Research released from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)* in mid-October revealed some disappointing data: numbers showed that more than half of UK builders have at some point fallen victim to tool theft.
This information comes as no surprise to those directly affected by the problem, but the report serves as a powerful reminder of the threat that this issue poses to UK trade contractor businesses - not only due to the costs for replacing tools and repairing damage to vans, but also the time delays that result from a loss of productivity due to the inability to complete work.
Preventative measures being taken to limit the risk of theft include taking tools inside at night time, installing additional locks and even alarm systems or CCTV. The unfortunate reality however is that even with taking the best precautions, theft can still happen.
In light of these alarming numbers, I thought it would be best to remind you all of the value a job management system, like simPRO, can offer when it comes to keeping a watchful eye over your tools.
When replacing stolen tools, your insurance provider will ask for details of exactly what was stolen. Recounting every individual item can be time-consuming, however, those looking to avoid extended recovery processes can do so by maintaining an online record of the serial numbers of tools including the make, model, when it was purchased and for how much. This could also extend to plant and machinery you may leave on site or occasionally hire in for a particular project.
Keeping track of plant and machinery is simple in simPRO Enterprise. You can checkout plant items to employees when needed, then check them back in when they have finished using them, so that you always know who is using what equipment and when. You can also track when plant items are due to be serviced for maintenance.
When adding plant to your database, you can record the make, model and even add photos of the item. There is also an option to add an insurance policy number.
Plant can be scheduled to jobs in the same way you’d schedule an employee. This is incredibly valuable when it comes to recouping following tool theft as it helps you clearly see which jobs will be affected as a result of an item being stolen.
Now, I am not suggesting that this register is to be used for all tools, but it is essential for high-value items and those that may be harder to replace in the event that you do fall victim to tool theft like more than half of the UK. Having a detailed register will speed up any insurance claims and also assist police in identifying your tools if they are recovered.
*Research carried out by the Federation of Master Builders, published on 18 October 2018 (https://www.fmb.org.uk/about-the-fmb/newsroom/half-of-builders-are-victims-of-tool-theft/)