With sixteen locations serving almost 6,000 customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, Red Ball Oxygen Company, Inc. is the area’s leading distributor in industrial, bulk, medical and specialty gases.
Red Ball Oxygen wanted to improve its rental calculation and billing system. After utilizing TrackAbout cylinder tracking for three years, the company had developed extremely accurate records. Red Ball wanted to leverage this increased accuracy and also separate cylinder rental billing from its legacy computer system.
Red Ball chose TrackAbout to develop its new rental billing solution with equipment rental tracking software. “Our TrackAbout balances are more accurate and defensible than anything we could capture in our old MRP system,” said Bob Ewing, president of Red Ball. “We realized that having rental bills come from the tracking data would increase efficiency and give us one version of the truth.”
TrackAbout helped Red Ball create clearer bills that customers could quickly understand, reconcile, and pay. “The invoices we’re sending today are orders of magnitude better than before,” Ewing said. “Formerly, only a few employees could decipher our rental bills. Now everyone can read them, which leads to better customer service.”
The new system also saves time. Red Ball used to spend several days a month printing and mailing client invoices. “Today we just review the PDF file to make sure it’s correct, then TrackAbout handles the rest of the process through a third-party mailer,” Ewing explained. “We get better, more accurate invoices with much less effort.”
Adding Up the Benefits
Because TrackAbout captures unique asset IDs, customers receive credit only for cylinders scanned out to them. This has helped Red Ball recover and bill for many missing assets. TrackAbout also charges rent on the days cylinders are actually delivered and returned, increasing rental revenues. These advantages add almost $200,000 annually to Red Ball’s bottom line.
Browser-based functionality makes it easier for employees to research and resolve customer queries. Customers can access account data online, increasing their trust in the billing process and letting them answer many questions on their own. Cylinder discrepancy disputes are almost a thing of the past.
Red Ball views the equipment rental tracking software as a key competitive advantage. “We absolutely use it as a sales tool,” Ewing said. “TrackAbout is a system both our people and our customers believe in, and we think it will keep paying big dividends down the road.”