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The Most Important Factor in Selecting an Asset Tracking System

July 14th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

Due to the highly competitive nature of the construction industry, cost efficiency is always a primary concern when making investments in new business tools or processes. It’s important to carefully weigh the cost vs. the potential return on investment (ROI), while factoring in the timeframe. How quickly can you expect to see a return on your investment in terms of additional profit, cost savings or greater productivity?
There are a number of ways to save money on construction projects. But if you want to stay in business you have a reputation to consider, so of course you only invest in business processes that won’t negatively impact quality.

The ability to quickly and easily manage your entire tool inventory, whether at one location or multiple jobsites, allows workers to locate the right tool in the right place at all times for maximum efficiency. When workers can’t find the tool they need to do their jobs, it means lost productivity and missed deadlines.

Implementing a tool and equipment management system is a great way to cut costs through elimination of overstocking, reduced tool hoarding, increased accountability and greater productivity. Equally important, investing in the right system delivers fast ROI, enhanced quality and improved worker safety by tracking scheduled equipment maintenance and calibration.

But there is more to the decision on which system to choose. To maximize and speed up return on your investment, a robust tool tracking system also should provide the capability to:

• Share inventory data for accurate reporting across your entire organization
• Monitor and schedule required maintenance
• Alert when the inventory level for an item is low
• Recapture tooling costs with automated billing for usage
• Manage tool purchasing and resale.

Additionally, you have a choice in the data collection technology that you use for tracking tools and equipment. For the most part, choosing between barcode and RFID scanning methods will depend on your particular tool usage and storage conditions. If a tool is stored in a case at the end of the day, you can apply a barcode label on the tool where it will be protected in the case and won’t rub off. On the other hand, for large equipment and tools that are left outside in the weather, or those exposed to rough and dirty conditions on a regular basis, an RFID tag is more durable.

An additional consideration when choosing the best system is the availability of personnel to handle the check-out and return of tools and equipment. RFID technology enables a self-serve tool crib application, which reduces labor costs while still maintaining accountability. By keeping workers accountable for the valuable equipment they use, you can protect your investment.

The versatile ToolHound 5 system offers both barcode and RFID tracking for streamlined inventory visibility, maximizing tool use and productivity, saving worker time, and reducing tool budgets for overall profitability and prompt return on investment.
Which system best meets your needs?

RFID Tool Tracking Stands Up To Dirty, Greasy Jobs

June 23rd, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

Greasy Equipment

Construction equipment operators work in nearly every weather condition. Workers often get dirty, greasy, muddy or dusty… and so do their tools. One of the advantages of using RFID technology for tool tracking is its ability to withstand harsh conditions.

While some more delicate tools are regularly cleaned and put away, most hand tools and equipment used on a construction site or in an oil field tend to stay dirty much of the time. This complicates the process of tracking these tools in the field.

If tar or dirt covers a barcode, it can no longer be read. However, rugged RFID tags can be accurately scanned when greasy, muddy or covered in tar and grime. And because RFID doesn’t require direct line of sight, tags can be read even when placed inside tools.

Additionally, RFID tool tracking solutions such as the ToolHound 5 system enable faster transactions and greater productivity because multiple tags can be read simultaneously.
The ability to track equipment in the field using RFID tags and rugged handheld computers means that you can process tool check-outs and returns even in the dirtiest environment for greater flexibility, efficiency, productivity and peace of mind.

What sort of dirty, grimy jobsite challenges are you facing?

ToolHound Tech Tip – How to Deal with No Tab Key on MC 9100/9200 Handheld Computers

June 1st, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

mc9190g_frontThe tab key is useful for moving to the next input field on the screen. Unfortunately, for those of you using the MC 9100/9200 series handheld devices from Zebra, you may have noticed there is no tab key on the keyboard. You could access the tab key by opening up the on screen keyboard but this is a bit cumbersome. The easiest way to tab across fields on the ToolHound mobile program is to press the Blue function key followed by the space key.

Tool Inventory Tracking Simplifies Tool Theft Reports

May 21st, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

Constrution-trespassing-warning-signIt’s an unfortunate fact that the words “construction site” and “theft” go hand-in-hand. Just search for “construction tools news” and a number of theft reports will pop up at any given time. Reducing construction tool theft is one way in which ToolHound tool and equipment management systems can benefit almost every construction business.

At ToolHound, we provide construction companies and worksites with tool tracking solutions that utilize barcode and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Each valuable tool or piece of equipment has a barcode label or RFID tag attached. Employees or jobs are also identified using a bar code or other ID. When a tool is required, the employee or job ID is scanned followed by the tools being issued. By tracking who has what tools, ToolHound makes employees accountable and reduces theft. Minimizing tool loss can significantly decrease overall expenses for any construction firm of any size.

For example, in 2007, “ToolHound for Habitat” was established to provide Habitat for Humanity affiliates in North America with tool and equipment management kits to minimize tool theft and loss. This has saved thousands of dollars in replacement tool costs, enabling some of the savings to be returned into the Habitat for Humanity program.

When dealing with equipment and tool theft, ToolHound customers can quickly supply law enforcement with a detailed list of items missing complete with serial numbers. This also makes the process of tool recovery that much simpler and more efficient.

ToolHound’s tool management software is beneficial to many industries apart from construction as well, including mining, oil and gas, and utilities. The centralized, real-time visibility and management of tool inventories can increase productivity and reduce tool losses while improving tool utilization. To learn more about ToolHound tool and equipment management solutions, please feel free to contact us today.

Common Misconceptions About Tool Tracking Systems

May 7th, 2015   |   Posted by: superadmin

You know that the outdated system being used to maintain your company’s equipment inventory needs to be replaced but you haven’t done anything about it because you think a new system would require too much time and money to set up.

Sound familiar? Here are some of the most common misconceptions that might be holding you back…

Misconception #1: I have more flexibility if I use paper or spreadsheets because a digital inventory system can only be accessed when I’m in the main office.

Fact: Spreadsheets have never been designed for inventory tracking, and keeping them updated across multiple sites and projects is nearly impossible. With the ToolHound web browser-based tool management software, your equipment inventory can be managed remotely at any time and from anywhere via a single software platform. For example, ToolHound Cloud can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection and Silverlight-enabled browser. There is even an app that runs on any device that has an HTML5 compatible browser.

Misconception #2: In order to track tools in oil and gas, construction or mining, we need to use brass tags because nothing else holds up in harsh, dirty environments.

Fact: RFID tags are rugged enough to withstand the harshest environments, and they can be accurately scanned without direct line of sight, even when dirty or greasy. And unlike brass tags that require time-consuming manual inventories, RFID tags enable fast and easy, automated tool check-in/check-out.

Misconception #3: It takes too long to see a return on investment.

Fact: The comprehensive portfolio of scalable ToolHound equipment and tool management software delivers prompt return on investment, often in less than a year. This is made possible through significant savings in time and money:

  • Streamlined inventory reconciliation
  • Reduction in equipment losses and tool hoarding
  • Comprehensive tool and equipment visibility
  • Time savings realized when tools are issued or returned
  • Less time spent searching for lost or misplaced equipment
  • Resale of obsolete or excessive equipment inventory
  • Increased worker productivity because the right tool is in the right place at the right time.

 

We’re glad that we have this opportunity to set the facts straight. What else can we help you with today?