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Snyder Roofing Stays on Top with Help with RFID Tool and Equipment Tracking

RFID tool and equipment trackingToolHound Inc., a global supplier of tool management systems, has significantly improved equipment tracking for the leading commercial and industrial roofing contractor in the Pacific Northwest, Snyder Roofing in Snohomish, Washington. For nearly four years, Snyder Roofing has used the ToolHound RFID tool tracking system to manage their equipment inventory, saving valuable time, improving productivity and minimizing the cost of replacing lost or stolen equipment.

Previously, the company had used a proprietary inventory control software program to track and record equipment as it was sent out to the job site, according to Neil West, head mechanic for Snyder Roofing. “The custom program wasn’t meeting our needs; it was ‘glitchy’ and hard to use,” said West.

West and Synder Roofing service manager, Kelly Ezell, also faced the challenge of equipment being taken out to multiple job sites by a number of different crews; sometimes on weekends when no one is available to check-out the items. Snyder Roofing solved these inventory and software challenges by switching to the ToolHound asset tracking system to track all of the small handheld equipment (drills, etc.), large construction equipment, roofing supplies and hand tools that are used by approximately 60-70 workers on any given day.

The powerful ToolHound equipment management system helps Snyder Roofing keep track of tools and equipment in a comprehensive, real-time asset database using radio frequency identification (RFID), ensuring that the right tool is in the right place when it is needed.

“One thing that swayed us toward ToolHound is the fact that we were able to use RFID,” said West. “We can take the RFID handheld scanner out, scan everything, and know exactly what we have in the shop or at the job site, instead of trying to hunt down every piece of equipment.”

The use of RFID technology is ideally suited to tracking equipment for roofing and anything else related to construction inventory management. “Because RFID tags don’t require direct line of sight, they can be read by the scanner through dirt and grime, or even placed inside tools,” said Dean Perry, president of ToolHound. “If tar or dirt covers a bar code, it can no longer be read. However, an RFID tag can still be read when a tool is covered with tar – and multiple tags can be read simultaneously – which means faster transactions and greater productivity.”

RFID Tool and Equipment Tracking for Employee Accountability

In addition, the team at Snyder Roofing has found that using ToolHound’s tool management software not only makes it easier to track the location of the equipment, but also records who last used it. “It puts some responsibility on the foreman to keep track of the equipment, so we’re not losing as much of it in the field,” West added. “If something is damaged or neglected we know who was using it last and it’s easier to hold them accountable.”

Since the ToolHound system was first developed, the company has revised and updated the product to meet the changing needs of its customers, based on their real-world feedback.

“One thing I’ve enjoyed about working with the people at ToolHound is they have taken my advice and actually modified parts of the ToolHound program to specifically suit our needs here at Snyder,” said West. “ToolHound OnSite looks good and is easy to use. After a while, you learn to use it pretty much in your sleep.”

Read more about RFID Tool and Equipment tracking in this article from ConstrucTech: Jobsite: The Next Generation