Rental Timeline: The Illustrated Version

We’ve been getting some feedback about event start times, restock times, and the like. Since inquiring minds want to know, I wanted to share a bit about how we conceptualize the timeline of an event rental.

Here is an example:

Your client is having a party on the evening of June 1st. They want the pieces delivered on Friday morning and picked up on Friday night after the party. Here’s what that would look like in our event timeline:

Delivery illustrated

Here is how you would input that info in R.W. Elephant:

Event Start: Guests will arrive beginning at 1 pm

Event End: 8 pm

Delivery Window: anytime between 9 am & noon (Since guest arrival is at 1 pm, we might even want to shift this to 9-11 just to play it safe.)

Return Window: between 8 & 10 pm after the party

Off-the-shelf Time: We need to make sure this allows enough time before the Delivery Window start to pull the item, load it on the truck, and drive to the destination. We don’t have to be exact here so we’ll assume 7 am will be sufficient for the crew to get to the items to the venue by 9 am.

Restock Time: Again, doesn’t have to be super precise but we want to make sure that we don’t overlap with any other orders. We’ll estimate 1 am restock time. **Remember that 1 am is on 6/2, not 6/1.

Will-call order

For R.W., the most important info here is the off-the-shelf and restock time. R.W. uses those times to find out what is available for the order. If you fudge these one way or the other, you’ll end up with double bookings or inventory just waiting around between rentals.

The same would apply to a will-call order. In this case, you might have a client who picks up on a Friday, has the party on Saturday evening, and then returns everything on Monday.

will call illustrated

Event Start: Saturday at 4 pm

Event End: Saturday night at 11 pm

Delivery Window: In this case, by “Delivery Window,” we really mean “Will-call Pick-up Window.” At your business, you might allow a client all day to pick something up or have a specific one-hour window. Here we’ve got noon to 4 pm on Friday.

Return Window: Since no one will be in the warehouse on Sunday, we’ll have the client return the items on Monday between 8 am and 2 pm.

Off-the-shelf Time: Since it doesn’t have far to go before it is picked up, the off-the-shelf time may be the same as the start of the “Delivery Window.” Here, we’ve given ourselves a little cushion and set it at 10 am on Friday morning.

Restock Time: Everything will be returned, inspected, cleaned, and put back on the shelf by 4 pm on Monday. Remember if you have to clean your dishes, tune up your equipment, or do other maintenance between rentals, you’ll want to account for this in the Off-the-shelf and Restock Times.

We hope that helps to clarify how R.W. Elephant thinks about the timelines of your rentals. Be sure to chime in on our forums if you have input about how you’re using R.W. Elephant for your rentals.