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For companies in sectors like construction, as well as in field-oriented industries like telecom and utilities, the scope and complexity of in-house and field operations mean they’re often just squeaking by: for example, construction general contractors average a mere 4% profit margin (versus an average of 15.5% across all industries). In addition, keeping costs contained is critical for highly regulated telecoms and utilities that are subject to much scrutiny regarding profits, and, in the case of utilities, usually require government approval to raise rates.

While it makes intuitive sense to grow bottom lines by reaching out to potential new clients, a driving reason for lagging margins is much closer to home: consistent losses incurred by the inability to properly manage or optimize assets, resulting in theft, equipment malfunction, and excessive downtime – all of which cause major delays and budget overruns.

Thankfully, the solution is already in your hands: if you’re already collecting data for field inspections and field operations, then it can also be used to keep track of expensive equipment.

With today’s technology, there’s no reason to let losses caused by asset mismanagement cut into your already razor-thin margins. Field inspection software excels at location-based GIS asset management and can easily track your equipment in real-time, streamline the maintenance process, and cut down on the time your crew is waiting for equipment or tools to be delivered to a job site. 

To understand how field inspection management software leverages location-based data for GIS asset management, we’ll first need to consider the scope of the problem.

The scope of loss

The National Equipment Registrar estimates that construction job site theft amounts to at least $1 billion every year, with less than 25% recovered - and that’s from their last full-scale study from 2016. Since then, we’ve seen a dramatic price increase fueled by lagging supply chains and consistent over-demand. 

Overall loss should also be defined by time. A 50-person construction company wastes an average of 18,000 hours per year looking for equipment and tools, which adds up fast when the average hourly wage of construction employees in the U.S is $34.67.  

You also need to consider the 20-30% average equipment downtime rates. Whether it hasn’t received scheduled maintenance or is sitting unused at another project site, when the right equipment isn’t ready on-site, you’re first paying your workers to sit around and then paying overtime to make up for lost productivity.

It is unsurprising, then, that 90% of global infrastructure projects are either delayed or over-budget and that the estimated labor costs of non-optimal activities to the construction industry in 2018 were $177 billion.

The scope of the solution

Field inspection management software automatically incorporates geolocation intelligence to build up a robust asset-management system as a natural result of simply doing field operations, instead of demanding an entirely separate process.

Let's look at a few ways that this innovative mobile technology can track your equipment by leveraging location-based data to optimize GIS asset management for minimal loss and maximum profit.

Geotagging 

Asset management is like chess but with a thousand pieces – equipment, workers, projects, sites, tasks – that need to be moved around to the right place at the right time in the right working order. 

Digital field operation tools automatically geotag every record created, allowing you to see the exact real-time location of your equipment as it gets checked in or inspected across multiple sites. Having full visibility into your whole asset inventory not only prevents equipment loss or theft, but it lets you move your assets around more efficiently and always ensure their maintenance, aligning all the various pieces to optimize productivity, minimize delays, and reduce downtime. 

Multimedia 

Leading field inspection management software like Fulcrum lets anyone scan barcodes to immediately report any equipment problems as soon as they see them. 

Workers can also upload photos, videos, or even audio recordings with their mobile device, attach them to a record, and share with supervisors – all value-added data about the exact nature and location of the problem, so that you always know what’s happening with your assets on the ground.

With features like barcodes and multimedia, your entire workforce becomes involved in issue reporting. This speeds up inspections on the ground, while enabling equipment managers to detect issues and prioritize maintenance without having to be on-site – a process which, overall, reduces downtime and equipment breakdowns that lead to loss.

Automation & Analytics

Cloud-connected platforms with digital SOPs have all your teams working from the same data, synced and connected in real time. This forms the backbone of intelligent automation, where everyone who needs to be in the loop is never left out. 

Automated workflows help streamline asset management by initiating next actions based on inspection data. For example, if a worker notices that an asset is malfunctioning and needs repair, his input will immediately trigger a notification to your service department to schedule maintenance – no need for phone calls, delays, or downtime. 

With all your inspection and maintenance data in one place, you get higher-level insights to understand and predict longer-term equipment life cycles, making better data-driven decisions about the timing of new asset purchases. 

Keeping track to stay on track

Companies are always affected by events and factors out of their control, but keeping track of assets shouldn’t be one of them – especially when location-aware field inspection management software makes GIS asset management so easy. 

A platform like Fulcrum provides your organization with real-time data to maximize the usage and lifespan of your construction equipment while preventing losses incurred from theft and downtime. 

You're already collecting data for field inspections and field ops – why not use that same data to keep track of your assets?  

To learn how field operations software can help you better manage your assets with location-based data, start your free trial today! 


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About the author

Fulcrum is a field inspection management platform built to streamline safety and quality processes, field operations, and asset inspections, especially for mobile teams.

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