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ToolHound Blog

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Oct 09
2013

How to Get the Most Value with ToolHound

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Getting Started: How to Get the Most Value with ToolHound

 

So you are a new user of the ToolHound management system. Congratulations! … Now what do you do?

Here are some tips to help you get started and make sure you get the most benefit from your investment.

  1. Create a spreadsheet of all the tools and equipment to be tracked. Visit the ToolHound Learning Center for step-by-step instructions on how to import data.
  2. Customize the software tool to fit your operational procedures. With ToolHound, your personnel don’t have to change the way they work to fit the software.
  3. Determine which training method works best for you: onsite training or web-based. Onsite training typically requires 2 days. Web-based training is provided in 2-hour sessions; requiring up to 5 sessions, depending on how many modules are used.
  4. Call ToolHound tech support for help if you get stuck, or visit the online help center. You can follow a link to the help center directly from within ToolHound 5.
  5. Be sure to attend the upcoming ToolHound 2013 User Conference November 17-19 to participate in computer labs and hands-on tutorials, attend educational seminars and network with other uers.

We strongly recommend getting all of your personnel trained within the first month of adopting the system. If your staff is not properly trained, it’s likely that use of the system will decrease over time.

In addition, don’t forget to schedule follow-up training sessions as new staff are hired. These sessions also offer existing users an opportunity to learn more advanced features and techniques.

“The ToolHound onsite training was very useful because it helped me get a feel for how best to use the system for my company. There are several ways to set up tracking, and different companies need different types of reports,” said Matt McGinnis, area equipment coordinator for CB&I, a leading engineering firm serving clients in the energy and government markets.

 

We are pleased to offer both training and tech support online and in person as we strive to meet our customers’ individual needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments; we appreciate your feedback.
Aug 29
2013

Managing Maintenance and Calibration Schedules – How and Why?

Posted by christine in Untagged 

When you add up all the costs of doing business, how do you calculate the cost of tool and equipment maintenance? Maybe you don’t really want to know, because after all, maintenance is a necessary part of doing business that you can’t control. Or can you…?

As an effective tool and equipment management system, ToolHound allows you to track an unlimited number of assets at multiple locations. Did you know that it also helps you monitor and schedule required maintenance?

Here is the top ten most important benefits of ToolHound’s  automated and proactive approach to maintenance and repair operations (MRO):

  1. Plan preventative maintenance activity to maximize tool use
  2. Extend equipment life with regular maintenance
  3. Share maintenance schedule reporting across multiple locations
  4. Ensure the high quality of equipment condition and performance
  5. Generate and track work orders based on pre-determined service tasks.
  6. Improve overall operating efficiencies with report generation for Service Due, Outstanding Repairs, Meter Readings, Maintenance Histories, and much more.
  7. Easily track and locate tools for regularly scheduled recalibration
  8. Early detection of issues can prevent need to replace equipment
  9. Increase employee productivity by ensuring the right tool is in working order when it is needed (priceless!)
Ensure that safety equipment is serviced according to industry standards, and inspections and servicing required by law are not overlooked.
Jul 30
2013

ToolHound Keeps Inventory Flowing Smoothly in Oil and Gas Sector, Delivering Improved Accountability, Investment Security

Posted by christine in Untagged 

For the past five years, FT Services (FTS) has relied on the ToolHound equipment management system. As a provider of best-in-class industrial asset management and maintenance services to the Canadian oil and gas industry, FTS has an extensive inventory of tools and equipment, currently valued at more than 10 million dollars.

FTS uses the ToolHound OnSite application and database, along with a Dolphin 9900 series mobile scanner, to track and manage tools and equipment in nine tool cribs at job sites throughout Alberta. ToolHound enables real-time tracking of all the company’s small hand tools, as well as larger, more valuable assets such as lift trucks, spreaders, high torque equipment, storage containers and trailers.

“When you have 2,500 employees checking out tools, writing it all down on paper doesn’t work. With ToolHound, we are able to track all of our tools in and out of the tool cribs, and track them from site to site,” said Matt Faulks, equipment and tool crib supervisor for FTS. “I can access the web-based system from anywhere to track where items are located, recover lost tools, manage regular equipment maintenance, and account for losses.”

Tracking ROI

Although FTS has been using ToolHound since 2008, the company recently expanded their use of the application to include the equipment rental module. This allows FTS to automatically maintain rental charges and expenses for equipment assets that are contracted out to customer facilities they are managing, helping to preserve corporate investments.

ToolHound is key to helping FTS track a large volume of tools located at multiple job sites -- saving time, improving productivity and increasing accountability. And by tracking equipment rentals, FTS also can facilitate billing and more easily evaluate their return on investment.

For FTS equipment supervisor Faulks, the ToolHound system has proven to be reliable. “If something does go wrong, it’s usually because the network is down,” said Faulks. “When that happens, ToolHound technical support will step in to help fix things; even working directly with our IT department to get the system running again.”

 

Feel free to contact us to experience for yourself our customer service and personalized technical support!
Jul 02
2013

Are You Missing Something?

Posted by christine in Untagged 

It’s an unfortunate fact of life… Theft happens. And as you are probably well aware, it’s an all too common occurrence in the construction industry. It has been estimated that losses due to construction site theft can reach more than $1 billion annually in the U.S.

But it’s not just about the money and hassle of replacing the stolen equipment. You also have to consider indirect costs due to lost productivity, increased insurance premiums, and perhaps rental fees to temporarily replace the stolen equipment. Of course, if theft contributes to delays and missed deadlines, you may have to pay a significant fine too.

According to the National Equipment Register, summer is the busiest season for equipment thieves, so we thought this might be a good time to review the Top Five most commonly lost or stolen tools and equipment. Typically, the items most often stolen are either higher in resale value, or easier to remove from the construction site… or both.

Tools

  1. Jack hammer
  2. Sledge hammer
  3. Drill
  4. Power nail gun
  5. Reciprocating saw

 

Equipment

  1. Air compressor
  2. Backhoe
  3. Skid steer
  4. IT equipment
  5. Laptop computer

An ounce of prevention

Okay, if theft happens, what can you do about it?

In fact, there are several measures you can take to limit the impact of lost or stolen equipment on your business.

  • First, secure all construction sites by locking up tools and building materials with tamper-resistant locks.
  • Second, make sure that all employees and subcontractors are made aware of the consequences for stealing or borrowing tools for personal use.
  • Third, and most importantly, maintain a real-time inventory of all materials, equipment and tools as they are checked in and out, or moved between sites. And by using a powerful RFID or bar code based asset management system like ToolHound, keeping track of equipment is simple, so you can make sure everything is accounted for at the end of each workday.
For more tips on preventing theft, contact your local contractors’ association. And start tracking all your tools and equipment before it’s too late!
May 30
2013

And the survey says....

Posted by christine in Untagged 

As mentioned earlier in this blog, we recently conducted a survey to enlist customers’ feedback, as well as monitor the current needs across various industries, such as construction, oil and gas, mining and equipment rental. We would like to share some more of the key findings from this survey.

How do you currently track your tools or equipment?

Surprisingly, a majority of prospects responded they are using paper records or manual data entry to track and maintain inventory of tools and equipment. Considering the amount of manpower this requires, and the potential for human error, we expect to see more and more companies move to automated tool management systems like ToolHound 5.

What are the key benefits you are trying to achieve?

May_Blog_Image

Both customers and prospects alike cited loss prevention as the primary benefit expected from their tool management system. Then inventory counts as a secondary benefit, which leads to the next benefits of higher cost savings, productivity and efficiency.

What drives your need for ToolHound’s products?

We surveyed a cross-section of customers and prospects across a range of industries, and most respondents named the same top three needs for ToolHound products:

  1. Check in/  check out
  2. Asset tracking
  3. Inventory management.

How do you rate ToolHound's product performance?

Findings demonstrate that our technical support gets high marks. Other categories with top scores include customer service response time, online training, functionality and ease of use. We are pleased to find that the survey results validate our emphasis on personalized technical support and customer service, and we greatly value our customers’ feedback.

May 02
2013

Tech Tips - May 2013

Posted by christine in Untagged 

Don't Lose Your Stylus

If you are using a Workabout Pro scanner and find that the stylus is no longer staying secure in the slot on the right side of the device, store the stylus in the hole in the grip at the bottom of the scanner.  The soft material of the scanner keeps hold of the stylus so it doesn't fall out and you won't risk losing the stylus.

May 02
2013

ToolHound eUpdate May 2013

Posted by christine in Untagged 

Presidents Message

Is your tool room attendant on-site 24hrs a day? Probably not. Do you have contractors and workers onsite at all times of the day. How do you track your tools and equipment after hours? Do tools and equipment go missing? Does this stall productivity? When tools and equipment cannot be easily accessed, or are not in working order, significant delays can result that can impact timelines and the bottom line.

Self-service and after hours support.

Sometimes it is not cost effective to have your tool room manned 24 / 7. ToolHound’s  SecureCrib offers two solutions to handle this situation.

SecureCrib Kiosk uses RFID (radio frequency identification) and a simple-to-use touch screen computer to allow workers to check out and return their own tools.The worker simply scans their badge to start the process and then chooses whether they are checking out or returning inventory. The RFID reader then scans all items the worker possesses and displays them on the computer screen. The worker confirms that the list matches their inventory and proceeds to their workspace or to the crib to return their tools.

SecureCrib Portal features the kiosk plus magnetic doors locks to secure your tool room. Worker’s access the tool room using their badge to unlock the door.

Could it be more simple?

RFID tracking combined with ToolHound tool and equipment tracking software allows you to maintain productivity levels, minimize theft and hoarding and as a result, saves you time and money. I think it is time to consider RFID technology.

Warmest regards,

Dean Perry

President, ToolHound

p.s. Start planning now for our ToolHound User Conference planned for November in San Antonio, TX. Watch for more details as they become available.

To view full newsletter click here

Feb 20
2013

Tech Tips - February 2013

Posted by christine in Untagged 

ToolHound 5 – Individually Barcoded Inventory/Serialized Inventory

In ToolHound 5, Individually Barcoded Inventory (which is now called Serialized Inventory) has undergone several changes as well as the addition of several new fields.  Below is a listing of most of the new fields and their intended uses.

Condition – new field used to describe the condition of the tool (new, used, etc.).

Department/Owner – new field used to designate the owner of the inventory item.

Manufacturer – new field, previously only available on Part Number.

Model - new field, previously only available on Part Number.

Alternate IDs – new field, used to provide multiple IDs to an item.

Country of Origin - new field, previously only available on Part Number.

Kit ID – new field, used to identify a kit if the item has been included in a kit.

Last Coordinate – new field, used with RFID tags.

Feb 20
2013

ToolHound eUpdate February 2013

Posted by christine in Untagged 

Presidents Message

Knowing what our customers and potential customers think of us, positive or not, is a vital component of our ongoing commitment to improve our ability to assist your needs and continually grow our business. ToolHound recently concluded our Satisfaction Survey, and would like to thank everyone that participated. This information will allow us to rate our performance and to set new goals and initiatives.

The survey results indicated that the majority of respondents are very satisfied overall with ToolHound and our products.  Over 81% of respondents stated they use our tools for achieving loss prevention with inventory counts close behind.  Many of you were interested in our new product offerings, with emphasis on ToolHound 5.  When we asked how and what we could improve upon here are some key points:

  • - Webinars for on-going skills improvement
  • - Online manuals and guides
  • - Continued follow up from Sales Staff
  • - New user online training

These suggestions have been taken into consideration and in the coming months please watch for changes in how we service and support you.

Once again we appreciate your business and we understand how important it is to continue to find new ways in assisting your company to succeed.  Your willingness to provide feedback is key to this process.  I sincerely hope when we update our survey you will be willing to participate with your feedback.

Warmest regards,

Dean Perry

President, ToolHound

To view full newsletter click here.

Dec 19
2012

Tech Tips - December 2012

Posted by christine in Untagged 

Tech Tips

-          Use the Recent Items to quickly return to a record you just added or changed without having to open the appropriate screen and search for it.

-          Use the Quick Links to access common web sites such as your tool vendors. You can also use it to quickly access a ToolHound screen that you use frequently. Simply copy the URL of that screen from the browser address bar and use it when adding a quick link.

-          Before applying bar code labels to your tools, make sure to use a solvent to clean the tool surface of dirt and grime to ensure the label stays attached longer.

-          Requisitions are an ideal tool for remote job sites to request new inventory. Keep it electronic instead of faxing or using the telephone.

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