Dynamic Systems, ToolWatch,
Trimble Alltrak and others offer tool-management systems well suited to the
electrical industry. Now Milwaukee Tool
is providing tool management as part if
its One-Key application introduced in
September 2015 (for One-Key details,
see page 88).
Alison Falco, president, Dynamic Systems, said: “Our CheckMate Toolroom
management system includes software to
track items by employee, job, work order,
etc.; the ability to check out by ‘kits’ of
tools; and management of consumables.
Software options include maintenance
reporting and reminders and the ability to upload lists of tools using an Excel
“Barcode labels are placed on tools.
We offer several types of labels, including metalized tags and indestructible
barcoded ‘dots’ for small or hard-to-label
tools. Either portable or corded barcode-scanning equipment is available. Barcode
printers and employee badge printers are
available,” Falco said.
She elaborated on the upside of this
“Checkmate Toolroom offers many
benefits,” she said. “Using label serialized gear with a unique barcode label
and labeled bins or shelves to keep track
of bulk items and consumables lets
managers know what is assigned to each
employee on a daily basis. Its unparalleled kitting feature provides the ability
to group classes of equipment [into] one-scan checkout. As many kits as needed
can be set up.
“Toolroom allows items to be stored in
multiple locations, each with a minimum/
maximum inventory level. Reorder
reports can be run as often as needed to
prevent running out of consumables.
“The maintenance scheduler module
helps keep equipment calibrated and in
“Cost of our system is based on the
number of concurrent users—how many
will be using the system’s database at one
time. The pricing starts at around $2,000
and goes up from there. The average contractor who purchases our system invests
about $5,000 to $8,000 for hardware,
software, support and training. A very
large contractor may spend $15,000 or
more because of the number of scanners
required,” she said.
Don Kafka, president, Tool Watch,
said: “Tool-management systems are
comprehensive, enterprise-wide applications that serve the needs of back-office,
warehouse and field personnel. An effective tool-management program offers
accountability—critical to reducing tool
loss, improving operational efficiency,
reducing asset and labor costs, and for
providing accurate and timely information for making informed business
decisions. These systems have essential
modules to support all aspects of managing, servicing and procuring tools,
equipment and materials.
“They are essentially ERP [enterprise
resource planning] systems for construction resources. Their features typically
include scheduled equipment service,
calibration and inspections, purchasing,
receiving, requisitions, pick tickets, and
job cost and billing. They are also capable
of integrating with accounting systems
and have robust reporting systems.
“Tool Watch offers a comprehensive
tool-management system that is com-
prised of the features just described, as
well as automatic data collection capabil-
ities, such as barcodes and RFID [radio
frequency identification]. We also offer a
mobile application for smartphones and
tablets with features dedicated to field
personnel. We offer one enterprise-wide
management system that provides these
functions for an annual subscription fee
per user. The customer decides how
much of the system to implement.
Tool Management 2016
KEEPING TRACK OF TOOLS—whether just a few or hundreds—is a challenge that
computers have made much easier. Software developed specifically for managing tools
and equipment has replaced simple lists and spreadsheets. With Internet connectivity
came the capabilities of tracking tools and equipment locations in real time, provid-
ing records of operation and notifying owners when scheduled maintenance is due.
COOLTOOLS BY JEFF GRIFFIN
Mobile scanner for Dynamic Systems
CheckMate Toolroom system
Accubid Tool Watch Mobile