United Rentals

The internet of (heavy) things

Charting a new course for construction

United Rentals choreographs a unified digital experience for customers through the management of equipment, job sites, and workers.

An industry growing up quickly

The construction industry is in dire need of digitization, now more than ever. With lack of reliable data and coordinated planning tools, construction equipment sits idle for up to 70% of its time on-site, resulting in increased costs and unnecessary delays. Furthermore, crews lack visibility into where their equipment is, what is available, and its condition at any given moment, creating friction for managers and contractors trying to complete their assignments in a timely manner. 

United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental company, worked with argodesign to address these challenges through a multi-year initiative to transform their business from equipment provider into a service-oriented platform for planning and managing construction projects. Through extensive research, strategy, design, and development, argo charted a course for the company to consolidate and digitize their marketplace, integrate data-driven insights, and deliver customer-facing tools for tracking and directing equipment, people, materials, and activities across worksites. 

Shifting focus from transactions to business problems

Like many companies, UR was hyper-focused on rental transaction. By zooming out to understand what construction teams are ultimately trying to accomplish, we were able to shift that focus away from individual orders to design an experience that solves problems throughout the entire project lifecycle. 

The resulting work produced immediate impacts — increasing digital sales five-fold and nearly eliminating cancellations — and promises to cement United Rentals’ market position for the foreseeable future through deeper customer relationships and recurring revenue via software and services.

argo was instrumental in understanding our vision and translating it into digital strategy that supports an evolving company. The work is changing the way we think about our future, and the future value we offer our customers.

Chris Hummel

CMO, United Rentals

Developing a one-stop shop for construction resources

As a first step, the team worked with stakeholders from key business units to consolidate the company’s product and service offerings in a new online marketplace and rental management interface, providing customers with self-serve tools and a streamlined checkout process to select the right tool for any job.

Defining a vision for the digitally enabled worksite

Through strategic research and futurecasting focused on the needs of today and opportunities of tomorrow, argo illustrated a north star vision for United Rentals that uses telematics, analytics, and integrations to deliver a complete operating suite that extends from equipment into managing and supporting crews, and building smarter, safer, and more productive jobsites.

Illustrating an omni-channel communication strategy

To enable better collaboration and drive automation, argo designed a comprehensive notification and communication featureset that provides customers with real-time visibility into equipment and order activity, and empowers equipment managers with tools to track and coordinate resources across projects, locations, and crews.

  • Know More

    Notifications & Order History

    Monitor orders and equipment from reservation to return.

  • Share More

    Communication & Collaboration

    Manage teams, worksites, and projects across your organization. 

  • Do More

    Intelligence & Automation

    Optimize via insights, integrations, and workflow orchestration. 

Designing a data-driven construction planning and management platform

By capitalizing on the new data being produced through these online tools, argo helped United Rentals and its customers think beyond the rental transaction to project management, and away from reactive decision-making to informed planning and orchestration. By connecting equipment to the work being done, the team designed meaningful reporting and forecasting tools to optimize asset utilization, spend, and field productivity.

Building a better business together

Through the combination of research, strategy, design, and technology, argo guided and supported United Rentals through an extensive and empowering business transformation. The platform continues to help the company remain competitive and prepared to evolve in a dynamically changing business environment through reduced costs, additional revenue, streamlined processes, and a compelling, differentiated digital experience to solve construction challenges both today and in the future.

Our customers’ biggest challenge is managing the complexity of the “modern worksite”. Through both a strategic vision and a deep understanding of our customers’ needs, argo helped us create a roadmap for digital transformation that simplifies that complexity and helps our customer deliver tangible productivity gains.

Paul Maddison

Director of Digital Marketing and Innovation, United Rentals