Whether it’s laying pipe, erecting steel cell phone towers or paving roads, it takes a lot of equipment to get the job done. It also takes a lot of money to purchase, operate and maintain that equipment, and it can be frustrating – and costly – when employees don’t take care of it as well as they should.
For the most part, employees understand that they depend on the equipment to perform the work you hire them to do. Yet, they often take the tools and equipment for granted because they’re more focused on completing the project than on paying attention to the equipment. As a result, they tend to see the care and maintenance of tools and equipment as management’s responsibility, not theirs.
With Tenna asset tracking, you can hold employees more accountable for helping to take care of your equipment and using it properly.
Using Asset Tracking to Engage Employees
Tenna offers a wide range of asset tracking products to help you locate and manage tools and equipment more efficiently. Some of these, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and quick response (QR) codes, require manual scanning by employees to keep you up to date on the location and status of individual assets. Others, such as GPS and Bluetooth, can automatically transmit asset data without the need for manual scanning.
Manual scanning with Tenna asset tracking is quick, easy and accurate. It only takes a few seconds for employees to scan each asset tag using the Tenna app on their cellphones or mobile tablets. With the touch of a button, the data is available and visible to others throughout the company – at the project site office to the main office.
There’s another advantage to having employees scan your tools and equipment – it actively engages them in taking more responsibility for the assets. The fact that you track assets reinforces the importance of the equipment to your operations. When employees take part in the tracking process by scanning the asset tags, they no longer take the equipment for granted.
For example, suppose an employee scanning an asset tag happens to notice some damage to that piece of equipment. He is far more likely to report the situation if he has to touch and handle the equipment while tagging it so the damage can be reported and taken care of in a timely manner.
Giving Employees the Big Picture
Some assets, such as small tools or large equipment that gets frequently moved, are better suited for Bluetooth and GPS asset tracking technologies. These use cellular communications to transmit equipment data such as location, performance and movement without the need for manual scanning. This is where having all your tool and equipment data in one integrated system lends a hand.
Tenna software makes it easy to store, organize and analyze all aspects of your company’s tool and equipment usage, including financial metrics such as maintenance and repair costs. Sharing this data – either verbally or in printed custom reports – gives employees a better understanding of the full costs of each job. It also provides an opening for getting employees more engaged in taking responsibility for the equipment.
A while back, one of our newer customers related an interesting story. He had grown tired of high repair costs, and decided the time had come to do something about it (one of the main reasons he acquired our software).
After purchasing a brand-new truck, to the tune of $150,000, he called an all-hands meeting with his crew. During the meeting, he discussed the cost of the truck, and how unexpected repair costs impacted his cash flow and his bottom line. He concluded by reminding employees that their pay and any bonuses they might receive were directly related to operating expenses and profitability. Presenting this “big picture” perspective helped shift crewmember attitudes to one of more accountability towards their tool and equipment responsibilities.
Using the Carrot Versus the Stick
When trying to shift employee attitudes regarding equipment responsibilities, it always works better to let them know how tracking assets can benefit individual crewmembers as well as the business. For example, explain how GPS tracking can eliminate time-consuming paperwork and provide more accurate data.
Provide actual examples of how asset tracking directly benefits employees. This can include everything from getting the right vehicles to the job site at the right time to improving driver safety, recovering stolen vehicles and more. It also helps to get employees involved in the implementation and use of asset tracking. When this becomes part of their daily routine, they will naturally take more accountability for the care and proper use of the equipment.
Recently, Tenna helped sponsor a contest with a client to motivate a change in employee behavior. The contest divided employees into teams and measured how frequently crewmembers on each team scanned the QR codes on their equipment. The winning crew received baseball tickets, which Tenna paid for. Creative ideas like these help employees see that their jobs include responsibility for tools and equipment and not just what they are building.
Above all, remind employees that asset tracking provides a powerful resource for improving their performance and helping the business grow. When the business grows, it can lead to more opportunities for employees, such as job security, better pay and room for advancement.
To learn more about how Tenna asset tracking can improve you resolve asset management problems, browse our selection of customer case studies.
About Greg Arlen