Benefit from efficient tool management with software from Timly

Tool management is of particular importance in the skilled trades. Employees depend on their work equipment being available and ready for use. The Swiss software company Timly has specialised in the flexible management of tools. Numerous well-designed functions make it easier for installers to handle the important equipment on a daily basis. 

Tool management: crafts have special requirements  

Materials management and procurement have become more demanding. Resources are becoming scarcer and more expensive. In the craft sector, there are additional challenges: Changing work locations and working environments characterised by dirt as well as weather conditions cause problems. So does the coordination of maintenance and inspection appointments.  

In contrast to the rather static use of assets in industry, such appointments require careful planning here. Timly offers a holistic tool tracking software with an integrated maintenance calendar. Work tools can be sensibly recorded in it. A central storage location for all information is created. This is not only in the office, but can be accessed from wherever the data has to be worked with. 

Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

Using software for tool management – almost no alternative in the skilled crafts sector 

Everyday work in the skilled trades is dynamic. Digital tool management must be correspondingly flexible. Printed lists or magnetic boards in the supervisor’s office no longer meet the requirements. Ideally, it must be possible to find out where a tool is and what condition it is in at any time.  

Consequently, Timly uses cloud storage. The GDPR-compliant protection is included in the overall package; the customer only needs internet-capable end devices for use. Customisable categories are available for recording a wide range of assets. All desired information can be stored in these categories, from basic data such as manufacturer and type to comprehensive data sheets and operating instructions.   

Each asset is assigned a QR code, which can be used to call up the created profile. Locations and personal assignments can be recorded in the same way as a fixed link of the tool equipment to a customer service vehicle as a container object. Those responsible enter maintenance and inspection dates in the calendar of an asset. Notification of upcoming appointments is sent by e-mail. Other convenient features include the tracking of high-quality tools using modern IoT technology. 

The tool management app as the most important work tool 

Tool management in the trade can only remain up-to-date if all employees have access to it. Installers work on site, at the construction site or at the customer’s premises. Installation activities lasting several days at remote work locations are also part of the usual picture. Timly therefore offers an app optimised for smartphones and tablets. This enables every authorised employee to call up the profile of the work equipment assigned to him or her. All they have to do is scan the QR code with the camera of their smartphone or tablet.   

Important information is permanently available. The condition of a tool that has been taken over can be easily documented, for example by photo or video. Defects are reported directly via the app. It is also possible to request and reserve tools in this way. If tools are declared as consumables, the employee can define a minimum fill level. If the level falls below this, the responsible person is automatically notified. Since employees usually have a smartphone with them anyway, the Timly app is a modern tool for the exchange of information for digitalised tool management. 

Tool management – Excel is no longer the best solution 

In many companies, Excel spreadsheets are considered the appropriate solution for managing data inventories. However, the universal office software reaches its limits in tool management. If objects with widely differing properties are to be recorded, an Excel spreadsheet becomes confusing. Secure integration into a network and practical use by several employees at the same time often cause problems. Operation via mobile devices is not practical. Especially for handicraft companies, this type of inventory management is hardly a reasonable alternative. 

About the risk of using freeware for tool management 

The acquisition of software for special commercial application purposes is associated with costs. Therefore, the idea of looking for suitable solutions on the market for free software is obvious. However, it should be considered that professional development and permanent updating of complex programs cause costs.  

The same applies to the constantly available support – which should be a basic requirement for the use of a software solution. Freeware developers often make do with financing through advertising. Or they provide for functional restrictions that can be removed for a fee. In addition, there is no contract with the providers of freeware, so that provision for a longer period is not guaranteed. Therefore, the use of commercial software from an established provider is usually the better choice for companies. 

Tool management: Often a question of philosophy 

A software is good if it completely fulfills the requirements of a user. Therefore, before choosing a suitable product, the analysis of one’s own needs is important. Behind different software solutions there is a different philosophy of the developers.  Timly’s is to make inventory management with the help of inventory software holistic, intuitive and simple. No special requirements are necessary to use it. Thus, the product is suitable for the small family business as well as for the medium-sized company with several locations. There are no upper limits. Among Timly’s customers are also DAX-listed corporations. 

Timly and other providers: test first then start 

Whether Industry 4.0 with the use of CAM systems, a medium-sized service provider or a one-man company, the introduction of software for the management of tools and machines has long-term effects. Individual requirements on site, but also personal preferences of employees, play a role in determining the success or failure of a software rollout.  

For this reason, software should be tested extensively before implementation. Timly offers the possibility to get a free access to the cloud-based service. This allows managers and employees to get their own impression of the functions and handling of the software.   

Timly has been successfully in use at Schwizer Haustechnik AG for years. The Swiss medium-sized company from the HVAC sector manages over 1000 objects with the software solution and praises the uncomplicated overview that Timly offers of the company inventory. 

Tool management: “Download Excel template for free” has had its day 

Having an accurate overview of one’s tools at all times ensures professionalism and effective workflows. The digital file of a work tool that is created over time, which also includes maintenance and repairs, facilitates important business management decisions. Creating the possibility for all employees to query necessary information and locations of tools with their own smartphone saves valuable working time in everyday life. These are good reasons to think about introducing specialized tool management in your own company. 

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