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7 Things Your Tool Inventory Management System Should Be Doing for You

May 18th, 2016   |   Posted by: superadmin

An antiquated tool inventory management system can cost your company a lot of time and manpower. Time-consuming, painstaking inventory management systems, such as those that are paper-based or Excel-based, simply don’t offer the level of functionality and service that automated solutions provide.

Your inventory management system should be working for you – not the other way around. It should be able to pull reports instantaneously, tell you what tools are due for maintenance or certification, and allow you to see which employees have which pieces of equipment. Here are 7 things a tool inventory management system should be doing for your business.

  1. Helping avoid stalled productivity

    Your business’ productivity is directly related to your employees having the right tools to get their jobs done. If tools are missing from the tool shed or in need of maintenance, it can result in wasted time and missed deadlines.

  1. Improving tool utilization

    Always having the right tools for a job is imperative, and your inventory management system should be helping achieve this. Trying to get by with the wrong tools can increase the chances of an accident-causing injury or the job taking much longer than usual.

  1. Reducing losses

    Stolen or lost tools cost your company money, either in the cost of replacing the tools or for lost productivity when the job can’t continue.

  1. Improving the functionality of tools in different locations

    An adaptable tool control system that can work on two different levels is a requirement for many construction companies. Your inventory management system should track items shipped to work sites on mobile tool cribs while also tracking tool usage at the job site.

  1. Tracking tool usage in multiple locations

    Companies in many different industries need to be able to reliably manage equipment that is located across various jobsites. Having the right tool in the right place at the right time provides exceptional savings in money and time, while contributing to better quality control.

  1. Managing regular maintenance and employee certification

    A good tool and equipment management system also contributes to safer working practices and reduced company liability. The ability to schedule regular maintenance and track employee certifications automatically helps to ensure safety remains a priority.

  1. Simplifying tracking and billing

    Companies that handle equipment rentals and service need a powerful inventory management system. Knowing when a piece of equipment is due back in and the amount that is due is important, as well as having an automated system in place for when a piece of equipment or a tool is not returned.

ToolHound offers the ideal solution for tracking and monitoring the use of your tools. Our state-of-the-art system for addressing inventory management needs in construction, mining, oil and gas, and other industries consists of a comprehensive database coupled with accurate bar code or RFID-based tool tracking. ToolHound is effective, easy to use and monitor, and will deliver overall peace of mind.

5 Consequences of Poor Tool Control

April 28th, 2016   |   Posted by: superadmin

The need for accurate, effective tool and inventory management is more important than ever before for achieving success in competitive industries like construction. When you don’t have complete control of your equipment and tool inventory, there can be several ramifications. Here are five consequences of poor tool control and how implementing an efficient, easy-to-use tool control management system like ToolHound 5 can avoid these concerns.

1. Poor Productivity

Getting the job done on time and without errors is the focus of any business, no matter what the industry might be. Poor tool control can result in missing deadlines and wasted man-hours. If a piece of equipment or a tool is missing, the time it takes to locate or replace it can lead to stalled productivity and wasted time for both managers and workers. Overstocking can become an issue as well. ToolHound 5 tracks the issue and return of tools using a comprehensive database and a simple, accurate inventory management system so that tools can be located quickly.

2. Hazardous Job Sites

Safety is a primary concern on any jobsite, and lost or missing tools can create a hazardous environment. From simply tripping over an errant tool that was not returned properly to having a tool break or malfunction while being used, it’s easy to see why safety can be quickly affected without the right tool control system. ToolHound 5 addresses worker safety by ensuring equipment and tools meet safety standards through scheduled calibration and maintenance. ToolHound 5 was designed to provide operations with a substantial advantage in increasing tool control efficiency and worksite safety.

3. Wasted Money

Each tool that is not accounted for and must be replaced costs money; however, a tool control management system can save you money in other ways as well. For example, having the right tools in the right place at the right time can ensure you don’t end up paying workers for downtime caused by missing equipment. Also, ToolHound 5 can scale down the need for paying employees to manage tool rooms, leading to lowered labor costs. By making staff accountable, there can be a reduction in tool hoarding and theft as well, allowing for substantial cost savings. In addition, ToolHound is a proven solution for automating report creation, helping construction firms utilize important data without having to pay the labor costs for that data’s preparation.

4. Inability to Scale

Tool and equipment management becomes more and more complex as a construction firm grows and begins taking on multiple projects in various locations simultaneously. Inefficient tool control can make it difficult or impossible to handle many jobs at once, seriously limiting a company’s ability to scale their operations upward. ToolHound has successfully allowed for the remote management of tool and equipment inventories at multiple locations for many different companies.

5. Damaged Professional Reputation

When needed tools and equipment are not available, employee morale can become low as workers are unable to perform their tasks. Project delays and mistakes caused by irregular equipment maintenance can also damage your company’s reputation both among clients and workers. ToolHound 5 makes tool and equipment maintenance, calibration and replacement much more efficient through automated scheduling.

ToolHound Helps Avoid These Issues

ToolHound is scalable to any size organization in construction, mining, oil and gas, utilities and other industries. By using cutting-edge RFID tool tracking and management solutions from ToolHound, you can streamline your current processes and avoid the many pitfalls of inefficient tool control.

3 Tricks for Applying Asset Tags That Stick For Years

April 7th, 2016   |   Posted by: superadmin

Originally published by our partner, MetalCraft.

Ok, so you have equipment and assets and you don’t want to worry about the tags falling or peeling off. What is the best way to apply your asset tags so they stay attached no matter what you throw at them Lets walk through the 3 Metalcraft tips that will give your asset id tags and rfid tags a strong bond to the surface of your prodct.

1. Clean the Surface

Always, always, always clean the surface before you apply the label. Basically, if you apply a tag with adhesive to a dirty surface you are going to be reapplying that tag sooner rather than later. Make sure all the usual suspects are removed: grease, oil, wax, moisture, mold or dirt and the surface is completely dry before you place the tag.

2. Handle With Care

Pressure sensitive adhesives on the back side of labels should only be handled by the edges. As soon a finger or other object has touched the adhesive it has already lost some of its ability to bond well to the surface you are placing it on, so really try not to touch the backside of the tag before to have it placed on the asset.

3. Bond Product

Make sure you apply asset tags with firm even pressure and make sure all edges have a secure seal and are laying flat. Also, if possible, the bond should set for at least 72 hours before the tag is washed or the item is exposed to any harsh conditions. In addition to bond times, it’s best to try and apply the label when the surface temperature is above 50°F.

The Paperless Jobsite

March 31st, 2016   |   Posted by: superadmin

construction worker at paperless jobsiteFor many years, paper was ubiquitous in the construction industry. From invoices to drawings, paper was everywhere – but this is all beginning to change. With the role of technology in construction continuing to grow, the modern jobsite has been forced to adapt and improve. One of the biggest improvements that many companies have adopted is going paperless.

Since technology is already being integrated into your day-to-day operations, it only makes sense to take the next step and eliminate paper. While this may seem like a no-brainer for enterprise-level construction companies, medium and smaller sized companies can also benefit from going paperless.

The Environmental Costs

Each year, more than 300 million tons of paper are consumed worldwide. Canada is the one of the world’s largest consumers of paper (second to only the US). Although first world countries make up a small percentage of the world’s population, they consume a disproportionate amount of paper compared to other countries. This results in deforestation, an increase in solid waste, and significant contributions to air and water pollution. Moving towards a paperless jobsite reduces your negative impact on the environment.

Sustainability is Good Business

Maybe you haven’t taken the time to think about your environmental footprint, and that’s okay. Many businesses are so focused on their bottom line, that they don’t consider how sustainability practices can have an overall positive financial impact. You may be surprised to learn that adopting sustainable practices is also good business. These practices help you to be more competitive and more attractive to consumers.

Increased Productivity and Lower Costs

If you’ve ever forgotten an important document or building plan and had to waste time driving back to the office, you understand the value of having access to documents in the cloud. Not only does a paperless jobsite eliminate the need to carry paper copies, but going paperless also helps cut down on administrative costs.

Handling paper can account for 30 percent of your organization’s overhead. This number takes into account the average number of hours workers spend on tasks such as filing, distributing, creating, retrieving, and destroying documents. A 2014 AIIM report showed that more than half of respondents see a return on their investment within a year of implementing paper-free projects.

How Can ToolHound Help?

ToolHound offers equipment and tool management software that is an integral part of any effort to reduce paper on the job site. Here are a few Toolhound Solutions that can help your company go paperless:

  • ToolHound Purchasing Module – If you are still using a paper-based system for inventory tracking and purchase ordering, then ToolHound’s Purchasing Module is an excellent solution for you. It allows you to monitor item availability and usage to generate purchase orders.
  • ToolHound 5 – ToolHound 5 offers paperless tool tracking and consumable tracking.
  • Maintenance Module – The ToolHound Maintenance Module eliminates the need for paper work orders and service tasks.

If you have been considering reducing your paper consumption or going to a completely paperless jobsite, now is a good time to investigate tools that are specifically designed for the construction industry, such as Toolhound.

Technology and the High-Tech Job Site

February 29th, 2016   |   Posted by: superadmin

In today’s always connected world, technology offers a wide range of gadgets and services that make our daily lives more comfortable and convenient, not to mention more entertaining as well. On today’s job site, however, technology plays a much more valuable role — enabling greater efficiency and safety.

Technology has delivered a number of important advances that are revolutionizing the modern, high-tech job site.

RFID Tool Tracking:

The use of a tool and equipment tracking system, like ToolHound 5, increases both efficiency and productivity by managing valuable inventory across job sites. With RFID technology replacing bar code labels for many applications, reliable tracking of equipment can be done in real-time, even when tools are used in harsh, dirty or greasy environments.

But the ToolHound software not only simplifies tool tracking, it also contributes to improved safety. Because improper tool maintenance can lead to on-the-job mistakes and accidents, the ToolHound Maintenance Module keeps track of regular maintenance tasks with full reporting on when service is due, outstanding repairs, meter readings and maintenance histories.

Working in the Cloud:

With workers and resources spread across multiple job sites, many construction firms have come to rely on cloud computing as a more practical and efficient way to collaborate. Storing information ‘in the cloud’ provides secure, anytime access to applications and data from virtually any Internet-connected device, regardless of how much data storage that device offers. For example, ToolHound Cloud uses an online, hosted version of ToolHound to manage the movement, usage and location of tools and equipment without the hassle of maintaining web and database servers.

Going Mobile:

Availability of cloud computing and Wi-Fi Internet access, plus the growing number of workers with tablets and smart phones on the job, means ever-increasing mobility. To allow you to take full advantage of that mobility, there are a number of mobile apps for the construction industry, including CAD apps to change blueprints on the fly, and apps that help managers calculate supplies, concrete volumes, roofing materials and more.

Virtual High-Tech Job Site:

While drones, GoPro video cameras and 360-degree fisheye cameras are popular with hobbyists, they also come in handy for improved construction information workflow. Video and panorama photography are great tools to simplify visual documentation and bring the virtual job site to management, saving time and travel costs.

We’ve all become accustomed to the conveniences made possible by technology in our day-to-day lives. But when it comes to the hardware and software solutions available in today’s construction industry, a high-tech job site delivers unprecedented and even unexpected advantages.