Construction Plant and Equipment Management

Hardcat solutions support process-driven plant and equipment management

Construction plant and equipment management is defined in this context as the maintenance and location tracking of plant items (machinery, equipment, appliances, containers, implements and tools and components or anything fitted or connected to those things). Some examples of plant equipment include lifts, cranes, computers, machinery, scaffolding components, conveyors, forklifts, augers, vehicles, power tools and amusement devices.

Asset management and tool tracking software assist you with scheduling maintenance, managing vendors, and distributing work orders via mobile apps. These fully integrated tool tracking systems enable users to manage inventory, perform audits and create service tickets/help desk requests whilst on-site and away from the office.

Include other physical assets such as premises (buildings), vehicles, machinery and equipment, and you can facilitate leaner operations. A lean business focuses on providing greater customer satisfaction while using as few resources as possible. The objective of lean business is twofold; creating value for customers and eliminating waste. Lean operations are highly concerned with efficiency.

A popular misconception is that lean is suited only for manufacturing. Not true. Lean applies in every business and every process. It is not a tactic or a cost reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting for an entire organization.

What is lean?

Construction companies face operational challenges on a daily basis

How can you reduce underperforming projects? Implement a practical asset management system and you will gain valuable insights for important project decisions. Construction companies worldwide are employing an asset management system to record the movement of tools, workers and equipment across sites. When applied correctly, asset tracking can radically reduce costs and improve productivity.

1. Real-time insights into tools and equipment lifecycle and costs

2. Ability to regulate inventory

3. Improved asset security and accountability

4. Planned preventative maintenance

For organisations that have a fleet of vehicles, and use a lot of hand tools and equipment, managing repairs, renewals and tracking location and usage is no easy task. But not keeping tabs on your expensive tools and equipment can cause delays in project completion.

Not having the right information at hand can cause shutdowns, turnarounds, and outages. Where the cost of project completion becomes 3-4 times the actual cost. This may lead to inaccurate decision-making, inefficient planning, and an inability to stick to the contract.

A good tracking system is defined as being easy to keep up to date by means of mobile apps and audits (verifying items exist). By logging this type of information in one centralised system, anyone can access it whenever they need to via the web.

This keeps your business operations moving 24/7. Workers can locate the equipment they need quickly, and avoid unnecessary project delays. Administrators can access data reports to ensure that they send machinery for maintenance as required, order spare parts and deal with lease renewals on time.

Parts and consumables tracking

Tagging individual items reduce theft – increases accountability

Construction asset management is normally concerned with large high-value equipment, while there is less focus on smaller hand tools and equipment. But these smaller items are unlikely to be insured, and less likely to be recovered but still cost your business both time and money.

Missing hand tools don’t usually get noticed until it is needed for a task. This causes job disruption, employee dissatisfaction and extra business costs, such as additional labour, lease hire/fees and delays that can cost more than the original purchase price of the item(s)!

Tagging items in your inventory will enable you to identify and locate each tool or piece of equipment you have. You can tag equipment in many ways, with QR codes, barcodes and RFID tags being the most common.

Asset tags, their technology and environments

Construction plant and equipment management; tools and equipment usage

High-value, limited quantity and favoured tools are worth tracking to gain better insights that will help you prioritise tools by requirement, and transport price, so you don’t spend extra money on items than you absolutely have to. If the equipment is collecting dust while it’s needed somewhere, your business suffers.

Most importantly, when tracking construction tools with a software solution, if a tool gets stolen you will have a record of who used it last. You can track what project they used it on, and the last location they used the tool. This is important whatever the cost of the item, as over time the cost of misplaced tools adds up.


Construction asset management; repairs, warranties and replacements

Regularly used tools and machines will obviously need regular maintenance. Knowing when your equipment is not being used or is idle, assists with planning maintenance (this is where that usage report comes in handy!).

When tracking equipment and machinery repairs, understand the reason behind it, especially if it happens more often than it should. Collecting this data and conducting trend analysis will give you a better understanding of why something breaks. Not only does a broken tool costs time and money to fix, but your workers are also idle while it’s getting fixed (if there’s no replacement available).

Preventative maintenance

Being well-organised will not affect business processes, and will keep your equipment up and running. Monitor which tools and equipment are under the warranty, to make sure you spend money and time only on the tools/equipment that really need it.

Find out which tools workers like the best and which ones are the most effective in getting the job done. Do a cost analysis to figure out which tools drain you most financially, either by physical issue (breaking too early) or logistical issue (too much requirement). With that intelligence, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions.

Purchasing and procurement

Testing and maintenance of tools and equipment

Worksafe practice is to conduct a pre-start visual to inspect all tools, testing equipment and PPE before each use for signs of damage. Using Hardcat, the inspection results can be entered against each item using the MiCatX phone app. To ensure that equipment such as tools, PPE, rubber mats and LV rescue kits are in good working order before use.

Testing equipment should be tested regularly to ensure it provides the level of protection required. Testing intervals will depend on several factors including:

  • the frequency of use
  • the environment in which it is being
  • manufacturer’s advice.

For example, a multimeter used in a workshop environment may be subject to less damage than a multimeter carried in the back of a work van.

On-site updating of tool allocation and more

Tracking construction tools with MiCatX (for Hardcat SM solutions) and Hardcat® Lebosi® Mobile (for large enterprises) are phone and tablet apps designed to make your life easier.

Workers can access (with full security) add, search, find, and transfer features for machinery, tools and equipment in your Hardcat system, using our phone app. Back at base, the office is always up to date on tool availability and reactive work orders. The entire system is mobile and web-based.

Hardcat Tool Management

The Hardcat Tool Management solution keeps thorough records of all your tools and equipment, with access at the click of a button, on your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. This solution creates a single source of truth (digital trail) of all tools and equipment for monitoring purposes, auditing and more.

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Construction asset management software combined with a range of Hardcat solutions will supply you with everything you need to optimise your business processes.

Maximise operational efficiencies
and make your life simpler!

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