It can be hard to keep track of construction projects. You want to ensure your crew is where it needs to be, and the project is mapped out in great detail to remove ambiguity for everyone involved. Tracking employee hours can be hugely helpful in this endeavor since poor time management can often be one of the construction workers’ biggest obstacles. Read on and check how a construction asset tracking can optimize your project.
With the human element taken care of, the next important thing to turn your attention to on construction sites is the equipment itself. Not only does it need to function well, but it also needs to be available when and where it’s required. This can be quite difficult to manage if you’re a tool crib manager dealing with a huge variety of tools and equipment.
Not just this, but a lot of equipment can be lost, damaged, or left behind in transit or on the construction site itself. These losses can accumulate and turn into really big problems further down the line. This is why asset tracking software is a must-have for the construction industry. Below, we’ll outline 5 benefits of using an asset tracking system on the field and beyond.
The Benefits of Construction Asset Tracking
1. Lower the probability of on-site accidents
Accidents in the construction industry have been on the rise in recent years. A New York Times report found that worker deaths have been increasing as a result of inadequate safety measures, inexperience, and a lack of prior planning. The loss of life due to corners being cut or inefficient organization is unacceptable, which is why this problem needs to be addressed swiftly and efficiently.
Of course, construction managers need to ensure workers going on-site have the requisite experience to complete the tasks assigned to them, but they must also guarantee that the equipment and tools given to these workers are in good condition and don’t make their jobs any harder than they need to be; a rusty chain, a missing hi-vis jacket, or a malfunctioning crane can cause serious accidents.
Equipment management software comes with maintenance modules which ensure assets are serviced regularly, and also that workers are able to easily flag them for repair if they do need some work outside of their maintenance schedule. Not only will this lower the probability of on-site accidents happening in construction projects, but it will also lower overheads in the long-term. This is because routinely serviced and well-calibrated equipment has a longer lifespan and won’t have to be replaced quite as often.
2. Equipment reports enable better planning for the future
Data is extremely important for businesses. Without accurate information about your operations, any decisions you make are no better than stabs in the dark. What you really need to make well-informed business decisions is accurate information grounded in up-to-date stats and a good understanding of the long-term trends relating to your industry. This is why any asset tracking software worth its salt would be able to provide in-depth and actionable reports relating to equipment usage, cost of ownership, and maintenance requirements over the course of a specific period of time.
This could tell you a lot of interesting things. For example, do some machines cost us more in maintenance than the ultimate value they add? Which machines are being consistently overbooked? And what about monthly usage? If we don’t seem to need certain machines in the winter months, might it not be better to rent them rather than put up a significant financial investment to purchase them? Manipulating these kinds of reports to get the information you need is crucial if you want to plan for the future more effectively.
3. ‘On the go’ support makes for more accurate data
These days, people expect to remain connected not just to each other, but also to the work they’re doing. This is why ‘on the go’ support is extremely important for asset tracking software. Mobile apps can lend a huge hand in this effort, ensuring that crew members have a way to log details about equipment both in transit and on-site. Packing lists can be created beforehand to ensure all important equipment is taken to a site, and then the crew can use mobile apps to scan items back into the system or to manually check them in after a day’s work.
This is also important for another reason. The ease of using a mobile app on-site (as opposed to logging information after a day of hard work on the field) can encourage people to log information as close to the point of action as possible. This reinforces data accuracy in a meaningful way. It is also a great alternative to using complicated spreadsheets which are not only hard to update and interpret on the field but are also prone to human error. This is why mobile apps are turning into a must-have feature for all asset management systems.
4. Deter theft and loss by bolstering accountability
Another reason to use asset tracking software is to lower the incidence of theft and loss, both on-site and in-transit. It’s very easy to misplace smaller items such as tools or cables on a job site, and even easier to lose track of them while they’re being transferred between locations. A few dozen items a month, and you’ve made a significant loss. Of course, it costs money to replace the items, but the administrative hassle of discovering you don’t have an item only when you need it, or having to order it afresh, can be all too cumbersome and costly to sustain in the long-term.
Theft is another huge factor to consider when trying to streamline construction processes. The National Association of Home Builders reports that job site theft accounts for up to 2% of the final cost of building a home! This is a scary statistic and one that can be significantly reduced if asset tracking software is used to bolster accountability in the organization. Because assets are checked out to specific project managers or workers, the incentive to safeguard items will be extremely strong.
Not just this, but you’ll be able to track items based on where they were last used. In addition, QR Codes can be easily scanned by the public and can contain information about how to return the items if they’re found. All of these little safety nets combine to ensure that your construction assets are as safe as they can possibly be.
5. Quicker processing can make a difference in time management
Those who work in the construction industry know how important it is to manage time well. Scope creep is extremely common in this sector. This happens when little tasks get tacked on to the main project, to the point that finishing them on time becomes a tall order. In fact, most construction projects go over schedule by around 10% to 30% of the originally planned duration.
This is why construction workers need to be able to manage the time extremely well. For health and safety reasons, however, it isn’t wise to speed through certain things like health checks or safety gear testing. On the other hand, making time savings on equipment processing can be very helpful. Asset tracking software makes this extremely easy. Mobile apps can be used to scan items in and out of the system in bulk, and they can be separated by project or site before being sent off to the location they’re needed at. Automation of this sort is a veritable necessity these days and something that construction companies really shouldn’t learn to do without.
The construction industry can be a tough nut to crack. There are strict schedules to be met, budgets to adhere to, and safety concerns to be addressed. All these issues can be met boldly with the use of asset tracking software. Loss and theft can be discouraged through regular data logging, malfunctioning equipment can be taken in for repairs quickly, and delays can be avoided through the use of a robust availability calendar. For businesses looking for an edge in the construction sector, an asset management system can, therefore, be one of the most cost-effective tools for success.
This article was contributed by leading asset tracking software EZOfficeInventory. Featured on TechCrunch, it has enabled thousands of businesses to improve ROIs, recover losses, and increase team collaboration. Click here for more details on asset tracking software for construction industries.