The Impact of Tool Hoarding
Does the following scenario sound familiar? One of your projects has some important tools on site, so the tool manager holds on to them, arguing that they’re being used when actually they’re not. And since, in most cases, there’s no penalty for having unused tools on site, there’s no reason not to hoard! These tools end up sitting idle on the job site for days, weeks or months – un-billed and unaccounted for.
According to Modern Contractor Solutions, “More than $1 billion in valuable tools, commodities, and consumables are lost each year.” And to be clear, the definition of “lost” also includes tools that are secretly held and hidden on a jobsite (hoarded), causing a company to repurchase tools that aren’t truly lost.
Accounting does not solve tool hoarding
Unfortunately, many companies deal with tool hoarding by trying to use accounting policies to get superintendents and project managers to “cough up the tools” and return them. This rarely works. In the end it is much more efficient to provide everyone with visibility to who has the tools and where those tools are located. This insight to where the tools can be found opens up dialogue between superintendents who begin simply asking for what they need.
In the simplest terms, policies that make it hard to request and deliver tools to jobs actually make it more likely that tools will get hoarded in order to avoid the work delays of not having a required tool. If tools move quickly from job to job, then superintendents don’t feel the need to hoard things “just in case” they might need them.
Goodbye spreadsheets, hello tracking
With tool hoarding disrupting the flow of construction operations, contractors are looking at new ways to manage their tool inventories. Having tried the “spreadsheet method,” contractors are now investing in small tool management systems. The most effective of these can be deployed easily as an “app” on team smartphones and tablets.
An automated tool control system can remedy a labor shortage by allowing you to manage tools with fewer people, ultimately saving your company money by not having to replace lost or stolen items. With the ability to manage tool inventories remotely, construction companies can save significant time and money.
After deploying a tool tracking solution, you’ll be able to assign tool responsibility to individuals and make it easy to transfer responsibility when a tool moves from person to person while giving everyone in your organization the ability to easily search for tools and see who has what.
This eliminates the possibility of tools sitting idle, and could ultimately save your company some real money.
Read More about How to Stop Tool Hoarding.
If you’d like to learn more about modern tool tracking applications check out ShareMyToolbox or call, 866.768.8665.
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