Uniting a diversified business.

McGrath RentCorp closes deals faster and drives digital transformation with Adobe Acrobat Sign integrated with Oracle.

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Employees: 1,100




in contract-related administrative tasks


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Streamline four different paper-based rental contractual approaches into a single digital workflow

Deploy an e-signature capability to complete contracts faster

Create a more contemporary service experience for customers

Free staff — from customer service representatives and IT to delivery drivers — from contractual administration to help build the business


50% reduction in contract-related administrative tasks

Thousands of e-signed contracts processed annually across four rental business divisions

Creates a contemporary service experience for customers

Service representatives notified of deliveries and returns instantly versus the four hours required previously

Uniting a diversified business through technology

Over the past 40 years, McGrath RentCorp has evolved into one of the most successful specialist business-to-business rental companies in the United States. The firm is highly diversified, renting and selling everything from relocatable modular buildings and storage containers to electronic test equipment to liquid and solid containment tanks and boxes.

However, the sheer diversity of McGrath’s rental business divisions — Mobile Modular, Mobile Modular Portable Storage, TRS-RenTelco, and Adler Tank Rentals — began presenting operational challenges to the company. Each division serves different markets with distinct customer needs and regulatory requirements. This meant McGrath’s internal support functions — including the IT team — took four different approaches to serving the business, which was not sustainable given the company’s rapid growth.

In response, McGrath decided to embark on a digital transformation strategy that would not only drive internal efficiency but also enable the company to interact with customers in more efficient, modern ways.

“To help ensure we continued to grow we decided to invest in IT systems and digital platforms to better serve the business and communicate with customers in the ways they prefer,” explains Mark Rowell, Senior Director, Information Technology, McGrath RentCorp.

E-signatures provide a springboard for digital transformation

The IT team was responsible for leading the transformation. To start, they decided to digitize a longstanding, manual process common to the four rental divisions: getting signatures on contracts. Every business required wet signatures on paperwork ranging from contracts and quotations to equipment delivery and return agreements.

“We thought the best way to drive transformation was to demonstrate the benefit of automating a manual, paper-heavy workflow — something that didn’t require a lot of change management,” explains Rowell. “That was the context for implementing e-signatures.”

After evaluating different e-signature solutions, Rowell selected Adobe Acrobat Sign because of its seamless integration with the Oracle back-office systems used by McGrath’s customer service teams, including E-Business Suite and CRM on Demand. In addition, API capabilities in Acrobat Sign allowed documents and notifications to be customized, and enabled links to photographs to be embedded within the workflow. This was an important step as it showed the condition of equipment prior to rental — and thus helped ensure a product was returned by the customer clean and undamaged. Finally, Adobe supported the lifetime retention of documents, which was important from a legal perspective.

Rowell adds: “Adobe Acrobat Sign was easy to use and competitively priced. It offered a compelling value proposition.”

“The efficiencies we’ve gained through Adobe Acrobat Sign — including the elimination of paper filing and the ability to instantly retrieve digital information — are tremendous. Our experience has inspired us to re-evaluate our entire approach to customer service and use what we’ve learned to further differentiate our offering.”

Richard Marquardt

Director Operations Process Implementation, Adler Tank Rentals

Demonstrating benefits to the Adler Tanks business

Acrobat Sign was initially deployed within McGrath’s Adler Tanks division to support customer agreements related to delivering and returning tanks and boxes for hazardous and non-hazardous liquid and solid storage.

“We decided to apply Adobe Acrobat Sign to paper-heavy contractual processes. The Adler case is a prime example,” explains Rowell.

In the past, Adler’s customer agreements were manually prepared by customer service representatives, printed, and handed to a separate coordination team. Equipment delivery drivers would pick up the paperwork at a central coordination point before continuing to a customer site. Upon arrival, a driver would retrieve the paperwork and have the customer sign one or more forms.

Once a delivery was complete, the driver would drop off the paperwork at the coordination point, allowing administrators to make a copy for the customer and file the original. When the equipment was returned, similar steps were followed. Collectively, securing customer signatures on Adler documents was a labor- and time-intensive process, and it was possible to lose paperwork along the way.

Today, however, the same agreement is generated instantly by the customer service team in the Oracle E-Business platform and emailed to the delivery driver and customer within an Acrobat Sign workflow. Arriving at the customer site, the driver obtains the customer’s e-signature on a mobile device in just a few clicks, attaches photos, and the agreement is sent back through the workflow to the Oracle platform. Once an agreement is signed, it triggers a prompt to McGrath’s Oracle system to start the billing process. When the customer returns the equipment, there is a final prompt to raise the invoice.

“The efficiencies we’ve gained through Adobe Acrobat Sign — including the elimination of paper filing and the ability to instantly retrieve digital information — are tremendous,” says Richard Marquardt, Director Operations Process Implementation, Adler Tank Rentals. “Our experience has inspired us to re-evaluate our entire approach to customer service and use what we’ve learned to further differentiate our offering.”

Success leads to Adobe Acrobat Sign use in other divisions

The success using Acrobat Sign at Adler Tanks led Rowell’s team to roll out Acrobat Sign to three other rental business units: Mobile Modular Portable Storage, Mobile Modular, and TRS-RenTelco. It also prompted a consolidation of the different contracts and agreements used across the company. While there are still six types of forms used with Acrobat Sign, McGrath’s legal team has standardized the language on the forms, including the terms and conditions, for better internal alignment.

More businesses now experience the benefits of Acrobat Sign. TRS-RenTelco, for example, has integrated Acrobat Sign into an electronic kiosk used by customers to pick up and drop off electronic test rental equipment, with transactions completed on the screen in a few clicks.

Nithin Shetty, Manager, Enterprise Development and Integration, McGrath RentCorp, says: “The e-signature capability allows TRS-RenTelco to create a cutting-edge customer service experience that’s better aligned to the expectations of the younger engineers renting the equipment.”

Shetty also praises the Acrobat Sign and Oracle integration capabilities. “A key benefit is that our customer service team can more easily stay on top of the health of equipment throughout its lifecycle,” he says. “If required, they can check the rental history of each product and any change to its condition. That helps ensure we offer only the safest, highest-quality equipment to our customers.”

“We began our digital transformation with Adobe Acrobat Sign. It was a powerful first step that demonstrated the impact of innovation on the business. It’s fueling a desire to do more.”

Mark Rowell

Senior Director, Information Technology, McGrath Rent Corp

Accelerating business growth while reducing costs

Today, Acrobat Sign is used to complete rental contracts and customer agreements across the four rental businesses. Rowell says that Acrobat Sign has reduced contract-related administrative tasks by 50% and is saving the company more than $8,000 per year in paper, postage, faxing, and printing costs. In addition, whereas it previously took up to four hours for a customer service representative to be notified when a delivery had been completed or piece of equipment was returned, they are now alerted instantly.

“Adobe Acrobat Sign allows us to close deals and get equipment back into the rental pool faster, and that’s accelerating business growth,” says Rowell.

Driving further efficiencies across the company

McGrath recently rolled out Acrobat Sign to its Mobile Modular Portable Storage business to provide e-signatures to mobilization, demobilization, and return-inspection documents. In addition, the solution will be used to streamline the customer credit application process across the organization.

“We began our digital transformation with Adobe Acrobat Sign,” reflects Rowell. “It was a powerful first step that demonstrated the impact of innovation on the business. It’s fueling a desire to do more.”


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