowing A-Plant to offer an even greater collaborative approach with customers.
Marketing Director Asif Latief explains, “The new portal will represent a real leap forward for us and our customers, it will join up seamlessly with our internal systems so customers can not only manage everything they have on hire from A-Plant but also view what equipment is currently available from any electronic device. Therefore, if it is out of normal working hours and the customer needs something for the next day they can check availability and place that order.”
Asif continued, “These are exciting times for the industry, technology can provide us with so much information and there are more and more ways to share and use it effectively. We have always been a company that takes a collaborative approach to working with all of our customers and this is emphasised by integrating BIM technology into our current and future plans.”