A recent Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation article (Norwegian) on theft in the construction industry got us thinking about theft and loss prevention. Did you know that equipment loss effects nine out of ten companies surveyed in the Norwegian construction industry? That’s a whopping 90% of the Norwegian construction companies surveyed who deal with theft on an annual basis. This type of theft occurs equally across Norway and amounts to hundreds of thousands – and in some cases millions – of Norwegian kroners lost per year. And sadly, much of this crime is underreported to the police.
What, if anything, can be done to prevent loss and theft on job sites with expensive tools and various types of heavy work equipment? Read our five tips below and learn how your company can reduce or eliminate heavy work equipment theft.
1. Understand what is most likely to be stolen in your business or region of the country
Some instances of theft or loss occur due to lack of employee oversight or simple outright employee theft. Other instances occur due to theft by external parties, fueled by an increase in the demand for certain tools or equipment on the secondhand market.
Both categories of theft are ultimately driven by the lack of company oversight of which tools and equipment are in the company’s tool crib, re-market value and ease in transport. Make sure you understand what is most likely to be stolen in your industry or company and how that may change by region or area in which you operate.
2. Build job site awareness by keeping your security procedures up-to-date
Keeping your employees up-to-date on security procedures is your first line of defense against theft. It’s vital that tools and equipment be easily accounted for at the end of each shift or day. Using an electronic program such as Onix Tool Store makes keeping all this data easily accessible to everyone. Combined with RFID technology, Onix Tool Store seamlessly helps businesses track the status of their equipment and issues automatic email notifications when tools and equipment have been checked out of or returned to the company’s tool crib.
Watch our colleague Fredrik demonstrate Onix Tool Store to get a clearer understanding of how this technology is utilized.
3. Uniquely identify all equipment with an RFID tag
Uniquely identifying each piece of equipment with an RFID tag means each piece of equipment is uniquely accounted for with current and historical data. Also, using RFID technology allows your employees to check in or check out equipment without the assistance of a tool crib attendant. Each piece of equipment can be tracked based on employee usage and accounted for after every shift or day. Using RFID technology also means historical data on the usage of each piece of equipment is available should you need it.
4. Maintain up-to-date electronic records of all tools and equipment
Keeping an up-to-date tool and equipment inventory list means you always know what you have on hand and their quantities. You can also access service and maintenance data on these items while making this information available to anyone with an internet connection.
5. Avoid using paperwork and spreadsheets
This goes without saying but using paperwork and spreadsheets to prevent theft on your job site has some very serious limitations and less than useful implications for your business. Paperwork can easily be lost, damaged or falsified and spreadsheets are cumbersome, outdated and ineffective. Both methods easily lend themselves to data entry errors too (and forgetful, but well-meaning employees!).
Theft in the Norwegian construction industry is widespread and unnecessarily drives up costs for an industry with sensitive profit margins. While 90% of the Norwegian companies surveyed report equipment loss or theft, utilizing our five tips can help reduce exposure.
We advise companies to decrease their risk exposure to loss and theft by tracking their tools and equipment inventory electronically with Onix Tool Store. Onix Tool Store helps build job site awareness, utilizes RFID technology, maintains up-to-date records of all equipment and is less risky than using paperwork or spreadsheets.