Spotlight: PCL Construction – Managing Servicing Costs for Bulk Inventory in ToolHound

Posted on April 10, 2024 by Admin

We often say that no two organizations use ToolHound in the same way. Diverse challenges, constraints, and needs in varying sectors and environments drive these differences.  Our Support and Sales teams have decades of experience tailoring processes for organizations, incorporating best practices to meet unique needs.

Experienced ToolHound users will also develop their own processes for their circumstances. At our 2023 User Conference, René Landry, Supervisor - Tools Repair at PCL Industrial Management (a division of PCL Construction), shared a process they had developed to successfully track productivity, efficiency, and trends on damage for bulk inventory.  As a company that is 100% employee owned, everyone at PCL has a vested interest in continuous improvement.   

Preventative maintenance and unplanned repairs are scheduled & tracked on individual tools & equipment. Any inventory requiring an annual certification document is tracked as serialized inventory and handled normally.

The challenge at PCL Industrial was specifically around general costs and time for servicing bulk inventory where batches of the same part number are being inspected at the same time. Their definition of bulk is anything that doesn’t require a certificate or time tracked to a unique item. 

An example of bulk inventory requiring service is welding cable or extension cords. Technicans have a cage with color-coded crates for cables being returned.  When a batch of cables are received, they go into the crate tagged red – meaning to inspect – or are immediately scrapped. Once inspected and the cable passes, the cable is placed in the crate tagged green – meaning good to go.  The green-tagged crate can then go on the shelf, available to issue. Since these crates are stored inside in controlled environment, there is no need to reinspect the cables before going out to the field.

How does PCL Industrial track this in ToolHound?

First the setup:

  • Create a dummy serialized part number to carry the service tasks called "Expendable Repairs".
  • Create an item ID matching the part number description for each bulk part number requiring service or inspection.
  • Create a task matching the description for each bulk part number requiring service or inspection as closely as possible.

Next execute the service:

  1. Create a work order for the task matching the cable part number description and the item ID matching the cable part number description.
  2. In the Notes enter the number of cables serviced.
  3. Add the labor and other costs. 
  4. Close the work order when the batch of cables has been completed.

The Work Order History for each item ID matching the cable part number description gives a summary view of all work orders representing a batch of cables service along with a total cost to date. This can be filtered using the Search and exported to Excel.

The standard Service History report lists the cost of maintenance of each batch within a date range.  Customizing the report to include the opening date of the work order allows the calculation of the time to process each batch. 

Pretty snazzy.


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