An effective tool inventory system maximizes visibility into tool location, assignments and usage. Leveraging software to keep track of tools improves efficiency, accuracy and promotes accountability across your team.
What are the Benefits of a Tool Inventory System?
Implementing a tool inventory system ensures you have an organized method of tracking tools and small equipment across your business. Keeping up with every tool your team uses can be challenging without real-time visibility.
A lack of tool visibility is common across industries. Some managers don’t properly track tool inventory or still track it in spreadsheets, causing inaccurate data and limited insight into how tools are being used.
Using a web-based tool inventory system provides a comprehensive view of your tools. Tool tracking software allows you to monitor tool assignments and locations while ensuring your team is accountable when tools are lost or damaged.
A tool inventory system can improve your operations by:
- Promoting accountability with tool checkouts
- Streamlining equipment assignments
- Automating inventory counts
- Creating an audit trail of usage
- Keeping your team in sync with notifications
Let’s take a close look at those features.
1. Promote Accountability With Mobile Tool Checkouts
Your team is busy—there’s no question about that. While tool checkouts keep things organized, paper-based methods may be slowing down your team and hindering productivity.
The best tool inventory systems allow operators to quickly check-out tools with a mobile app. Your team can see tool availability and assign themselves to the tools they need in seconds.
Instead of expensive, bulky barcode scanners, operators can scan equipment tags, QR codes or Near Field Communication (NFC) tags or stickers with a mobile device. Once a tool is scanned, operators can view equipment details and availability, assign it to themselves and start their day.
Tool tracking software doesn’t only increase team productivity. It also provides you with a real-time view of tool usage and keeps operators accountable for the tools they use.
2. Assign Equipment to Individual Operators
Some managers prefer to take a hands-on approach to assign equipment and tools. Creating schedules for equipment assignments allows you to determine tool usage each week, which can be helpful if you’re concerned about availability.
A web-based tool inventory system improves the way you manage tool assignments. Managers can create and edit schedules for tool assignments in software and inform team members of their assignments via mobile app.
Because your team is widely dispersed, scheduling tool assignments remotely in tool tracking software provides clarity to your team to avoid confusion on the jobsite. Assigning equipment also empowers individual operators to keep up with their tools and properly maintain them.
3. Automate Tool Inventory Counts
How many tools do you have in your inventory? Have that total readily available? How sure are you about that number?
Trying to keep up with inventory counts on paper and spreadsheets often results in inaccuracies and outdated numbers. Using a tool inventory system enables you to automate equipment counts to keep an accurate, current inventory count.
Tool management software allows you to store details for your tools and small equipment to stay organized. Tracking value, status, location and other data in a configurable dashboard ensures you always have eyes on your inventory and can access detailed information when you need it.
Managers can compare physical tool counts with their current data to ensure all tools and equipment are accounted for. Tool management software also makes it easy to update inventory. Managers can quickly edit values or tool details when they acquire new tools or dispose of old ones.
4. Create an Audit Trail of Tool Usage
What sets a powerful tool inventory system apart from the rest is comprehensive visibility into both current and past data. Having a complete record of all historical equipment data at your fingertips ensures you have the necessary insight to manage and improve your operation.
Tool tracking software maintains an audit trail of tool usage for each of your assets. Managers can monitor tool data in configurable reports to understand which tools are most critical. With this information, you can make decisions regarding acquisition, maintenance and scheduling to improve operations.
Your tool inventory system’s audit trail can also help you locate missing tools quickly. By keeping equipment assignments up-to-date, you can easily track down who used a tool last at which jobsite.
5. Receive Real-Time Notifications About Your Tools
Effective tool management isn’t just about tracking inventory. It’s equally important that your tool inventory system increases productivity and efficiency across your operation.
The best way to ensure efficiency is by enabling collaboration across your team. Tool management software bridges the gap between field and office with real-time notifications.
Both operators and managers can update equipment status and other important information via computer or mobile device, instantly informing others of updates. While not all software providers offer notifications, Fleetio keeps your team in sync with both email and push notifications.
As a manager, you need to be able to deliver information regarding tasks and other responsibilities immediately. You also need a way to stay informed of issues in the field, like missing or broken tools that can impact productivity.
With instant notifications in your tool inventory system, you and your team have all the information you need at your fingertips. Having complete visibility across your operation allows you to monitor productivity, maintain team accountability and make informed business decisions.