Tool tracking is essential to running a construction business, but many firms and contractors struggle with it. This gap is understandable, as conventional, manual ways to track assets are inefficient and challenging to keep up with. Asset management software can help.
Asset management platforms provide a single digital space to view and manage all your assets. Some are independent solutions, while others come as part of a larger software package — like a building information management (BIM) suite — but all provide the same crucial advantage. They optimize the tool-tracking process.
Understanding the benefits of asset management software starts with recognizing the importance of tool tracking. It’ll be difficult to manage projects efficiently if you don’t have an updated, detailed list of your assets, their locations and who’s responsible for them.
Almost nine in 10 large-scale construction projects go over schedule, and nearly 60% are at least two months late. This issue is more than a matter of tool tracking, every minute you spend looking for a specific asset adds to these delays. Updated, informative records will also help you stay on top of equipment maintenance, preventing breakdown-related delays and costs.
In-depth asset tracking is also key to preventing worksite theft. Construction tools are ideal targets for thieves because they’re expensive, and many firms don’t protect them as much as they should. An updated inventory record that notes who last had each item provides the transparency needed to prevent theft or respond quickly when it happens.
Achieving the crucial advantages of tool tracking is much easier with asset management software. Here’s why.
Digitizing tool management provides seamless organization. You can access information on every tracked asset from the same platform, letting you find what you need faster.
Asset management software can also automatically group your tools into various categories for better management. For example, while many types of equipment run on pneumatics, they require different air volumes, so not all can use the same compressor. Categorizing each pneumatic tool by compatibility in your software lets you quickly see what compressors you’ll need for a given job, preventing confusion and miscommunication.
Cloud-based software can be shared easily. Anyone who needs to know where a tool is or who’s responsible for it can look it up on any device. That accessibility is crucial for meeting project deadlines.
Another advantage of software tool tracking over manual alternatives is that it offers real-time visibility. You can use the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors or radio frequency ID (RFID) tags to send updates about equipment locations and conditions to your software. That way, you always have the most up-to-date information possible.
Real-time location updates mean workers never have to search for the necessary tools. They can simply pull up the software and find its exact location in seconds, minimizing lost time. Some solutions may let you set up alerts when something isn’t where it should be, helping you address theft.
Real-time insight is also crucial for maintenance. Seeing everything’s up-to-date condition lets you schedule necessary repairs before problems become larger, more expensive issues.
Asset management platforms also minimize mistakes. Human error rates in data entry hover around 1% on average, which may not sound like much initially but can translate into thousands of errors a year as they compound. Software-based tracking helps by removing the human element from the record-keeping process.
Equipment records will update automatically if you use IoT sensors and a cloud-based tracking platform. Because there’s no human intervention necessary, there’s no room for recording or transposing errors. The lack of stops between data creation and data entry further reduces the chances of something going wrong.
Fewer errors in equipment records mean fewer losses resulting from these mistakes. You can be sure any decisions about maintenance, project planning and equipment selection will stem from accurate information, preventing wasted time and money.
It’s important to remember that capitalizing on these benefits depends on how well you select and implement the software. Choosing the right asset management solutions starts with analyzing your needs.
Outline your budget, then consider other software tools you use. Companies spend an average of 18% of their revenue on software, so you should ensure your asset management tools integrate with your existing programs. Similarly, make sure IoT tracking systems, if used, are compatible to get the most out of your software.
Look for additional features, too. The ideal solution should include location tracking, maintenance info, and a way to assign specific employees to the tools they use at different times. Look for programs with features that support specific considerations in managing your assets.
The right asset management software can significantly improve your tool-tracking processes. After a few projects, you’ll see a return on what you pay for the program.
These solutions help you stay organized, get real-time visibility into your assets, and minimize errors. Those benefits will lead to time and cost savings that ripple throughout your business. It all starts with knowing what to look for in an asset management program.
About the Author
Emily Newton is an industrial writer who specializes in covering how technology is disrupting industrial sectors. She’s also the editor-in-chief of Revolutionized where she covers innovations in industry, construction, and more.