May 25

How to Ensure that RentWorks Runs Safely

Secure communications between computers over the Internet have used SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocols which were originally developed by NetScape. It is used by every browser out there.

As with everything, over the years vulnerabilities have been discovered in SSLv2 and SSLv3. After SSLv3 the protocol was renamed to TLS (Transport Layer Security) v1.0. The latest version and only protocol now recognized as safe is TLSv1.2. TLS is a cryptographic protocol used to establish a secure communications channel between two systems. It is used to authenticate one or both systems and protect the confidentiality and integrity of information that passes between systems. It was originally developed as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) by Netscape in the early 1990s. Standardized by the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF), TLS has undergone several revisions to improve security to block known attacks and add support for new cryptographic algorithms, with major revisions to SSL 3.0 in 1996, TLS 1.0 in 1990, TLS 1.1 in 2006, and TLS 1.2 in 2008.

Many of RentWorks’ interfaces require secure connections to other computer systems using a secure protocol. As RentWorks runs on top of Progress Software’s OpenEdge development platform, we rely on their support of these various versions of the secure protocol. Some of the interfaces that require the upgrade to TLSv1.2 include credit card processing via CenPOS and Vantiv, as well as our interface with Equifax, and also our interfaces to DMS systems such as Reynolds & Reynolds and CDK (formerly ADP).

It became necessary to upgrade Progress OpenEdge to a minimum of version 11.6 to enable support for TLSv1.2 for all of the above interfaces. This necessitated upgrading 70+ servers at Amazon Web Services as well as client PCs where the connection was being generated from the client. This was an enormous task that has taken weeks to implement.

June 30, 2018 is the deadline for disabling SSL/early TLS and implementing a more secure encryption protocol – TLS 1.1 or higher (TLS v1.2 is strongly encouraged) in order to meet the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for safeguarding payment data.

Between now and June 30, organizations that have not completed their migration should provide the Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) with documented confirmation that they have implemented a Risk Mitigation and Migration Plan and are working to complete their migration by the required date.

Migrate to a minimum of TLS 1.1, preferably TLS 1.2. While it is possible to implement countermeasures against some attacks on TLS, migrating to a later version of TLS (TLS 1.2 is strongly encouraged) is the only reliable method to protect against the current protocol vulnerabilities.

Patch TLS software against implementation vulnerabilities. Implementation vulnerabilities, such as Heartbleed in OpenSSL, can pose serious risks. Keep TLS software up-to-date to ensure it is patched against these vulnerabilities and have countermeasures for other attacks.

Configure TLS securely. In addition to providing support for later versions of TLS, ensure the TLS implementation is configured securely. Ensure that secure TLS cipher suites and key sizes are supported and disable support for other cipher suites that are not necessary for interoperability.

If you need help running your RentWorks software with these new connections and protocols, call us today at 973-989-2423. We will help you ensure that your system stays safe and protected.


May 16

Onsite Training is Available for RentWorks Software

As a RentWorks customer, we offer you onsite training on our product. If you  need some extra help to get RentWorks up and working to all of its capabilities, consider onsite training. Here’s how we can help you. We offer trainings that range from 1-3 days. The consulting/training staff of Bluebird Auto Rental Systems is able to assist in the following areas:

  1. Perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis based on the dealership’s current courtesy transportation program.
  2. Increase CSI scores by improving customer experience.
  3. Book accurate appointments by matching vehicles with customers (or vehicle classes if a large fleet is available). Instruct dealers on how to utilize a reservation system such as the Reservation Planner and Daily Planner to maximize loaner management workflow (matching loaner units with customers based on relevant criteria such as vehicle size/model and features/options)
  4. Review the check-out and check-in processes with cashier, service advisors, or dedicated CTP personnel to make sure that they are swift and efficient.
  5. Ensure that all personnel are using the proper vehicle for the proper loaner situation.
  6. Develop strategies to improve utilization. We can:
  • Help determine the best purchase and allocation of fleet vehicles for the CTP.
  • Instruct the dealer on how to plan fleet based on current and historical demand as well as current trends
  • Analyze volume of dealer vehicle sales, manufacturing recalls, service and body shop appointments.
  • Analyze CTP vehicle demand with respect to current fleet size: are appointments being turned down because there aren’t enough loaner vehicles?
  • Instruct on monitoring the balance between supply and demand so that more vehicles can be added if needed
  • Evaluate any out-of-pocket dealer costs to see if they can be passed on to the customer. These would include:
    • Fuel
    • Fees (such as Domestic Security Fee)
    • Damage
    • Cleaning
    • Baby/Child Seats
  • Train on loss prevention: proper walk-around procedures (pre and post rental inspections).
  • Review customer qualification, especially additional drivers.
  • Train on vehicle maintenance and repair schedules.
  • Create processes for grounding vehicles when they have reached their time/mileage limits.
  • Review procedures for handling recalls.
  • Review procedures for handling license registration renewals.
  • Train on how to reduce administrative burdens such as tickets and tolls. Explain use of the vehicle date/time/license inquiry.  (Bluebird has a free interface with the Highway Toll Administration, HTA and American Traffic Solutions.)
  • Train on how to draw and evaluate on-going critical operations data from reporting tools (report scheduling and analysis). Review periodic procedures and reports common to the industry.
  • Determine the feasibility of a dual loaner/rental business model if desired. Retail rentals would also entail:
    • Developing rate yield revenue management strategies such as fluctuating retail rates based on seasonality, events, utilization.
    • Selling upgrades and ancillary products (for licensed non-PDP insured participants)
    • Stimulating sales channels through local market sales calls, local business referral programs, online organic advertising, PPC campaigns, and social media promotions.

Are you ready to get RentWorks working to its highest capacity? Call us today at 973-989-2423 to set up your onsite training.

Apr 25

Don’t Forget About Rate Utilization

Bluebird-Auto-Rental-SystemsIf you are a Bluebird RentWorks user and you’re not using rate utilization, you’re not getting the most out of your software. Read on; this blog is for YOU!

Did you know your service includes rate utilization? This handy feature allows you to set up a number of different tiers of rates. You can set each rate to a utilization range. For example, if you are 0-69 utilized you can set one rate; 70-85 percent utilized brings another rate; and 86-100 percent utilized yet another. Rate utilization allows you to run your system on automatic pilot, as the system increases rate accordingly.

Rate Utilization Helps Automate Your Rate Setting Services

You can also set rates for upcoming holidays. For a special event, you can artificially set any rate you want. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a customer who wants to book a rental for July 4, 2019. Right now, utilization would be in a low range, since that date is still far away. Therefore, you’re quoting in low range. Using the special event setting, you can set your rate in whatever tier you want. This helps you guard against underselling yourself at busy times.

At Bluebird, we have automated the rate utilization process for you. We have flexible dates or date ranges, which you can use during any day or time of month that you know you’ll be busy.

Another example: If you rent moving trucks, you know that the end of the month is often your busiest time, since many people have to be out of an apartment by the end of the month. You can set higher tiered rates at the end of each month, and perhaps the first few days of each month. This makes it impossible to offer a lower rate, because it won’t show in your system.

Rate utilization is Included with your standard services. It’s another tool that we have to help make you successful. If you have any questions about how to use RentWorks or rate utilization, call us today at 973-989-2423 and we’ll be glad to help.

Apr 03

Erez 5 Solves Your Website Problems

A web presence is an absolute must in today’s technological society. Everyone searches for products or services they need online.

How is your web presence looking these days? Is your website looking dated? Or worse yet, do you not yet have a website? In any case, Bluebird may have your answer. Our newest product, Erez5 is a complete responsive website that integrates seamlessly into Rentworks. A responsive site is friendly to ALL devices including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and computers.

Your site will be able to pull real time rates and availability from Rentworks. You will have reservations booked from your site immediately appear in RentWorks. You will also have a CMS (Content Management System) that you can use to make changes to the site.

Erez 5 Features

You’ll pay just one attractive up-front price, and you will receive:

  • A fully responsive site that can pull real-time rates and availability from RentWorks.
  • A system that displays your vehicles and locations, then makes reservations.
  • Once a reservation is booked, it will immediately appear in RentWorks.
  • A CMS (Content Management System) that you can use to make changes.

With Erez 5 you can:

  • Upload your company’s logo
  • Choose a color
  • Add your information (email/ phone number/address/about info)
  • Replace most of the images if you so desire

Add-on modules for Erez 5 include:

  • Prepaids via Credit Card Processing (through Vantiv/TriPOS)
  • Loyalty Program
  • Customization (Erez5 Premium)
  • Deals, Blogs and Customer Profiles

Monthly support and transaction fees for Erez 5 will include:

  • Website Hosting
  • Maintenance
  • Support

Make sure your website is helping your business, not hurting it. Consider Erez 5 to make it easy for your customers to reach out to you. If you would like to get started, or just need more information, please contact your account manager, email us at, or just call our main number at (973) 989-2423.

Mar 15

Protect Your Online Reputation

How is your online reputation? It’s great when you look at your blog or Yelp and see great comments and reviews. If that’s all you have, then your reputation is sparkling. However, if you have comments that are negative, you need to address them. That kind of chatter on your site can kill your reputation quickly, and it’s not easy to get back. Here are some tips to make sure you’re thought of highly online.

Be Proactive With Your Online Reputation

 One way to manage your online reputation is being careful about what happens when people search for you on Google and other search sites. In many ways, online reputation management is a basic SEO problem.

What if someone has panned your product or company in a blog post that is showing up at or near the top of Google results? Sometimes even a negative headline can turn away potential customers. Here’s what you can do to combat this: use SEO strategies to push that post down the results. First of all, locking in alternate suffixes for your domain (.net, .org, and so on), as early as you can.

In addition, make sure your business is registered on every major social network, under the full name of the business. This includes, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. Your business should be all over the web. If you’re active on the sites, these pages will also rank well and tend to push down negative comments. Finally, make sure that you’ve claimed your Google Places account and that it is accurate.

The key to all of this is to be sure it is done before a negative review happens. Waiting until a bad review happens makes fixing it much more difficult.

Resist the Urge to Talk Back to a Reviewer with Negative Comments

Let’s say you have someone trashing you on Twitter, their blog, or an online forum. How do you respond? Online commenters can be tricky to handle. Try not to engage. Don’t respond to online complaint boards. This just increases strength of listings and invites an ongoing battle.

But what if the negativity is on your own blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account? You have more control here, and if a comment is too horrible, you can delete it.

If you don’t want to delete a comment, you can move it down quickly by posting more updates. The more posts on your site, the further down the negative one will go.

Should you ever reply to a complaint? If the comment is maturely composed and isn’t just someone trying to be nasty, it is possible—and probably a good idea. It’s a good idea to try to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Let the complainer know you’ll contact them—this protects their privacy and enables you to fix the issue without an online audience.

Consider all complaints seriously and take corrective action when it’s warranted. Once you’ve fixed the problem, you can ask the commenter to remove the negative comment.

It’s most difficult to protect your reputation on third-party sites that accept reviews.

You should deal with complaints here in much the same way you would on your own site. Hostility and profanity should be ignored. People who post articulate and well-conceived comments may be engaged.

Respond to the Positive As Well

Don’t forget to respond to positive reviews as well. Reply to it with a thank-you post, which will further increase its credibility and the perception of your responsiveness.

Check out our website,, to see how we handle comments on our site.



Feb 23

Why You Should Attend an Industry Conference

Attending conferences and conventions

Why should you attend an industry event?

Social media, Zoom meetings, Skype calls, Facetime—with all the technology available to bring people together, why bother attending conferences anymore? What’s the point of taking so much time away from your business to attend an industry conference or trade show when you can just get all the information you need online?

Being active in your industry comes with a wealth of benefits. You can join organizations and connect with people online, but there comes a time when face-to-face is the best way to connect. Here are five reasons to attend a trade show or conference:

  1. Educational opportunities. We can all learn—in fact, we should never stop learning. The educational aspect of a conference can expose you to new ideas for your business. You can learn best practices, and the latest happenings in your industry.
  2. Networking with peers.  Conferences and trade shows provide a great opportunity to network. Competitors from other regions of the country can become valuable resources and referral sources. There’s enough pie for everyone, and you never know when you might need to lean on a competitor.
  3. Encounter new vendors and suppliers. People often shy away from the trade show exhibit hall at conferences like the plague. They fear that they will have to talk to salespeople; however, these are some of the best people for you to get to know. You need to know about products and services for your business to stay competitive. Invest time with the folks and turn them into your friends.
  4. Position yourself as an expert. Who doesn’t want to be seen as an expert at what they do? If you lock yourself in your office and never engage with others in your industry, expert status will never happen for you. Think about your clients, and how much more they will trust you when they know that you are respected by your peers. Attending an industry conference will help you become the expert in your field.
  5. Have fun. All work and no play can get very boring very fast. Industry conferences mix a social aspect into your learning. Many events have fun activities such as parties, golf, and tours of the local area where the event is hosted. If the conference is being held in an area of the country not close to your own, you get an opportunity to see something that you may not have seen before. If the conference is in an area you want to see more of, it doesn’t hurt to take a little extra time at the beginning or end of the event to explore the area. Remember, resting and recharging will make you better at your job when you come back to the office.

And while we’re on the subject of conferences…

Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 15, 2018!

That is the date of Bluebird’s next Users Conference, being held in conjunction with the annual International Car Rental Show at Bally’s Resort & Casino.

The event will begin with an evening outing at the High Roller Ferris Wheel! Therefore, please make plans to arrive by Saturday afternoon, April 14th.

Here are all the details:

Saturday, April 14th, 7:30 p.m. Drinks and Dessert on the High Roller, located at 3545 S. Las Vegas Blvd. (behind the LINQ Hotel and Casino).

Sunday, April 15th, 8 a.m.   Meetings take place in the Skyview ROOM 2 on the 26th Floor.

  •  Introductions
  • Brief Presentations by Sponsoring Vendors
  • State of the Union Address
  • Sales and Support
  • Chip and Pin Requirements for Credit Cards
  • Product Update
    – VIN Decoding/Recalls
    – Leasing
    – RW Mobile
    – RW Express
    – RW5
  • New Products/Interfaces
    – Broker XML Interface
    – HUF/Sixth Sense
    – Erez5
    – Topaz Signature Capture
  • Development Calendar
  • Open Forum

The Conference will adjourn at 5 p.m., which is when the opening reception for the International Car Rental Show begins!

Registration will close on Wednesday April 11th (as we’ll have to get meal counts to the hotel) and that the cost is only $49 per person! We hope to see you there!

To register, click here.

Feb 11

Why Should You Consider a Car Rental Broker?

Online Travel Broker Website

A car rental broker is an intermediary between car rental companies (ACE, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, NextCar, Thrifty, etc.) and consumers. Car rental brokers don’t own rental cars; the car rental companies do. From a consumer (renter) perspective, they can get exactly the same rental car from a broker that they would by going directly to the car rental company, only for a much better price.

If you are a car rental operator, online brokers are a great way to expand the reach of your business and your customer base as they sell to customers worldwide. In some regions, the business from brokers accounts for 75 percent of all rentals, accessing customers from foreign markets that otherwise would likely have booked only with a global brand.


Online brokers need many suppliers to ensure sufficient supply at all times of the year. Working through an XML connection means that brokers are providing their customers with real-time rates and availability and bookings that are confirmed with the rental supplier immediately.


Car rental brokers operate online and market their sites globally. It is impossible for local operators to have that kind of reach without switching the nature of their business operations from renting cars to online marketing. Additionally, it is difficult for operators to understand what international market has the most potential business for them. Brokers understand this and will market in the countries where they know the bookings are coming from. International business can supplement a local business at times when local business just isn’t providing enough turnover. It can also help a business to grow larger than it could have otherwise done by just depending on local business.

Brokers are becoming recognized car rental brands in their own right, so a start-up or independent brand can benefit from a global brand without purchasing a franchise. Customers also like brokers because they can compare prices, prepay their rental, and have the convenience of having insurance waivers and taxes included in the price they pay. 

Renting via a broker is the united power of consumers: they turn your negotiation power into that of a big multinational company. Because car rental brokers handle large numbers of reservations (thousands a day), they are able to negotiate much lower rental prices than individual consumers or small companies could. This saves private customers a lot of money, because they get the same discount as big companies that rent many cars!

Car rental companies rent many cars to businesses. These clients usually rent a car for only one day and mainly during working days. These one day rentals include a large amount of overhead: the car has to be rented again, the car has to be cleaned, the tank has to be filled, etc. This makes car rental expensive.

On the other hand, car rental brokers rent most cars to private consumers. The average rental period is a whole week. The car doesn’t have to be cleaned every day, the tank doesn’t have to be filled, the car doesn’t have to be rented out again. This saves money: the longer you rent a car, the cheaper it gets. And private consumers fill the gaps in the rental schedules: they mainly rent cars during weekends and holidays, when there are no business clients. This gives brokers even more room to negotiate lower prices.

Car rental brokers also arrange for all-inclusive packages: unlimited mileage/kilometers, third party insurance, CDW insurance, theft protection insurance, airport delivery charges, and local taxes are included in the quoted rental price. When customers rent a car directly from a rental company, it is not unusual that what they eventually pay is twice the quoted price. Car rental brokers offer much better rental conditions, without unpleasant surprises.

The new Bluebird XML Portal takes those benefits further by offering the brokers and our customers the opportunity to connect to our hub. This means with just one connection, brokers can connect with any of our XML Portal subscribers, giving the broker more options at a lower cost. For our customers, this means access to leading online brands with exposure to massive international markets. The Broker XML Portal is a distribution tool, which means that our customers retain control of their pricing and inventory. The bottom line: you only sell what you want, when you want.

Please contact our sales department at 800-304-5805, if you are interested in improving/expanding your rental market.

Jan 25

Why Chip and PIN Credit Cards are Better for Your Rental Business

Horror stories of large companies who have suffered through data breaches have become more commonplace than anyone wants to believe. These breaches happen when hackers illegally obtain credit card information from large amounts of users. It’s a public relations nightmare for the merchants, and a huge headache for the victims of the breach. Chip and PIN credit cards can make these breaches a thing of the past.

These new cards encode the user’s account information in a computer chip embedded in the card, rather than with a magnetic strip. The chip generates a unique, one-time code for each sale.

The actual name for the new card system is EMV, for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa standards. However, most call them chip cards, or chip and PIN cards.

When a merchant’s system doesn’t store data, it cannot be used to create counterfeit cards. This makes the merchant less of a target for hackers. With chip cards, there’s not a lot the hackers can do with the encrypted data..

In most of the world, when people buy with a credit card they place their card in the reader and then input a Personal Identification Number, or PIN. This is similar to what Americans do when we use cash machines. However, in America, most banks issue cards that allow a signature, rather than a PIN, as confirmation. Some banks require PINs right away. Eventually it’s expected all will.

Fraud Reduction

According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, chip and PIN cards could reduce credit card fraud by 40 percent in the US. Getting to that point, though, requires money, work, and expense on your part as a merchant. In the past, credit card companies and banks bore the liability for fraudulent purchases on credit cards. But beginning last October, merchants who hadn’t switched to readers that can take the new cards are liable for fraud if there’s a problem.

Merchants aren’t required to make the switch, but chip and PIN cards are coming. Merchants need to be prepared. While new cards will still have magnetic stripes, businesses are encouraged to shift over quickly. That means buying new credit card machines and software capable of reading both chip cards and magnetic stripe cards.

Credit card companies plan to spend the first part of the year in a push to get companies to upgrade. For example, American Express will offer $100 in reimbursement to merchants that switch to the chip card readers in February.

The idea is to encourage merchants to make the shift, and experts say that sooner is better. Security experts are predicting a wave of data breaches The window is closing for hackers to easily profit from point-of-sale attacks on brick-and-mortar retailers,

If you’re looking for advice on obtaining chip and PIN card readers, reach out to Bluebird Auto Rental Systems today at 800-304-5805. We can help!

Dec 29

Do You Have Accident Recovery Solutions in Place?

As a rental agency, what do you do when you rent a vehicle out, and the renter has an accident? What accident recovery solutions do you have in place? The car that you rented could be severely damaged, even totaled.

Of course, if the renter has purchased the insurance that you offer, these are easy questions to answer. You simply make the claim against that insurance policy. That company will pay out the damages.

This becomes a slightly stickier problem if the renter opts out of the insurance that you offer. Many times, this is exactly what renters will do. They assume that because they have their own personal auto insurance, that will cover them in the event of an accident in a rental vehicle. That very well may be true. However, it’s not always the case. As the rental company, it is your responsibility to be sure that your renters have adequate insurance to cover losses to a rental vehicle.

Accident Recovery Solutions

Here are some tips that you can use to be sure you won’t have to take a hit on damages done to your vehicles:

  1. Every time a renter comes in, even if they are a regular, check to be sure they have a valid driver’s license.
  2. Check renters’ addresses every time they rent. If they have an accident and you don’t have a valid address on file for them, you will have to bear the responsibility and cost for trying to find them to collect damage. Renters must also pay fees, including administration and loss of use fees. But you can only collect if you can find them to bill them.
  3. Check renters’ insurance information, every time they come in to rent. It’s not uncommon for a renter to buy insurance so they get the card, and then let the insurance lapse. If they have an accident without any insurance, you may be responsible for the damages.
  4. Be sure renters’ insurance includes collision coverage. Most rental agencies require that renters’ insurance has this provision, or they will be required to purchase the insurance from the agency. You won’t know for sure if they have collision coverage unless you check.

Accidents Can Cost You Big Money

As the rental agency, you can sue renters for accident recovery fees. However, if you can’t find the renter, or they have no insurance, you will have to pay for the damages or purchase a new vehicle. This can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

You may be thinking that finding all of this out takes too much time, and it will increase line length and customer complaints. While this may be true, finding out all of this information can save you money in your accident recovery efforts.

Need help making sure your renters are adequately covered? Reach out to Bluebird Auto Rental Systems today at 800-304-5805. We can help!

Dec 01

Upgraded RentWorks Ensures Safety Recalls are Handled



If you rent or lease cars and your fleet consists of 35 or more vehicles, you need this information about safety recalls. The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act took effect recently. This law makes it a violation to rent, loan, or sell defective, unsafe recalled cars until the safety recalls have been repaired.

The act’s namesakes, two sisters ages 24 and 20, died because of an accident in a rental car that had been recalled but not repaired.

Rental car companies purchase the most new cars in North America. They also sell the most used cars. Under the new federal law, rental companies will have to repair millions of used cars.  This is in addition to existing state laws that prohibit dealers from selling unsafe products to the public. 

This new law is the first expansion of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) authority over safety recalls since the agency’s start in the 1960s. Now the NHTSA can issue fines and other sanctions to help prevent tragedies caused by defective vehicles.

Most players in the rental car industry, including Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Dollar-Thrifty, Alamo, National, and the American Car Rental Association, helped persuade lawmakers to vote in favor of the act.  They worked with representatives of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety and other supporters to pass the new law. General Motors and Honda also supported the bill, unlike other major auto manufacturers.

The Senate and House both rejected auto manufacturers’ attempts to kill the bill. They also voted to legalize rentals and loaners of recalled vehicles with disclosure. This would have blamed victims for accidents, since sellers warned buyers in advance of issues with the cars.

How can Bluebird help with safety recalls on vehicles?

Now that this law is in effect, you’ll need to know which vehicles in your fleet currently have recalls. We can help with that. We just released our latest version, RentWorks 4.1.G. It includes VIN decoding, which is an interaction between the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Authority) and RentWorks. The VIN goes to the NHTSA, and in return we receive specific vehicle information based upon the VIN. RentWorks stores this information for future use. 

We also receive Safety Recall information for the specified vehicle(s) based on the first eight characters of the VIN. RentWorks stores them as pending maintenance alerts. Once activated, these maintenance alerts will ground available vehicles and ground vehicles when they are returned. They will remain grounded until owners satisfy the safety recalls.

Are you ready to get started with RentWorks, or upgrade to the latest version? Call Bluebird today at 800-304-5805, or email for more information.


Older posts «