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Web-Based Inventory Tracking

We know the last few years have been super disruptive for the construction industry. There's been a contrast between a ton of demand and significant operational challenges, many of which were unforeseen.

With the continued labor shortage, doing work safely and efficiently is complex, and unpredictability continues to create unexpected challenges for trade contractors. One area of disruption is inventory management and asset tracking, and how it’s now effortless for businesses to deploy and manage.  

If You’re Still Manually Tracking Tools and Equipment, These Challenges are Probably Continuing to Plague Your Construction Business: 

  1. Time-consuming and error-prone: Manually tracking construction equipment and tools requires significant time and effort. It involves manual data entry, paperwork, and physical inspections, which can be prone to human errors, such as data inaccuracies, misplaced records, or missed inspections leading to confusion, delays, and inefficiencies in inventory management.
  2. Lack of real-time visibility: Manual tracking often needs more visibility into the location and status of equipment and tools. Contractors may need help knowing the exact whereabouts of their assets, leading to delays in project planning, equipment allocation, and coordination. This lack of visibility can also increase equipment downtime and decrease productivity.
  3. Inefficient resource allocation: Trade contractors need accurate and up-to-date information to allocate equipment and tools efficiently. They need to know which assets are available, used, or undergoing maintenance to avoid overbooking or underutilizing resources, leading to unnecessary costs or project delays.
  4. Increased risk of loss or theft: Manual tracking increases the risk of loss or theft of construction equipment and tools. With a reliable system to track and monitor assets, contractors may have more control over their inventory with increased accountability. Stolen or misplaced equipment can disrupt project timelines, incur financial losses, and impact profitability.
  5. Ineffective maintenance scheduling: Manual tracking often makes implementing timely maintenance schedules for equipment and tools challenging. Contractors may need help keeping track of maintenance histories, inspection dates, and service requirements. 
  6. Lack of data-driven decision-making: Manual tracking methods typically need more comprehensive data and analytics. Contractors may need help to gather meaningful insights into equipment usage, asset lifecycles, maintenance costs, and overall inventory performance. 
  7. Compliance and regulatory challenges: Manual tracking can make meeting compliance and regulatory requirements related to equipment inspections, certifications, or safety standards difficult. Contractors need to maintain proper documentation, track expiration dates, or demonstrate compliance during audits.
  8. Inefficient inventory management: Manual tracking often results in ineffective inventory management practices. Contractors need help monitoring stock levels, reordering materials, or identifying surplus or obsolete items. Inaccurate inventory counts and stockouts can lead to project delays, increased costs, and dissatisfied clients.

Choose The Right Technology & Service Partner for Asset Tracking & Inventory Management.

Construction firms can enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall project management. Here are some steps to leverage online asset tracking effectively:

  1. Identify tracking needs for assets you want to track, such as heavy machinery, tools, equipment, or materials. Categorize them based on importance, value, or criticality to prioritize tracking efforts.
  2. Research and select a suitable online asset tracking system: Explore different software solutions or platforms designed for asset tracking providing mobile accessibility.  
  3. Implement a robust asset identification system: Assign unique identifiers, such as barcodes, QR codes, or RFID tags, to each asset. This allows easy and accurate tracking by scanning or using mobile devices.
  4. Centralize asset information: Create a centralized database or cloud-based platform to store and manage asset data. Include asset specifications, location, maintenance history, and ownership information. Ensure the system is easily accessible to relevant stakeholders.
  5. Real-time tracking and monitoring: Utilize online asset tracking systems to capture real-time data about asset locations, usage, and status. Incorporate GPS or RFID technologies for accurate tracking and geofencing capabilities to set boundaries and receive alerts if assets leave designated areas.
  6. Automated alerts and notifications: Configure the system to send automatic alerts and notifications for events such as maintenance schedules, upcoming inspections, or when assets require servicing. 
  7. Maintenance and inventory management: Leverage the tracking system to schedule and manage asset maintenance activities. Track service history set reminders for routine checks and monitor inventory levels to ensure efficient resource utilization and minimize delays.
  8. Data analysis and reporting: Use the collected asset data to generate reports, analytics, and insights. Identify usage patterns, utilization rates, maintenance trends, and areas for improvement. This information can aid decision-making, optimize resource allocation, and facilitate proactive asset management.
  9. Integration with other systems: Integrate the asset tracking system with other relevant software or tools, such as project management, inventory management, or accounting systems. This streamlines data flow, eliminates manual entry errors, and enhances overall efficiency.
  10. Training and user adoption: Provide adequate training and support to employees on using the online asset tracking system effectively. Encourage their active participation and adoption to ensure accurate data input and maximize the system's benefits.
  11. Continuous improvement: Regularly review the asset tracking processes, seek user feedback, and identify improvement areas. Stay updated with advancements in tracking technology and consider incorporating new features or integrations to enhance functionality and efficiency.

Unlock the ROI of Cloud-Based and Mobile Efficient Inventory Management:

Focusing your strategy on inventory management offers substantial advantages by moving from manual, obsolete practices to utilizing an online inventory management platform:

  • Greater Cost Control: Efficient inventory management helps companies control costs by minimizing excess inventory and reducing carrying costs. Excessive inventory ties up capital and incurs storage, insurance, and handling expenses. By optimizing inventory levels, companies can reduce holding costs and free up funds for other business needs.
  • Improved Cash flow: Poor inventory management can lead to cash flow issues. When inventory sits idle or becomes obsolete, it ties up cash that could be used for other critical business operations. Effective inventory management ensures that inventory turnover is optimized, enabling companies to generate cash flow and reinvest it in growth initiatives.
  • Higher Customer Satisfaction: Proper inventory management ensures that products are readily available to meet customer demands. Stockouts and delays due to inventory shortages can lead to dissatisfied customers, lost sales, and damage to the company's reputation. By having the proper inventory at the right time, companies can fulfill customer orders promptly, increase customer satisfaction, and enhance loyalty.
  • Increase Operational Efficiency: streamline processes and work tasks to enable companies to anticipate demand accurately, plan production schedules, and optimize procurement activities. By avoiding stockouts, reducing excess inventory, and improving supply chain visibility, companies can operate more efficiently, reduce lead times, and enhance overall productivity.
  • Cost of obsolescence and shrinkage: Inadequate inventory management can result in obsolescence and shrinkage. Obsolete inventory becomes unsellable and may require write-offs or clearance sales, leading to financial losses. Shrinkage refers to inventory loss due to theft, damage, or inaccurate record-keeping. Effective inventory management practices, such as regular audits and tracking systems, help minimize these costs.
  • Improve Supplier relationships: Efficient inventory management strengthens relationships with suppliers. By accurately forecasting demand and providing visibility into inventory needs, companies can negotiate better terms, secure favorable pricing, and ensure a reliable supply of goods. Strong supplier relationships contribute to a smoother supply chain and reduce the risk of disruptions.
  • Bring Strategic Decision-Making to Inventory Management: Effective inventory management provides valuable data for strategic decision-making. Analyzing inventory levels, turnover rates, and trends helps companies identify market demand patterns, optimize product offerings, and adjust pricing strategies. It also assists in identifying slow-moving items, making informed purchasing decisions, and aligning inventory with sales forecasts.
  • Increase Compliance: Certain industries have specific compliance and regulatory requirements for inventory management. Effective management ensures adherence to regulations, such as tracking expiration dates, managing hazardous materials, or maintaining proper documentation. Compliance avoids penalties and safeguards the company's reputation and customer trust.

Conclusion

Continuing to track construction equipment and tools manually is causing inefficiencies, operational challenges, increased risks, and limited visibility for trade contractors. An automated asset-tracking solution can alleviate these pain points by providing real-time visibility, streamlining processes, reducing errors, improving maintenance scheduling, and enabling data-driven decision-making.

Better inventory management and wireless asset tracking help companies optimize costs, improve cash flow, enhance customer satisfaction, streamline operations, strengthen supplier relationships, facilitate strategic decision-making, and comply with industry regulations. As a result, companies can achieve a competitive advantage by effectively managing inventory, improving profitability, and sustaining long-term growth.

A man is holding a DEWALT MATRIX™ Cordless Drill.

Take Control of Your Inventory

Simplify inventory management between your jobsites and tool rooms with the TOOL CONNECT™ system featuring Site Manager. With the ability to track tools and review automated reports, this software provides an easy-to-read overview of inventory health.