December 13, 2017

Automated Tool Crib

automated tool crib


Is an Automated Tool Crib Possible Without Industrial Vending Machines?

Industrial vending machines have ruled the tool crib management space for years, and for good reason: they offer a solid option for basic inventory control in an unmanned, automated tool crib or storeroom environment. They help companies save money on storeroom monitoring personnel while offering helpful inventory intelligence in the form of transaction reports that vary in detail depending on the manufacturer and model used.

However, vending machines also have some serious limitations that frustrate many storeroom and tool crib managers and the executives who rely on them. For example,

  • They’re limited in the size, shape, and configuration of items they can efficiently handle
  • Their reporting capabilities are limited by the transaction workflow
  • Many do not incorporate robust security and access features that modern tool cribs really need
  • Initial cost is quite high, so ROI is often slow in coming

What’s more, industrial vending is no longer the only option available for setting up an automated tool crib, nor is it the most effective.

Creating a better automated tool crib with GopherWerx Storeroom

If you’ve ever seen a well-run tool crib, it’s unmistakable: all of the consumables are stocked at optimal levels, all the reusable items are where you expect them to be, and there’s no huge, unnecessary stock of items taking up space and wasting money. A tool crib that’s managed well increases worker productivity, facilitates more predictability and strategy in the buying process, minimizes downtime for equipment maintenance, and streamlines the supply chain. In an environment managed by¬†GopherWerx Storeroom, these benefits can be obtained while adding the convenience and cost savings of unmanned automation. Powerful tool crib management software and modular hardware combine to offer vendor-managed and self-operated locations a simple, accurate, and efficient system for automated tool crib inventory management.

Tool Crib Management Software and Hardware Solutions by GopherWerx

The GopherWerx Storeroom solution simplifies complex tool crib processes and provides thorough reporting around storeroom activity:

  • Various levels of security can be set up to allow authorized employees to use their IDs to gain entry, creating an automatic log of users and patrons who have accessed the tool crib. (Requires the GoSecure add-on)
  • RFID or barcode scanning equipment facilitates a streamlined check-in/check-out transaction process.
  • Alternately, employees can use the GoMobile application and any connected hand scanner to log transactions on the move. (Requires the GoMobile add-on)
  • Built-in reports include transaction summaries, item history, patron history, “fast movers”, and more. Additional reports can be developed as needed for your workflow.
  • The tool crib management software facilitates inventory audits on whatever schedule you set.

The powerful reporting engine provides a detailed, accurate picture of inventory levels, usage, and carrying costs. Tool crib supervisors can easily determine tool maintenance requirements, expiring parts, overstock, and restock needs.

The business case for using GopherWerx solutions for automated tool crib management

The cost savings and inventory optimization offered through GopherWerx Storeroom offers numerous benefits to companies with busy storerooms and tool cribs:

  • Having replacement parts consistently available enables timely repairs, so equipment is up and running longer.
  • Inventory transactions can be tracked by individual, cost center, billable job, zone, or location.
  • Restocking alerts help guard against out-of-stock issues including the cost of high priority shipping.
  • Real-time updates to a centralized cloud-based database means inventory counts remain accurate across all zones and locations.
  • The system tracks when stored items require scheduled preventive maintenance, so there’s no surprises or compliance issues regarding replacement parts or tools remaining in safe working condition.
  • Following lean inventory management¬†best practices reduces overstock issues, streamlines purchasing and frees up storage space.

The flexibility of the inventory management software behind GopherWerx Storeroom enables our customers to craft the optimum automated tool crib inventory solution for unique circumstances. If any of Storeroom’s out-of-the-box capabilities aren’t a perfect fit for your situation, contact Freedom RFID to discuss a custom solution that will work better.