TAS Tool Accountability Systems Asset Tracking or Check In Check Out

Published: 10th March 2010
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Copyright (c) 2010 Carl Shackelford

Its a tough enconomy, but have you considered the lack of Tool Accountability and the cost, in the shop environment. Whether you are using inexpensive drills, cases of tools, or even generators there is a lot to gain by knowing where they are at any time. Additionally, knowing what groups used them, how long they where used, and for what project is all helpful information in determining tool logistics.

Not being able to find tools when you need them is more than an inconvenience. The time spent looking for them eats into productivity of your organization. Think about it. If you spend 10 minutes per day looking for a misplaced tool, that adds up to an entire 40-hour workweek each year. Even worse, if a tool is misplaced or lost you have to replace it.

Misplaced tools have an even bigger impact on profitability. Let's say an employee needs a drill for a home improvement project over the weekend. Without asking, he "borrows" a $60 cordless drill right before he leaves for vacation.

The next week, another employee needs a cordless drill and can't find one. He has to spend time thoroughly checking the tool crib and likely other areas where the drill may have been misplaced. After spending about a half an hour, he gives up and tells his supervisor that he can't find the drill. The supervisor then has to halt what he's doing and search for the drill, pronounce it lost when he can't find it, and then authorize the procurement of another one. On top of the cost of the $60 drill, you now have another $10 to $20 dollars in employee search time, or a replacement cost of $80.

Cost of the replacement of a tool can even get more from your companies profit, besides just labor loss. If the company has an after-tax profit margin of %10, it now needs to bring in another $800 of revenue to replace a $60 drill. Additionally, it requires purchasing, accounting, and supervior labor to put together a contract to purchase a new one. Money to be procured, and red-tape to get the new one. All of this can and should be avoided through proper tool tracking and management. Barcoding and automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) technologies and techniques that have already proven their worth in tracking products in your warehouse are readily adaptable to tool accountability. In fact, software can make it simple and convenient to keep up with these items.

"One company observed put barcode labels on their employees hard hats.". "In the morning, when everyone picked up their tools for the day, the manager used a cost effective software application running on a mobile handheld computer to scan the barcode on the helmet and then scan all the tools being checked out. The process was fast and easy. At the end of the day, they simply scanned the tools back in and then ran a report to see if anything was still unaccounted for." Problem Solved!

If you don't have a real TAS-Tool Accontability SYstems one, there are some inexpensive solutions made by RedBeam, Inc. making it easy to barcode, scan, and track tools and equipment to ensure that employees always have them when and where they need them. Best of all it can save you a ton of money.


A1 Barcode Systems(GSA Schedule Holder)

Toll Free: 800.798.2042x0

EMAIL: sales@a1bar.com

Redbeam Software http://www.aonebar.com/redbeamR

RedBeam Fixed Assets http://www.aonebar.com/redbeamassets/

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