As the business landscape races toward modernization and digitization, is your construction company still utilizing spreadsheets to manage and track equipment and tools? An outdated, lousy inventory management approach will consume a ton of your resources and manpower. Such a painstaking and time-consuming approach to your inventory management will never give you the standard of functionality and service that automated solutions do.
One of the several factors contributing to your construction company’s success and productivity is how well you manage your tools and equipment. Tools and equipment are significant investments of your company, so tracking them cost-effectively and productively is crucial. In this blog, we will give you many reasons why your business should focus on and prioritize tools and equipment management.
What is Construction Equipment Management?
As you have probably guessed, this refers to the supervision of equipment and tools used on construction projects. On a more detailed level, this practice encompasses a review of the tools and equipment, their costs as well as their usage.
Whether you are the contractor or a project manager, you should ensure that the tools and equipment costs pay off in the long run. Apart from the equipment costs, other expenses are associated with maintenance, operations, storage, and usage. These will all be included on the priority list. There is vital importance to gather such information to have well-informed decision-making.
Benefits of Effective Construction Equipment Management
Perfecting your tool and equipment management will surely take time. You may wonder, “Is this worth the shot and the effort?” Of course, the answer relies heavily on this approach’s many benefits. You can expect to achieve the following benefits from a successful construction tool and equipment management:
- Fewer delays and cost overruns: With real-time insights and information at your fingertips, you and your team can make quick and well-informed decisions about how to use this equipment.
- Better safety standards: For safety purposes, there should meet a standard set. Your equipment and tools should be consistently maintained, kept up-to-date, and preserved.
- Less downtime: Construction equipment and tools can be used as soon as they are available.
- Reduced expenses: There could be costly repairs and construction projects over time during the project development. But do not worry because successful equipment management can help you reduce possible additional expenses.
- Real-time insights: The information you get from monitoring your inventory can help you create better decisions about upgrading your assets.
Tips for Successful Construction Tools and Equipment Management
Your equipment and tool management approach will vary depending on your current needs. However, below are some key tips for making your strategy a success:
1. Establish an accurate tool inventory list
Now, this might not be as easy as it seems. With tons of tools and equipment constantly moving in and out in the construction field, tracking each of them can be time-consuming, daunting, and tricky. We suggest that you:
- Distribute a file to every job site and let the contractor add a barcode label to each item.
- Have every project manager and team help track your tools and equipment inventory.
- Collect the files and import them into a central construction inventory system. Any tools listed in the file found without a barcode will be missed out in the count.
2. Determine the proper tracking workflows
You should focus on tracking workflows to manage your equipment and tools more successfully. This is a more straightforward way of doing the first one cited above. What you need in here is real-time insights to be able to determine if:
- The equipment has been installed.
- The right equipment and tools have been delivered
- The equipment has been inspected.
- The right data has been collected.
And with well-planned tracking workflows in place and the proper construction software, this information can also be enhanced for more efficient and successful handover and operations for your next projects.
3. Make the construction tool inventory list accessible to everyone
This is a crucial step to keeping your tool inventory updated. Everybody needs to have open access to search the tool list. While not everyone is obliged to change or update the inventory list, one must check it as often as possible. This is important to determine the tools used and reference what is owned. In this approach, we recommend you to:
- Create the tool list accessible via mobile application.
- You need to only allow changes to the inventory list by selected crew members.
- Include in your list the purchasing process to update the entire list.
4. Deploy a Software solution to achieve construction management improvement
Achieving improvement in every aspect of your operations is crucial. The focus is now on your tools and equipment. When it comes to assigning responsibilities, it can be harder than simply signing in and out. A lot of construction tools can be lost as people move to pass them from one crew to another. Therefore, having a central inventory system is crucial for the overall tracking and supervision of the tools. A sophisticated software solution improves your comprehensive inventory and your entire project management. That is how powerful these construction techs are right now.
Moreover, responsibility for your tools is best managed by:
- Allowing field crew members to swipe and assign tools to one another.
- Installing a mobile application on each project manager’s device (tablet or phone).
- Requiring every tool assigned to be declined or accepted by every field person.
5. Push responsibilities into the field
A lot of the tools can be lost in the field, so accountability for tracking and maintaining the tool list must also be pushed onsite. It is nearly impossible for one person to track each tool. Therefore, project leaders like contractors and managers should be held accountable for tracking the tools assigned to their members. Putting things in the process is crucial for overall success.
6. Establish procedures and policies
Your tools and equipment management success depends mainly on the procedures and policies you build around them and how well you apply them.
First and foremost, you should consider implementing procedures like tool checking-in and checking-out. This allows stakeholders to have complete transparency into where construction tools must be located and when they are expected to return to your inventory.
Again, as stated previously, you should assign one individual from your people to monitor the tools and equipment, ensuring their safe return during the project’s conclusion. You may also set up custom reminders to those approaching their assigned tools return dates to ensure you have enough time to check and maintain tools so they are ready for another job.
7. Create Unified Communication Plans for all your equipment
Your frontline crew members are usually the ones most likely to determine issues with the tools and equipment and even delivery. So, for optimal usage, your teams have to be notified about the equipment’s current location and if any changes take place. So, by creating a more unified communication plan with you and your team, the information will be in the right hands at the right time.
A ton of benefits in this type of plan for your equipment management approach include:
- Preventing people from using inoperable or damaged tools and equipment.
- Proactively addressing repairs, damages, and delays.
- Facilitating the ordering of parts.
Another important tip from us: Make sure to integrate cloud-based construction software into your plans. In this way, you can collaborate with other stakeholders in real-time while having and accessing a single source of information.
8. Set up Preventative Maintenance Plans
Maintenance of your tools and equipment has always been mentioned throughout the blog. And once again, it is very much important to prioritize maintenance. In fact, preventative maintenance is crucial to extending the life of your construction equipment and preventing costly repairs from happening. The right preventative maintenance approach is all-inclusive. It is an intentional approach rather than incidental, starting with equipment management from time equipment until the end of its useful life.
If you make your preventative maintenance right the first time, it is easier to take action even before wear and tear lead to some major expenses or equipment failure. Through consistent inspections, testing, part replacements, and in-depth analysis, you can always improve your fleet’s performance, reliability, and resale value.
Enhance your Equipment and Tool Management Process with Pro Crew Schedule
As you refine your approach and strategy for your equipment management, you will soon discover ways to optimize the process further. One is to deploy construction inventory management software like Pro Crew Schedule.
Having open access to the right tools and pieces of construction equipment for a task at the right time can only be possible through utilizing inventory software solutions. So, as your projects increase by size and complexity and your people juggle multiple projects, Pro Crew Schedule is all you ever need.
Pro Crew Schedule is a sophisticated software solution made by a subcontractor for subcontractors. An all-in-one construction inventory, scheduling, and project management software partner with advanced project management features and many integrations that will surely boost your construction management operation.