Tool Tracking: How to REALLY Save Time and Money
According to Modern Contractor Solutions, “More than $1 billion in valuable tools, commodities, and consumables are lost each year.” And that doesn’t include the amount of time lost while searching for and replacing what went missing. How much of that wasted money and time was yours?
We know tool tracking is a key area for saving time and money in your construction business. So, with new technology rolling out, including beacon-based tool tracking, we should be celebrating, right? But, according to user reviews, relying on GPS and Bluetooth beacons alone is more frustrating than helpful. It simply doesn’t solve your tool tracking problem. (And used alone, it saves you neither time nor money.) Beacon-based technology may be appropriate for the large, high-end equipment deployed on your job sites. But, with the volume of small tools that leave your warehouse, implementing beacon-based tracking just isn’t practical.
So, what in the heck are you supposed to do, exactly?
You need to track your tools. But you need more than just GPS or Bluetooth beacons to do it effectively.
Three Simple Steps:
- Tool tracking begins with an accurate tool inventory. You need to know what you own in order to protect your investment. When you know what you own (and can easily access that information), you will buy fewer duplicates, saving both time and money.
- Any tool tracking solution ought to tell you where your tools are. But you will save more time and more money with a tool tracker that identifies not only where tools and equipment are, but whether they are being used or sitting idle. When everyone in the company can find tools fast they will more quickly recognize which tools are available for use elsewhere. The group will re-locate tools more quickly than any individual could. With group visibility you will increase productivity, which is great news for your time and your money.
- The most critical component of effective tool tracking is unfortunately the one most overlooked: accountability. With an accountability-based tool tracker, responsibility is assigned to an employee who accepts that responsibility in the app on a smartphone or tablet. When your employee knows there is a digital record of who has each tool, motivation is high for keeping track of the tools in his or her care.
Unlike a beacon-based tool tracker, an accountability-based solution actually builds a more responsible and reliable field team, providing more reliable results than a GPS or Bluetooth signal. With this sort of tool tracking solution, you can reduce tool loss (and save time and money) without having to put a pricey beacon on every piece of equipment.
While beacon-based technology may become part of your tool tracking plan, if you really want to save time and money, use those beacons as strategic accents to the more solid foundation of an accountability-based tool tracker.