The largest cost of any construction company’s P&L is indisputably labor, but at number two is a line item that’s largely both avoidable and unavoidable at the same time: lost equipment. Less than 25% of lost equipment is recovered every year. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), the estimated value of construction equipment stolen every year is between $300 million to $1 billion. This doesn’t even include tools and building materials, which are easy targets for thieves. We know, it’s truly a disappointment.
Preventative measures are essential to ensure productivity and financial stability relating to equipment, and the good news is there are several things a business can do right now to minimize that risk. We spoke with some of our customers, and they helped us assemble this list to help other businesses reduce equipment theft and keep more money in your bank.
Keep records of all purchases
Every time you make a purchase, save your receipt. On top of that, keep detailed records of every piece of equipment that is purchased and lent out to employees so you have better insight into the location of your items. Although this will not prevent outside thieves from stealing at the jobsite, this can help prevent employee theft. Keep your purchases updated in a system like like Quickbooks or a spreadsheet. We recommend keeping the paper receipts in a good, ol’ fashioned shoebox as well.
Put equipment away and lock it up
We know this is a drag, but do not leave your equipment at the jobsite. Make sure it gets put back in a tool crib or shed, because when items are left out you run the risk of a prowler stealing everything left out overnight. All it takes is a few minutes. In the long run, this tactic may save you more money to be spent in other areas of your business.
Hire a security guard
This can be expensive, but if you’re constantly in and out of a busy jobsite then extra supervision may be worth it when it comes to protecting valuable equipment. If you have a good amount of tools left unsupervised, it may save you time, money, and headaches just by having someone watch over it for you.
Hire trustworthy employees
Always spend more time than you think you need hiring the right employees. Perform background checks to take a closer look into criminal history, and see if it is worth hiring potential candidates. Spending a little bit of extra time in the hiring process can ensure that you hire not only reliable employees, but long term ones as well.
Use a Tool Tracking solution
Shameless plug 🙂 consider using a solution that will track your equipment for you. Knowing its whereabouts will give you peace of mind and can potentially rescue a piece of equipment from being stolen. Our product, the Toolie, is a not only tracks your equipment but also gives valuable data on what your workers are doing on the jobsite. The Toolie is proven to save on your labor hours and cost.