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RFID Lightens the Load of Managing Heavy Equipment

November 16th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has estimated that the construction industry loses $1 billion annually from equipment and tool theft, with a large majority of thefts occurring on the job site. Two main factors determine the type of equipment stolen most often – value and mobility.

Of course, some of the most valuable equipment is too big to steal; yet even some large, heavy equipment goes missing every day. This type of pervasive problem demonstrates just one of the many reasons why it’s necessary to manage and track your valuable equipment inventory.

This is particularly important when you have crews working in multiple locations. Keeping track of equipment in the field is challenging enough, but it becomes even more complicated when a project uses equipment from one yard and returns it to another yard, or transfers it to another project.

Finding the Best Fit

When choosing a tool management solution, both RFID and barcode tracking offer benefits for hand tools. However, a robust solution is needed for most heavy equipment that stays outdoors on the job site, including cranes, excavators, bulldozers, fork lifts or backhoes.

RFID tags are durable enough to withstand weather and harsh conditions, and tags can be read without line of sight. This means the tag can be mounted inside or outside the equipment, and it can still be read even when covered in dirt and grime.

The ToolHound equipment management system makes it simple to transfer heavy equipment from a central warehouse to one or more jobs sites, keeping track of all the items at each location with RFID tracking. Once the equipment is delivered to the job site, items can be checked out to workers as required. When the project is completed, items are easily transferred back to the warehouse or directly to another job.

This increased visibility also enables identification of assets that can be sold or removed from inventory to free up budget for new, up-to-date tools and equipment. For added benefit, ToolHound offers a simple-to-use rental module that allows you to track tool use and streamline project billing, saving time and maximizing return on your equipment investment.

But don’t take our word for it — read more about how smart business owners are using ToolHound to track more than just tools.

Avoid Stalled Productivity with Automation for Tool and Equipment Management

October 20th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

It’s a familiar sight. Workers standing around, waiting to be issued tools and equipment at the beginning of the workday. Or is it actually the end of the day; are they standing around waiting to return their tools…?

Either way it looks the same – costly and inefficient. Calculate the time and money wasted for each worker, times twice a day and the total number of workers, and it quickly adds up.

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With the ToolHound 5 system, you can eliminate time-consuming manual tool tracking to avoid stalled productivity, while still keeping workers accountable for valuable equipment. For example, with the ToolHound SecureCrib™ software, workers can quickly get and return the tools they need from a fully automated tool kiosk without a tool crib attendant.

SecureCrib™ uses a simple touch screen computer or an RFID portal to allow a worker to scan an ID badge to start the process, and then choose to either check out or return inventory. Using an RFID reader, the worker simply scans the items, confirms that the list on the computer screen matches their inventory, and then proceeds to their jobsite or returns their tools to the crib.

Whether you prefer to use a fully automated kiosk or a manned tool crib, ToolHound has a complete solution that includes both barcode and RFID technology, mobile computers and software.

ToolHound not only helps you make sure that the right tool is in the right place at the right time, but also allows you to automate and streamline the issue and return of equipment for even greater productivity. After all, why pay workers to stand around when they could already be on the jobsite?

Tips for Tracking Tools Across Multiple Job Sites

October 6th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

Keeping track of tools and equipment can be difficult enough with a small operation. Things are lost or misplaced on a daily basis; that’s simply a fact of life on a job site.

But when you are operating a large operation across multiple job sites, the characteristic challenges of equipment management are multiplied ten-fold. And if you are unable to get a handle on the problem, it can become overwhelming… as well as very costly in terms of time, money and reputation.

Tip #1: Save time while keeping workers accountable for lost items and tool hoarding by scanning items in the field and uploading data wirelessly. With a web browser-based tool management software like ToolHound Cloud, your entire equipment inventory can be managed remotely at any time and from anywhere via a single software platform and an Internet connection.

Tip #2: Recapture tool costs by billing for usage per each job site or client. ToolHound makes it easy to maintain a complete history of tool usage by item and employee, automatically recording charges and expenses for each inventory item.

Tip #3: Simplify the task of adding new items to inventory as you expand sites with the ToolHound Purchasing Module. This system not only monitors item availability and usage to create purchase orders, it also reports on usage history to help you make informed decisions about inventory purchasing strategies.

With ToolHound, you can gain complete visibility of valuable company assets — tools, equipment, machinery, consumables and vehicles — wherever they are located, across multiple long-term projects and unlimited job sites.

And when workers spend less time searching for lost or misplaced equipment, productivity goes up, costs go down, and your projects stay on schedule.

How to Solve Three Common Construction Problems Using RFID Tool Tracking

September 18th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

Keeping track of tools and equipment on one construction site is difficult enough. Managing your entire tool inventory across multiple sites can be a monumental challenge.

Fortunately, there is an easy-to-use, readily available technology that makes it simple to tackle these challenges. Here are three common construction problems that can be solved with RFID-enabled tool tracking.

#1 – Construction Problems Caused by Expansion

Growing your business is great for reputation and profitability. However, as your business expands, so does the size and scope of your inventory. The ToolHound 5 system simplifies the task of adding new items to your tool inventory with quick and easy RFID scanning, as well as integration with other database systems using csv files. You can even monitor item availability and automate purchase orders for new equipment with the ToolHound Purchasing Module, ensuring that the right tool is always in the right place at the right time.

#2 – Equipment Tracking

You have a lot invested in your equipment. In order to protect that investment, you need to keep track of where those tools are located and who last used them. With RFID tool tracking you can keep up with of all your valuable assets in real-time, while keeping workers accountable for missing or broken tools. And tool assignments can be fully automated with the ToolHound SecureCrib™ Kiosk, enabling workers to check out and return their own tools without a tool crib attendant, helping to reduce personnel costs.

#3 – The Elements

Construction job sites come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, but one thing they share is a typically harsh environment. Rugged RFID tags can be accurately scanned when greasy, muddy or covered in grime, and the data can be uploaded wirelessly from anywhere using ToolHound Cloud and Mobile Scanners. The ToolHound 5 RFID tool tracking solution also allows you to scan multiple tags simultaneously for faster, easier transactions and greater productivity in the field.

What construction problems can we help you solve?

ToolHound Tracks More than Tools

August 20th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

We have talked quite a bit in this blog about tracking tools and heavy equipment using the ToolHound 5 system and a barcode or RFID tag. But did you know that ToolHound is great for keeping track of other items as well?

When paired with new MetalCraft Heat Seal Labels that adhere to fabrics, ToolHound can be used to track gloves, coveralls, company uniforms and other clothing. The durable Heat Seal Label is printed on flexible, woven polyester, and bonds to fabric with a heat-activated adhesive for applications where a traditional label won’t work.

And because workers and their coveralls can get pretty dirty on the job site, these labels have been tested to withstand washing, dry cleaning and disinfecting processes at 160°F.

Keeping track of company uniforms can be a tedious job, particularly given that many workers wear them home at the end of the day. With ToolHound and Heat Seal Labels, keeping track of coveralls, gloves and uniforms – and keeping workers accountable for them – is easy and worry-free, protecting your investment in these items with the same system that manages your tool inventory.

What can we help you track today?