Tool monitoring
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The five biggest challenges in tool management (and how to overcome them)

Written by
Sebastien De Grauwe

Excellent management and maintenance of your tools is fundamental to you as a building contractor or installer. When you're working on multiple sites and meeting tight deadlines, it's often difficult to keep an accurate inventory of all your equipment. In this article, we'll take a look at the five biggest tool management challenges, and see how you can solve them in everyday life.

Many companies in the construction and installation sectors find it difficult to manage their tool stock, as these tools are constantly in the hands of different technical teams, on the move or on different job sites. As a result, valuable tools frequently get lost, are not maintained on time, or are simply abandoned on site.

5 challenges in traditional tool management

1. Inaccurate data

An inventory program such as 'Excel' is often at the root of poor tool management. Don't misunderstand us: Excel is and remains an excellent computer program, but not for taking stock of your tools. Excel information is unreliable because human errors can occur at any time, and often the data encoded does not correspond to reality in the field: so you can never be sure of the exact location of your tools.

As a result, your staff frequently have to search for the right tool, wasting valuable time. It's very likely that the tool will be lost or misplaced, which unfortunately leads to unnecessary additional costs for you.

2. Waste of time

With traditional tool management, technicians have to manually record the entry and exit of each tool. This has a major impact on your teams' productivity. How long does it take, for example, to search for and record the output of 10 different tools? What's more, many employees see this administrative work as a waste of time, and often don't see the point. As a result, your tool logs quickly become inaccurate.

3. Many tools disappear without a trace

Because the data in the logbook is not precise, you never know for sure where all the tools are. They are passed from one team to another, momentarily lent to a colleague on another site, forgotten at the end of the day on the job site, etc. In short, an oversight is easily mislaid or lost. Technicians are never sure of where their tools are located, and don't always feel responsible for putting them away properly.

4. Lack of maintenance

Proper maintenance of your tools not only ensures excellent operation, but also a longer service life. This contributes to productivity on the job site and lower costs. Many tools are virtually never serviced, for the simple reason that no one takes care of them. As a result, no one knows when the last service was performed.

5. No protection in the event of theft

In Belgium, there are no fewer than 3,000 thefts from building sites every year! That's 8 stolen tools a day. The risk of site theft is highest at night, at weekends and during the construction industry's annual vacations. The loss can amount to several thousand euros per theft. It also means delays, as your technicians can no longer use the right tool.

When you don't know exactly what tools are on site, it's even harder to get them back into stock, or to call in your insurance company to claim the loss.

Tool tracing: an exact and precise view of your site equipment rental

There's a simple way to know where your tools are at all times. The HeronTrack 'ToolTracking' geolocation solution makes managing small materials and equipment for construction workers and installers child's play.

We fit all your tools with an intelligent 'sensor' that communicates via Bluetooth with your employees' smartphones. As a result, they can easily locate the tool on site, and there's no risk of your tools being lost or mislaid... Information about your tools also circulates via the shared network. So you always have an overview of availability, rental and the identity of the last user(s) of this equipment, wherever you are.

HeronTrack also helps you organize mandatory maintenance inspections of your site equipment. The digital logbook lets you prove that your tools have been serviced on time.

Interested in testing HeronTrack's 'ToolTracking' application free of charge?
Please contact us for a demonstration.