How to Create a Tools Strategy


Having the right tool at the right time is an essential ingredient in boosting the productivity of the workforce that keeps a jobsite moving. Here are the key considerations for companies in creating a tools strategy that helps them safely meet project goals and budget goals.

United Rentals

Many variables go into a company’s decision to buy or rent tools, but rental is increasingly being used to supplement the existing fleet. Tool rental offers the ability to meet project specifications with a solution such as single tools, custom tool boxes, and managed tool trailers. In addition, some jobs require specific tools to meet standards and requirements. Tool rentals can fill gaps that help teams and projects stay compliant. Rental tool solutions can include power tools, chain hoists, pipe tools, welding tools, torque wrenches, lighting, air tools, radios and more; these can all be tracked with GPS software.

“Creating a tool strategy isn’t just about owning or renting tools, it’s about maximizing labor productivity,” said Greg Jones, regional director of tool sales and marketing at United Rentals. “A solid strategy facilitates quick access to tools to improve jobsite performance while helping companies preserve capital and minimize waste and overconsumption. Companies that rent high-quality, well-maintained tools as part of this strategy can streamline operations and reduce downtime with onsite availability to keep job sites moving.

Hidden costs of owning tools

An important step in creating an effective tool strategy is to look at the total cost of the investment. A thorough review can often reveal hidden expenses that might have been missed during the initial project planning. Here are the areas that should be included in this review.

Maintenance. All tools require some maintenance and associated costs to keep them in good and safe working order. Ignoring essential maintenance can not only shorten tool life, but also lead to additional and costly replacements.

Repair and replacement. There is no real test for how long a tool will last, but quality can be an indicator of how long it will last. If a tool breaks and the warranty does not cover the damage, the cost of repair or replacement is the responsibility of the owner and contributes to the overall price.

Followed. Regardless of fleet size, tracking owned tools can become a full-time job. For tools that are in repair, in good condition, and in use, tracking takes time and ends up adding to the project budget.

Storage. Tool storage requires space, which costs money. The more tools a business has, the more storage space it will need.

Insurance. Companies that invest in high-tech tools – for example, inverter welding equipment – can also invest in a tool insurance policy that covers loss or damage to protect the investment. Additionally, tools that create liability, such as tugs and hoists, require certifications.

Flight. Tool loss is greater on jobsites that don’t have track, trace, or some sort of accountability for tool use. The frustrating buy-lose-buy cycle can skyrocket a tool’s budget and erode profitability.

Capital preservation. Buying tools, especially expensive ones, creates an opportunity cost. As companies invest money in tools, they lose the ability to use the capital for other purposes.

Key Elements in Smart Tool Rental Decisions

After looking at the total costs involved in buying and maintaining an inventory of tools, companies recognize that it is more cost effective to rent tools rather than own them, with the exception of basic tools which are used every day. Here are three considerations that can help companies make smart rental decisions for tools that meet jobsite needs.

1. Mastery of tools. Tool and equipment rental providers should have specially trained experts to help determine the right tools and supplies for the job, scaled and configured for the scope of the project. These experts can help bridge the gaps between estimating and project management teams, budgeting tool costs in the planning process. Tool rental experts are a resource and can add value when planning and tracking inventory, conducting inspections and maintenance to keep teams productive and ultimately minimize downtime. break time.

2. Inventory for the project lifecycle. Tool rentals can help smooth out inefficiencies during the lifecycle of a project. In most cases, different stages of a project require different sets of tools, and the cost of a large fleet of scalable tools adds up. Leasing helps a business reduce purchasing costs because there is no need to overstock the fleet to handle peak periods, only to leave the tools unused afterwards. This inventory must also meet the specialized requirements of the project, if necessary.

3. Tool Tracking. A large fleet of tools is a lot to manage, so a rental supplier should provide a tool management system that maintains electronic tool and material histories on site. Long gone are the days of missing tools “walking away”. By tracking tools throughout the project cycle, companies gain visibility into potential issues and can act on opportunities for more productivity and cost reduction.

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