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Software keeping tabs on your tools

At the core of every efficient logistics site or operation there is a complex network of people, processes and equipment all of which need to be performing at optimum levels to maintain business advantage in a highly competitive market-place.

Therefore, anything that makes life easier for staff, that automates repetitive manual tasks essential to business outcomes or that ensures equipment is maintained for optimum performance and maximum lifespan has the power to deliver genuine bottom line benefits.

A new state-of-the-art tools management application developed by Australian-based asset tracking software and services vendor, Hardcat, has recently been released to a rapidly expanding global customer base.

Hardcat Tool Manager provides organisations with full visibility and control over their entire tool inventory through optimising the management of large and small tools of trade.

It facilitates better tool utilisation and helps to lower stalled productivity that may arise from tool losses and/or breakdowns.

By ensuring that all tools are tracked over their full lifecycle based on key data such as how, when and by whom they are being used, Hardcat Tool Manager discourages mis-use by employees because they automatically become more accountable for the tools they are using.

It also supports best practice tool management by using automated notifications to ensure that warranty claims or calibration and maintenance events aren’t missed.

According to Hardcat managing director Dan Drum the new Hardcat Tool Manager suite allows organisations to know exactly where their tools are, who has them, when they are due back and what they are being used for.

“In organisations where accountability of tools and equipment is essential, Hardcat Tool Manager lets you to know exactly where all your tools and equipment are, where they have been, and who has been responsible for them at any given time,” Drum said.

“Better lifecycle management of full tool inventories has been identified by business process engineers as a simple and effective method of improving bottom line business performance in industries where large and small tools represent significant capital investment.

“This product was developed in close consultation with several of our global asset management customers in the logistics, engineering, resources and energy production sectors who wanted a specialist system to manage their tool inventories.”

Hardcat’s Tool Manager works by tagging all tools using barcodes, Direct Part Marking or RFID tags while also generating detailed records for each staff member and external contractors.

Hardcat Tool Manager allows companies to structure and categorise their entire tools and equipment register within the core module and at the same time collect, track and report on a wealth of information about each piece of equipment.

Information held against each item can be accessed and sorted by virtually any field. Each item in the database can have as many as 10,500 associated fields.

The solution is extremely scalable accommodating companies with a few hundred tools to those with several hundred thousand tools.

“Our system is built for better transparency on tool usage, efficient notification of events such as scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and producing reports that provide genuine business value on the utilisation of tool assets,” Drum said.

“It allows for the automatic scheduling of common tasks or templates and automatically issues work orders for maintenance, inspections and calibrations on all tools and equipment.”

Hardcat Tool Manager is also platform agnostic which means that it can be used by SQL, Sybase or Oracle databases, and the Hardcat Smartphone app, Micat is available for Apple or android mobile devices allowing dynamic tool management to happen in the field and on job sites.

Collected data can also be directly exported to broader ERP applications such as SAP.

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