Apptricity had the opportunity to work with a privately held, family-owned construction company that specialized in renewable energy. The Company has been in business for more than 60 years and is recognized for its construction expertise. With 11 regional offices across the United States, and hundreds of successful construction projects under their belt, the Company has cemented itself as an innovative market leader in the global construction business.
Construction Sites, and the Challenges They Present
The total job site end-to-end is a staggering 50+ miles. It is difficult to keep track of important materials that go in and out of the site, including the number of employees and tools necessary to complete the job. This particular job included wind turbines with each individual turbine viewed as its own job site. The Company was required to provide and track tools and materials for each job site to erect and hook up each turbine.
A typical workday included Company employees being dispatched from the primary contractor site in trucks loaded with tools needed to perform the day’s work. At the end of the day, they would return to the primary contractor site to replace the tools to their storage containers, or leave the trucks fully loaded for the next day.
In addition to tracking the tools and materials required for the job, data on how the work truck was being used was also collected. Some of this data showed trucks left idling for long periods of time, which ran up gas charges. Idling vehicles could also violate EPA guidelines, which would result in fines. Some trucks were tracked being used outside of the job site during working hours. This further eroded the Company’s ability to track expensive assets.
Tracking High-Value Assets on Every Truck and Site
With hundreds of expensive and specialized tools needed at each job site, combined with thousands of employees, theft is a significant and costly problem. Plus, important tools are inadvertently left on finished job sites, forcing the Company to replace those missing assets, wasting thousands of dollars.
The Company follows a strict code of employee safety and safety equipment is considered critical assets. This means that safety equipment, such as harnesses that are missing, deemed too worn to use or nearing the end of their lifecycle must be replaced immediately. Safety equipment is expensive and lost or worn out equipment presents significant risk to the Company.
Apptricity’s Asset Lifecycle Management Solution Delivers Results
With Apptricity’s Asset Lifecycle Management solution, the Company has 360-degree visibility to the inventory, tools and materials transported on every truck. The Company can track assets and personnel with greater precision — from warehouse to vehicle to work order. This reduces shortages and improves asset tracking. By eliminating misplaced assets and matching onboard inventories to daily job assignments, the Company crews can run more efficiently and productively.
The Company has full visibility into what assets are in stock, what is loaded onto the work truck and then put back into storage, in addition to calculated end-of-life dates. The Company also has access to analytical reports detailing vehicle data and driver behavior. Apptricity’s Asset Lifecycle Management solution supports cloud-based computing, allowing users to have secure, accessible data wherever they are.
With Apptricity Asset Lifecycle Management Solution, the Company can address unique challenges found in plant construction.
High-value assets stolen, lost or misplaced
The Company is able to use RFID-based asset tracking, which interfaces with the Apptricity Asset Management solution. Assets are fitted with an RFID tag and added to the starting inventory. Some assets may require real-time location information, while some may only need to be scanned once a day. Any RFID tag, regardless of cost communication frequency, will work with the Apptricity solution.
Tracking needs to be easy
Assets equipped with RFID tags can be scanned using a mobile RFID gun or the patented Apptricity I-Connect Controller. RFID guns on an Android operating system work with the Apptricity Mobile Asset Tracking application. The scanned tag is directly input into the Apptricity application.
The I-Connect Controller, a static interrogator, can be set up in strategic spots to ensure maximum coverage of a contained area, such as a warehouse. Antennas are attached to the controller and will run scans to collect RFID tag information. This information is then sent to the Apptricity web application using a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.
RFID tags can help track missing or misplaced assets back to the last scan date or to the personnel who was last assigned to the asset. This gives management complete 360 visibility into the asset’s location 24/7/365. Employees become more responsible regarding assets, managing them better to reduce misplaced tools, inventory and equipment.
Security needs to be tighter
At the beginning of the day, each vehicle is given a listing of what tools and assets need to be in each truck. At the entry and exit points of the primary contractor site, an RFID security checkpoint can be set up with two I-Connect controllers attached to 10-foot-high wooden beams. They are pointed downward to scan all assets in the trucks as they leave. At the end of the day when vehicles return to the primary contractor site, automatic scans are again conducted, comparing end of day scans to morning scans. This allows operational personnel to immediately detect lost or missing assets.
Lifecycle discrepancies require higher-than-necessary purchasing
Apptricity Asset Management solution contains a robust lifecycle calculator so the Company can enter in purchase date, expected lifespan, and warranty information for each asset. This will help management make informed decisions about when an asset needs to be retired or undergo service. The ability to set up an alert when the lifecycle end draws near allows management to stay one step ahead on replacing assets and eliminates unnecessary, costly purchases.
Tracking trucks and proper use
By placing a GPS unit and I-Connect Controller in a Company truck, the Apptricity Asset Management solution can consistently track vehicle location in real time. It will also capture data such as the vehicle location history, idling times and other vehicle performance information. All data is stored centrally so management can access analytic reports on the trucks they are using for the project. Real-time reporting allows the Company to take immediate corrective action when necessary to immediately impact operational costs.