Why your Construction Firm Needs Tool Inventory Management

tool inventory management

As the business world moves rapidly towards digitalization, is your construction company still using spreadsheets to track and manage equipment? An outdated tool inventory management system consumes a lot of manpower and physical resources. Such painstaking and time-consuming inventory management systems do not give you the standard of service and functionality that automated solutions do.

One of the major factors that contribute to the productivity of construction companies is how well they manage their equipment and tools. Equipment and tools are major investments for construction businesses, so it is crucial to track them more productively and cost effectively. Tool tracking software provides you with instant reports, allows you to see which employees have which pieces of equipment, and lets you know which tools require certification or maintenance. 

Construction firms and tool inventory management

50-60% of the costs within the construction industry come from materials. It means that being able to successfully manage materials and tool inventory can have a huge impact on your overall costs and profits. With so many different kinds of materials being used at different construction sites, the construction managers are constantly juggling a variety of moving parts. Exploiting any loopholes or shortcuts when dealing with inventory can make you vulnerable to costly damage. This is why a measured and strong tool inventory management system is so integral for a successful construction project.

Tool inventory management

With many construction companies struggling to land projects, construction managers are depending more on either cloud based or on-premise construction management software for efficient inventory management. Below, we have listed reasons your construction firm should use an effective tool inventory management solution to keep your business in the black all year round!

Manage maintenance activities across the board

If you want to keep your construction tools in the right working conditions, you need to carry out the necessary routine maintenance and calibrations. Machinery and tools are used intensively on construction sites and they obviously require regular maintenance. Management needs to keep a close watch on how often each piece of equipment is used, and what the cost of its associated parts is. A tool inventory management software allows you to automate maintenance activities, keeps track of equipment usage, and plans for downtimes in the future is exceptionally crucial.

tool inventory management

Workers can log their activities into a tool inventory management mobile app.

Adopting such a software allows construction firms to make plans for upcoming projects both financially and logistically, making sure that the tools in circulation can be utilized optimally. You will also be able to attach documents and checklists to maintenance files enabling users to have access to a comprehensive overview of the maintenance job being performed. Scheduling regular maintenance and tracking equipment certification therefore makes sure that safety is a priority for your business!

Read more: Construction Equipment Tracking System: How To Get The Most Out Of It?

Update information anywhere, at any time

On-site inventory and material management is indubitably a mountainous task for construction companies as tracking inventory on multiple remote sites is challenging. Construction jobs can often take place in difficult conditions, at locations far away from your main offices. The crew normally has to come back to the administrative lots and log all the details of their day’s operations. This could be problematic, especially if it has been a while since the activity was first carried out! Imagine you used some power tools in the morning and came back to log the details after a day’s hard work. It is not out of the ordinary that the tools were then taken up by a slew of other crew members after you. Things get passed around, passing time makes the details hazy, and all of sudden it’s become a nightmare to track where the tool is or who last had custody of it!

Luckily, tool inventory management mobile apps are particularly useful at construction sites as they help to track inventory, work tools and assets simply by scanning bar code labels on items. A tool inventory management app can help you process inventory transactions without needing help from an administrator. The workers are able to track activities and tool usage on the field easily, as close to the site of action as possible. In this way, they become both the creators and the guardians of data, ensuring greater accuracy.

Day to day tasks like searching for tools available in inventory, checking out equipment, cataloging equipment condition and reordering supplies can all be done under the roof of one app. Collected data is then sent to a secure cloud and all the users can access it in real time through mobile devices or desktop computers.

Read more: Construction Tool Tracking Software: An Overview

Make reservations and manage custodianship

As soon as a project is completed, process documentation is required to make sure that similar projects in the future are a success too. This means you need to have tangible data on tool utilization including: where it is, what condition it is in, and who used it. This information helps you to make better decisions in upcoming projects, identify bottlenecks, and streamline any workflows that held you back. For instance, if you know which tools are idle and which ones are active, you can keep your company from wasting money on renting or buying unnecessary items.

tool inventory management

You can easily track work tools, inventory and assets at constructions sites.

This is the prime reason the check-in/checkout and reservation features in tool inventory management software are so crucial. They integrate very conveniently with construction workflows, and provide actionable data reports. Workers are able to self-manage equipment easily by looking at tool details, verifying possession of items, and using bar code or QR scanners to check assets out to themselves. Using the user-friendly dashboard or calendar view for a later day, workers can reserve equipment or notify the system that it is already in use. The central database is updated whenever equipment is checked in or checked out, or when an item changes location, so that everyone in the organization is in the know about the day’s activities!

Read more: Key challenges in the construction industry and how to solve them

Link purchase orders to low stock alerts

Tool tracking software makes procurement a breeze. You can set reorder points for inventory, and can even split this down into inventory stored in separate storage locations, constructions sites and warehouses. You will receive alerts as soon as the inventory goes below the reorder point. You can then create purchase orders against these inventory items, and be confident in the knowledge that none of your workers will ever run out of the tools or materials they need!

Whenever you need extra supplies, new equipment or additional material, it can be very time-consuming to send requests one by one and see if they are in line with different aspects of the business. Having a tool inventory management system gives you a platform to create purchase orders while you remain integrated with other aspects of tool management like maintenance activities, work orders, and vendor management. You can even auto-populate your inventory with newly-received items from a purchase order with just the click of a button.

Get all those documents organized

Construction managers have to move from one field to another frequently to supervise construction work. Part of a construction manager’s role is to upload, access and manage documents while on the move. These could be work permits or sitemaps, or really any other document related to vendors, tool specs, and the like. An integrated tool inventory management system will let you access images or documents associated with a particular construction project anywhere and anytime. Not just this, but you could organize documents down to specific tools, so you can bring up all the requirements and certifications related to equipment at a moment’s notice.

Documents related to work orders, submittals, contracts, site photos and purchase orders are important as big decisions rely on them. In case your construction projects require you to make real-time decisions, document management on the go is a vital move towards smarter inventory management.

About EZOfficeInventory

EZOfficeInventory is a popular tool tracking and inventory management software used by SMBs and construction firms around the world. Track and manage your equipment and tools easily. You can try out our asset tracking software by signing up today for a free 15-day trial. For more assistance, drop us an email at support@ezofficeinventory.com.

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