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Why does the warehouse manager have to be James Bond to track down tools and equipment? The construction industry loses billions of dollars in tools and equipment every year to theft, damage and general loss. In most contracting companies, a single person is responsible for tracking and finding all these tools. How can one person keep track of hundreds of tools that dozens of people are constantly moving around? They can’t.

It shouldn’t be just one person’s responsibility. It should be the entire field team that is responsible for tools. If the entire team feels responsible for tools, then tool loss will dramatically reduce.

It is tempting to think that in today’s electronic world a tool manager should be able to spy on the location and movements of every tool using some type of tag or electronic device. Despite recent advances in personal tracking technology, the reality of tracking thousands of tools across a company is not practical. Constantly replacing tags, batteries and dealing with connectivity issues isn’t something we see in a Bond movie.

The truth is, used alone most tags are probably more frustrating than helpful. Investing in Bond-level trackers isn’t economical for most contractors. A simple solution is far more realistic.

The power of an accountability-based system: a better way to track tools and small equipment

Apps that are rooted in the idea of building a culture of responsibility, so that your folks in the field assume ownership for keeping track of the tools they borrow, has the quickest impact on tool loss. By encouraging employees to be more responsible for tools, the company can reduce tool loss and wasted time without putting an expensive beacon on every piece of equipment or mounting an expensive reader at the yard gate.

What you’re really accomplishing with an accountability-based system is improving an entire process. This is because simple apps that track tools based on responsibility don’t rely on a hardware tag, but instead rely on a person-to-person workflow. The app helps a company enforce a transfer and acceptance of responsibility between workers as tools move from person to person. This is a worker-centric model built on changing behavior rather than a hardware-centric model.

ShareMyToolbox is an example of an accountability-based tool tracking system. Rather than relying on hardware tracking, ShareMyToolbox creates a catalog of tools and assigns the tool to an employee who accepts it in the app. That person’s responsibility for the tool is removed once it is returned to the warehouse or transferred to another employee who accepts the responsibility. 

Strongest together: accountability and GPS

A couple of beacons or GPS devices are great for adding an additional layer of security for tracking your largest, high-dollar hardware items. But alone, they’re just not practical for most contractors’ entire tool inventory. At the base level, the smartest and most helpful tracking approach for a contractor has to be a system that builds responsibility through accountability. Once that’s in place, consider a beacon-based system to monitor where your vehicles or fleets of larger equipment are throughout the day. This combination will complete a powerful tool-tracking arsenal for your company. Plus, this forward-thinking strategy will help you get a little closer to international spy status – without the exotic cars, martinis and trips around the world, of course.

Learn more about modern tool tracking including numerous articles with tool tracking tips and contractor profiles of tool tracking success on our website www.ShareMyToolbox.com



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