It can be tough to keep track of where maintenance tools are, especially when you have to share them with, not so organized, co-workers. A lot of time can be wasted looking for misplaced tools that you need to do your job. Not to mention it comes with a certain level of aggravation that tends to affect how nice you feel like being for the rest of the day. So to help, we've compiled a few solutions at different cost levels to help you track your tools better.
$ Cheap Solutions
1. Create a Tool Drawer Manifest/Diagram
This is probably the cheapest thing you can do to keep track of your tools. For each tool box, create a manifest of what belongs in each drawer. Now, everytime you go to use, or put away the toolbox, you can easily check to see if everything is where it should be. This can be as simple as taking a picture of the drawer (hopefully organized), add a log of what each tool is, laminate it, and attach the manifest to the toolbox.
2. Color Code Your Tools
$$ Moderately Priced Solutions
3. Create Tool Kits
When your day consists of doing routine preventive maintenance, you don't need every tool you have to get the job done. If you know what tools you will need to complete specific types of work orders, create separate tool kits containing only the tools required to do that job. For a round of air filter changes, you may only need a socket drive, a screwdriver, and some pressurized air. It will be less to keep track of, less to get disorganized, and less to lose.
4. Kaizen Foam
Creating foam inserts for your maintenance tool box makes it easy to notice when something is missing. Basically, you buy durable foam, such as Kaizen Foam, mark the profile of a tool on the foam, and then cut out the area for the tool to sit in. It's relatively inexpensive and it will make you super organized. See the video below for more cool uses of foam at the workplace.
$$$ More Expensive Solutions
5. Bluetooth Tracking
This is neat idea that may become more common place in the future. There are now Bluetooth tracking devices that are small enough, and cheap enough to use in your everyday life. If you have a lot of valuable maintenance tools or equipment that you don't want to grow legs and walk away, it might be worth taking a look at this technology. StickNFind sells tracking devices that you can connect to your phone via an app, to locate lost items quickly, or to be notified when they move out of a certain range. Check out the video below.
6. Buy Your Own Lockable Tool Box
While probably the most expensive solution, getting your own toolbox will make it easy to know where your tools are. Plus, who doesn't like a nice new mobile maintenance office? Most come with descent locks that are pretty tough to get into and you can apply some of the other methods mentioned above to take it even further.
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