September 3, 2019

Tag Small Tools and Attachments for a Connected Jobsite

small tool tracking

No doubt you’ve walked off more than a few jobsites knowing not all your tools and attachments are coming off the job with you. Contractors, foremen and fleet managers know how difficult it is to keep track of all the tools and attachments they bring to each project. 

Keeping track of small tools and implements, like buckets or grinders, might seem like more hassle than it’s worth when you have hundreds or even thousands of pieces spread across multiple jobsites or even just one huge site. But constantly replacing or searching for tools adds up, and this can directly affect a team’s overall productivity and profitability. Without a system for monitoring the whereabouts of their small tools, contractors lose time, money and inventory.

You’re all too aware that every hour of productivity counts in an industry with a declining productivity rate. By tracking small tools, your team can avoid losing attachments and implements and save both time and money.

Small tool tracking has big benefits

The traditional jobsite lacks total visibility across processes, teams and assets. That means employees often lack access to important information around asset utilization, job cost, efficiency and more.

Creating visibility across departments within your business doesn’t have to be difficult. With smart jobsite technology like Track, you can connect your people, assets and materials to the cloud and provide your team with transparency across your entire organization.

Running Track telematics on each of your assets allows your team to easily access important information and data for each asset, such as its machine health, run time, downtime and GPS location. Being able to access this data helps your operators, techs and fleet managers do their jobs better.

Your team can take transparency one step further when you bring small tool Tags into the picture. With Tags, you can establish a connected jobsite with full visibility across assets both large and small. Every time you add a Tag to an attachment or small tool, you create another layer of visibility across jobsites.

Tag your tools with Track

EquipmentShare Track creates a network of assets and materials that are all connected by the Internet of Things (IoT). Track makes managing a fleet or jobsite inventory easy: Any Track user can view details for every piece of equipment on the Track dashboard from any internet-connected device. Track monitors every asset on the jobsite, and your team can see each machine’s utilization rate, fuel levels, maintenance status and GPS location at any time.

This smart jobsite technology is the driving force behind EquipmentShare’s Bluetooth-enabled Tags. Tags allow your team to quite literally “tag” a small tool or implement and keep track of its approximate location on the jobsite.

Here’s how Tags work: 

Tags can be drilled onto an implement, welded on or even zip-tied to a tool as small as a hammer. Each Tag communicates via Bluetooth with the machines equipped with Track on your jobsite.

small tool tag

When your Track-equipped dozer passes by a Tagged bucket on the jobsite, the Tag sends a Bluetooth beacon to Track. Open up your Track asset map, and you’ll see a Tag signaling to the dozer that it’s nearby on the jobsite. 

On the Track dashboard, operators, fleet managers and service managers can clearly see the date and time of the Tag’s last ping, plus its approximate location at that time. 

A Bluetooth-powered tracking solution helps your team turn hours of waste into productivity. Operate at a higher rate of efficiency, get more done and deliver work on time, all by keeping track of the tools you need to complete the project.

A Tag can be effectively used on a number of everyday tools and implements. Contractors and construction professionals can use Tags on a variety of tools and attachments: 

  • Circular saw
  • Rollers
  • Concrete mixer
  • Ladder
  • Rakes
  • Adapters
  • Measuring wheel
  • Polisher
  • Pallet fork
  • Tiller
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Planer
  • Blades
  • Rippers
  • Couplers
  • Hammer
  • Loader buckets

The benefits of using Tags to track small tools and implements are numerous, but we’ll give a rundown of the stand-outs:

 1. Locate tools within feet of their reported location.

When a workday on-site begins with a missing bucket attachment or ladder, project delay sets in. The work comes to a halt so an employee can locate the missing tools. Minutes pass, a half-hour passes… and no bucket (or ladder, or hand saw, or jackhammer…) is in sight.

The guy in the field gives up and decides to run to the nearest big box store to purchase a new tool—hopefully, it’s in stock. If a heavy equipment attachment is missing, he has to run around to other jobsites searching for the right one, or even worse, grit his teeth and get a new one. 

How much time passes before he gets back to the site and can start the actual work on the project? If the right equipment isn’t in stock, project delays only get worse.

By using Tags, your team no longer needs to scour entire jobsites for lost tools or waste money on replacements. When a Tag pings to a Track-equipped asset, operators and fleet managers can simply open up Track (or access the Link app on their mobile phone) and see the approximate location of the Tag within a few dozen feet. On the Track dashboard, which can be accessed from desktop, phone or tablet, your team can easily find the Tag’s general location at the jobsite on the asset map. 

The map shows all your active Tags, including Bluetooth node battery life details, and all of your Track-equipped assets’ real-time locations. Your team saves time that’s normally spent searching for lost tools by accessing the asset map with Track and checking for the specific tool they need. 

2. Eliminate unnecessary spending on replacement tools.

At some point, the scenario we mentioned above will happen: Workers will give up on locating a lost tool and head to the big box store to find a replacement. After all, how much patience can you have when you’re on deadline? 

By tracking your small tools from the get-go, you can avoid losing them in the first place and thus save money on replacement costs. When a new tool comes into inventory, attach a Tag to it and add it as an asset in Track. On your next project, you won’t need to worry about personally accounting for each tool your team brings onto the jobsite. Tags and Track do that for you.

With proper small tool tracking methods, your team can eliminate waste in several ways. They can cut down on wasted time searching for tools, reduce spend on replacement tools and stop buying duplicates of tools you already have so you can improve your tool inventory management method. 

What if you left behind an attachment at your last project, but you’ve completed the work and are no longer at the jobsite? No problem. Even if a tool isn’t pinging, you can still see the Tag’s last reported ping and location in Track. Track gives your team the ability to see missing tools without ever leaving your current jobsite, shop or office.

3. Effectively plan ahead.

Planning ahead makes every job easier. Ideally, everyone on your team plans ahead to ensure the right tools, machinery and materials are ready to go for a new project or just tomorrow’s work. But this isn’t always realistic.

When your team mobilizes for a job, Tags can help you ensure your tools are exactly where you need them. Your foreman or fleet manager can check Track the day before (or sooner) an attachment or tool is needed to see if it’s onsite or needs to be picked up or found. Not everyone is a planner, but with the combined powers of Track and Tags, even the best procrastinators can be ahead of the game. 

 4. Your team doesn’t need to adopt brand new technology.

Adopting a new software system or learning how to use new jobsite technology can be a point of stress for many contractors and their teams. With construction technology solutions becoming more and more important for business livelihood, it can feel overwhelming to take on and train employees to use another new tool. 

Thankfully, Tags don’t require that. Tags are easy to use in conjunction with your existing Track subscription, daily work processes and other technology solutions. Tags are a passive tracking tool that require little-to-no training to use and minimal setup time.

Your team can log into Track on a desktop or Link on their phone and easily create a new small tool asset to track. Just attach the respective Tag to its assigned asset, enter its name and serial number, and you’re good to go. In just a few steps, your team can go from zero visibility to working from a connected jobsite, minus the learning curve that typically comes with new technology implementation. 

5. Prevent equipment loss from theft.

Theft is common on construction jobsites: Hand tools are easy to walk off with, and security is often minimal or nonexistent. Just like Sentry Keypad prevents equipment theft, Tags make it harder for thieves to grab small tools and go. They can be securely attached to tools and attachments, and they’re noticeable, which can discourage thieves from targeting your jobsites. 

If any tools are stolen, you’ll know approximately when items went missing based on the time of the Tags’ last pings. That knowledge also comes in handy when dealing with insurance claims and coverage, which can help you more accurately insure your assets and recover stolen property. 

Small tool tracking’s effects on your bottom line

Small tool tracking helps your construction firm build a transparent, connected and efficient jobsite. With the addition of Tags, your small tools are easy to find from anywhere your connected device takes your team members. Work gets easier, and projects move along smoothly because your team knows how to find every tool.

Small tool tracking also has an effect on your bottom line. By proactively tracking your implements and attachments, you can keep a considerable amount of money in your pocket. 

Time and Effort

Let’s say a team of 50 employees spend 30 minutes a day looking for lost tools. Each employee gets paid an hourly labor rate of $45. That’s 6,500 hours and $292,500 wasted every year before tool replacement costs.

Replacement Tool Cost

Let’s propose you spend $9,000 on small tools annually, and you replace 20% of your small tools each year after losing them to theft or misplacing them. You could save $1,800 a year by tracking what you already have in inventory and avoiding the purchase of replacement tools. 

Ready to use an inventory tracking tool that suits your team’s needs and budget? Learn more about Track-powered Tags today.

It seems pretty simple, right? Tag an asset, find an asset. Stop spending money replacing lost or stolen implements. So, why aren’t more contractors keeping track of their tools and implements?

Tags won’t break the bank

Traditional tool tracking methods are expensive, especially when the cost of tracking is compared to the cost of replacing tools. For many contractors and construction teams, it’s just easier to spend money on replacement tools than to invest in a system to track what’s already in their inventory. 

To track small tools and attachments, contractors often need a separate tracking system on top of whatever fleet management software they use to track other larger assets. If your operation has hundreds of tools, then paying a fee to track every single tool just doesn’t seem feasible. 

You can avoid hefty costs like this when you track your small tools with Tags. 

Tags integrate with your existing Track subscription, and the good news is that Tags don’t add to your base subscription price. Simply purchase the number of Tags your team needs, and your team can start tracking instantly. 

Tags give you a big bang for your buck. Not only do you save money by forgoing a small tool tracking subscription on top of your team’s Track subscription, but you also save money by purchasing Tags you can use more than once. 

Just because you upgraded an asset does not mean your Tag goes to waste. Instead, remove the Tag (though you’ll need to replace any welded-on casing), and reuse it on your new asset. This is practical, money-saving, productivity-increasing technology. Reuse the Bluetooth nodes if you replace or upgrade a tool or attachment, and seamlessly continue using Tags as your business and tool inventory grow. 

Tag tools and reduce operations costs

Tags on small tools and attachments save your team time and money, and your increased efficiency helps projects stay on schedule and under budget. Stop wasting resources, and minimize frustration with a Track-connected jobsite. 

Change the way you work. Connect your machines with Track, and Tag every tool and attachment on-site. 

Experience a connected jobsite with a free demo of Track. Sign up today.

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