5 Tips for Better Tool and Equipment Management

General Contractors & Subcontractors


When it comes to the effectiveness of managing something, a project or a strategic initiative, for example, we hear it all the time, “measure what matters.” In Construction, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of details to remain on top of throughout a project. There are also many ways to manage these details, all of which have time and cost implications. Often, those managing construction projects tend to focus on the significant matters staring them in the face each day, and rightly so. Did our crew show up? Did the material come yet? Will we finish that before the weather changes? All these details are valid and critical to any project timeline.

Tools and equipment are a part of every construction project, large and small, and carry costs of similar proportions, though they tend to add up in ways we never expect. What about the details that aren’t as obvious? The ones that always seem to catch us when we review how much profit a project made or a line item that is out of wack on the company GL. Whether it is an ever-replenishing inventory of tools in your warehouse or equipment that sits idle on your jobsite and isn’t yours, tracking and managing effectiveness in this area will save you money and even make you money when you measure what matters. 

Here are FIVE tips for better tool and equipment management in your contracting business and on your projects.

1.  Catalogue your Complete Tool and Equipment Inventory

It can be a daunting task, but this is a one-time exercise. It requires finding a champion (or two)  and dedicating a set amount of time to ensure each piece is identified, labelled, and categorized. From here, it is just a matter of establishing a process and adding new tools and equipment as your inventory grows. Completing this task is a substantial win, as having a complete account of these things is the first step towards accurately tracking and maintaining a sustainable management system.

2. Review and Record the known History and Condition of each Item

Once you have an account of your tool and equipment arsenal, you can dive into the details of each piece. The depth in which you do this is a matter of preference. You could simply record the current condition and document this with photos or add historical detail for each item. Some upfront investment of time will ease updating this information on the fly moving forward.

3. Track Usage and Schedule any Required Maintenance

This sort of thing seems like a given, often reserved for the most significant equipment. Larger equipment is generally quite costly, especially up front on the capital expenditure side or ongoing if regularly scheduled maintenance needs to be adhered to. Documenting historical and future maintenance intervals and setting automated reminders will ensure things stay in order. That being said, money is being left on the table if you do not accurately track equipment usage from those more significant tools or any sized equipment. Recording equipment time, for example, how and when it was utilized, can provide the historical data required to factor into future budgets and be billed accordingly.

4. Avoid Costs Associated with Lost, Damaged, Stolen or Forgotten Items

Small tool and equipment purchases, replacement purchases, and rental costs add up, some faster than others. While small tools and equipment factor into budgets, you might consider the benefits of tracking them more closely to avoid lost and stolen items, save those dollars or tighten up your budget (more on this below with technology adoption). Perhaps the most prominent offender to avoid is forgotten items. These may be owned equipment in a parkade, trailer or truck or rental equipment left unused or unreturned on site. These items, in particular, can carry high monthly costs that eat into valuable bottom-line dollars on any project. Try tracking these with automated reminders and notifications to ensure equipment is utilized best on your projects.

5. Leverage Technology to Further Streamline your Process

With all the hard work out of the way and a solid tool and equipment management process in place, ensure that you and your team remain empowered to make improvements, further adding to the time and cost savings you set out to see from the start. While spreadsheets can help with the initial organization process, utilizing the functionality of a purpose-built app to track, record, and search data, will provide the visibility, accountability and savings you expect, especially in more uncertain economic times.


SiteMax is your essential app for daily Construction operations, offering robust solutions for the jobsite and, in particular, effective tool and equipment management. There is much to consider when moving from a more manual or ad hoc method of managing your construction assets to a digitally streamlined approach.

SiteMax has you covered, addressing issues in the tips above and offering the best way to:

  • Organize all your tool and equipment inventory in a powerful dashboard where you can see each owned or rented item, all uploaded with a clean import template
  • Gain complete visibility into the historical details and current condition of each inventoried item and utilize colour coding for added clarity
  • Capture tool and equipment time for costing and billing purposes from the field or the office
  • Create inspection reports, and maintenance records and schedule service intervals 
  • Track tools and equipment across all projects by employee, vehicle or toolbox via the simple scanning of highly adhesive and durable QR Codes, Map View Dashboard and log exports
  • Manage all aspects of tool and equipment inventory with a straightforward mobile app and desktop experience 

We are always looking for ways to improve daily data capture, tracking, and reporting on the jobsite. Providing the required features in an easy-to-use app is the best way to help any contracting business excel and improve. If you want to learn more about tracking tools and equipment through a simplified digital approach, schedule a quick walkthrough with our team, and we will get you started.

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