Software from Hardcat supports process driven tools management

Australian-based asset tracking software and services vendor, Hardcat has developed a state-of-the-art tools management application for global customers. The software is being implemented for the first time at the Abu Dhabi-based company, GASCO.

Hardcat Tool Manager, the new software, provides organisations with full visibility and control over their entire tool inventory by optimising the management of large and small tools of trade. In addition to facilitating better tool utilisation, the software also reduces potential impact on productivity arising out of tool losses and missed calibration or maintenance events.

Hardcat Tool Manager tracks all tools by monitoring key data such as who used the tools, how they were used and when they were being used, discouraging possible misuse by employees by making them more accountable for the tools they are using. The software also supports best practice tool management by ensuring that warranty claims aren’t missed and tools are being utilised to their optimum.

Hardcat Managing Director and President Dan Drum explains that the new 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 within their operations.

According to Mr Drum, in organisations where accountability of tools and equipment is essential, Hardcat Tool Manager lets supervisors and the management know exactly where all the tools and equipment are, where they have been, and who has been responsible for them at any given time.

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.

Hardcat Tool Manager was developed in close consultation with several of the company’s global asset management customers in the engineering, resources and energy production sectors who sought a specialist system to manage their tool inventories.

The Tool Manager system works by tagging all tools using any option preferred by the customer such as barcodes, Direct Part Marking or RFID tags while also generating detailed records for each staff member as well as external contractors.

Hardcat Tool Manager allows companies to structure and categorise their entire tools and equipment register within the core module and also 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.

Key features and benefits of Hardcat Tool Manager include extremely scalable solution accommodating companies with a few hundred tools to those with several hundred thousand tools; simple and detailed reporting with user defined dashboards and alerts, offering users complete visibility and control of their tool inventory; automatic scheduling of common tasks or templates allowed with work orders issued automatically for maintenance, inspections and calibrations on all tools; and tracking of all consumables and replacement stock for at-a-glance view of tool’s location, utilisation, user and consumption.

Drum said that the Tool Manager was 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.

Being platform agnostic, Hardcat Tool Manager can be used by SQL, Sybase or Oracle databases, and the smartphone app, Micat is available on 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.

Hardcat Tool Manager introduces a high level of audit and control over critical organisation assets, with every tool, piece of equipment as well as person in the Hardcat database having a unique and comprehensive audit trail. Audit trails cannot be altered, providing management with full chain of custody of each tool from procurement through to disposal.

The Abu Dhabi-based GASCO uses Hardcat Tool Manager to track the usage of over 6000 tool assets in 319 categories by 287 staff in the centralised main tool room area of its Habshan 5 Plan in UAE. The tools range from small hand tools to chain hoists and large scale maintenance equipment.

Following the implementation of Hardcat Tool Manager, GASCO has gained from improved inventory control; improved audit procedures and accurate audit trail; improved purchasing information; improved equipment planning and replacement management; improved maintenance and warranty information; reduced labour and administration costs; reduced insurance and disaster recovery costs; and optimum asset utilisation.