Efficient Operations Require Tool Tracking
Tools and small equipment have never been as important to job success as they are today. Complex construction requirements combined with technology advancements have driven a need for more specialized and expensive tools in almost every trade. As a result, companies now find that they are constantly shifting expensive equipment from job to job, attempting to keep utilization and productivity high. This is where the trouble begins. When moving equipment and tools from one jobsite to the next, things often go missing, wind up at a different location or accidentally vanish under a pile of wood and tarps in the back of a pick-up truck. Replacing these tools is not only frustrating, it’s expensive and disrupts the operations of the next job as the team searches for the tools they need to do their work. According to writers at ENR, as early as 2003, leading edge contractors were “recognizing the value of trying harder to hold onto tools previously treated as more disposable assets.” This has only grown more necessary and more urgent over the past fourteen years. The Operational Impact of Missing Tools Operations managers and teams are getting more vocal about the impact missing and unaccounted for tools are having on their jobs. The three biggest headaches we hear about from these folks include:
- Not having the tool onsite when it is needed often leads to job delays.
- Hours can be wasted looking for a tool because nobody knows who currently has it.
- Wasting money buying double the number of tools needed to avoid the first two headaches.
- Reduction in tool hoarding and equipment losses
- Tool control and inventory reconciliation
- Time saved during tool check-in and check-out
- Time saved by not searching for misplaced or lost tools
- Increased productivity because workers can find the right tool at the right time”
- First, you’ll establish a list of everything you own. While this is often the most time consuming step, it sets up the application for tracking each item.
- Next, you assign tool responsibility to individuals and make it easy to transfer responsibility when a tool moves from person to person.
- Finally, give everyone in the company the ability to easily search for tools and see who has what.
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