3 Things You Need to Manage Construction Tools
Aren’t using tool management software yet? We’ve scoured the internet to find the most useful and reliable features available. After considering your software deployment needs—cloud-based or locally-installed solutions—and establishing a budget, it’s time to take a peek at the features that will make the most day-to-day impact for your business.
As you know, it’s hard to get a decent internet connection at remote job sites and large warehouses. You could be working in a new development, or in a warehouse with walls that contain steel-reinforced concrete, which are common situations with poor wireless internet signal. The good news is that Offline Mode was recently launched in tool management software to keep teams productive in these situations.
What makes this invaluable is that it allows you to continue to process inventory transactions and save data on your mobile devices without internet access. Your team can track tool usage and activities offline and then just sync the new data with the central database as soon as Wi-Fi becomes available. It makes a lot of sense.
Equipment Checkout and Reservations
After your team completes and closes out a project, process documentation becomes essential to ensuring the success of similar projects in the future. By that I mean, having tangible data on tool utilization—who used it, where it was/is, and what condition it’s in—gives you the ammunition you need to make sound decisions in upcoming jobs. For example, merely knowing what tool is active or idle could prevent your company from buying or renting unnecessary machinery, which can make a significant difference in the highly competitive bidding process.
This is why the combination of the Check Out/In and Reservation features is so powerful. Not only do they easily integrate with the construction workflow, but they also generate useful data for management in the form of actionable reports.
The process involved workers using rugged barcode scanners in point-and-shoot fashion to self-manage equipment without complications. If a piece of equipment is already in use, anyone can simply reserve equipment in a user-friendly dashboard or calendar view for a later day. Giving management the built-in oversight and audit trail it’s been asking for while limiting project delays.
Routine maintenance and calibrations are necessary to keep construction tools in proper working condition. With how intensively machinery and tools are being used on job sites, management must keep an eye on how frequently each piece of equipment is being worked on and the associated labor and parts costs.
For these reasons, construction equipment management systems enable you to manage scheduled (upcoming) and performed (historic) maintenance activities. The feature allows the business to plan, both logistically and financially, for upcoming projects and helps keep tools in circulation for as long as possible. In addition, you can attach notes, images, and documents to the maintenance files so that users get a comprehensive overview of the work being done.
Getting software with just Check Out/In might be all you need, but the reality is that you want more—more features, more functionalities, and more settings. The features above are best served as parts of a total package, not a la carte offerings. Sure, you can get by with software that includes one or two of them (it’s better than none), but the goal is to find a solution for all your tool management challenges, not just one or two.