How to Keep Track of Tools: Our Handy Guide for 2021

Tool tracking

By Dan Barraclough | Updated: October 20 2021

Did you know? According to asset management company HILTI, businesses waste on average 90 hours a month looking for tools.

We did some math:

If you own a company of 20 employees, each on $30 an hour, that’s $135 per employee per month down the drain. Crazy, right?

There’s a simple solution to this industry nightmare: asset tracking. And luckily for you, it’s super-easy to invest in. If you're already convinced, you can use our quick quote finder to get bespoke prices for you. Or, read on to find out more about exactly how it can help your business.

What is Asset Tracking?

Asset tracking isn’t just about knowing where your tools are at any given time – it’s knowing the ins and outs of the finer details, too. Certifications, part replacements and servicing data are all collected onto one central system, which you can access anytime, anywhere via a mobile phone app.

On a much, much larger scale, asset tracking will help you keep track of your mega valuable assets, too. In fact, the image below represents just some of the industries that are benefiting from asset tracking.

Asset tracking industries
Industries that benefit from asset tracking

How Does Asset Tracking Help You Keep Track of Tools?

Here are just some of the ways asset tracking can help you keep track of valuable company equipment and machinery.

Keeping Track of Handheld Tools: Use QR Code Scanning or Bluetooth

By combining clever software with a QR code, you have yourself an asset tracking system in its most basic form. Simply pop a barcode sticker on all of your handheld tools, then use your phone to scan the tools in and out. That way, you know who’s using the tool and which site it’s located at – easy.

Unsure if a QR code is the most viable option for you? For a more robust option, why not look into Bluetooth or RFID tracking tags?

Keeping Track of Mid-sized Tools: Use QR Scanning or Bluetooth

Blend the powers of QR codes and Bluetooth when keeping track of your mid-sized tools. Asset tracking suppliers will provide appropriately sized barcode stickers and Bluetooth transmitters that you can attach to bigger pieces of machinery, such as your pumps and generators.

Keeping Track of Heavy-duty Equipment: Use GPS or 3G and 4G networks

The big guns, such as your bulldozers, graders, cranes and loaders, will require GPS tracking equipment. For these machines, it’s not just about tracking the site on which they’re located – it’s using the software to help with maintenance, too.

This is achieved by integrating specialist asset tracking technology into the diagnostics of your heavy machinery. The technology collects engine data and mileage, enabling you to keep track of dates for servicing and necessary part replacements.

What are the Benefits of Asset Tracking Software?

If we were to put the benefits of asset tracking into a tool bag, “less time wasted” would only take up one pocket. Here are some other reasons why you should be looking to invest in an asset tracking system.

✔ Efficient Management

  • Record heaps of equipment data, including location, use and cost
  • Keep control of small, medium and large equipment
  • Decrease tool downtime

✔ Share Information

  • Data available for office and field staff
  • Enables efficient planning of projects
  • Efficient budgeting will lead to better pitching for projects

✔ Streamline Everything

  • Work smarter and faster
  • With information on one database, audits are easy

Case Study – Xtreme Drilling

What benefits has investing in asset tracking software brought to Xtreme Drilling?

Finding a better way to keep track of tools has enabled the company to streamline their spare parts management. The whereabouts, condition, status and readiness for use of their spare parts are now available for everyone to see.

As a result, Xtreme Drilling majorly cut down on the time they spent sourcing tools, as well as the money they spent renting tools unnecessarily!

What are the Major Tool Tracking Companies?

So who are the major players in the asset tracking industry? These are the three on our radar:


Tenna provide asset tracking solutions on all different levels. Whether you’re after a simple QR code scanning system or a robust GPS tracking system for your heavy-duty machinery, Tenna’s team of specialists will be able to advise you on a bespoke system for your company. With five star reviews across the web and consistent high marks for customer support, your company will be in safe hands with Tenna.

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  • Create a customized system
  • Use the system to route vehicles, too

X Cons:

  • Only designed for mid-sized companies and larger

Verizon Connect

As a complete solution company, Verizon Connect will ensure your tool organisation is fully automated and optimized for efficient working. You can combine their asset tracking software with their field service solution to really bring your company’s operations into the 21st century. And with their expert consultants on board, you’ll soon be benefiting from a bespoke system.

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  • Combine with field service software
  • Create a complete business solution

X Cons:

  • Customer service isn’t as good as others

ON!Track Asset Management (Hilti)

ON!Track by Hilti is one of the easiest-to-use asset tracking systems because it offers comprehensive training and onboarding, ensuring you're never stuck for too long or spending too much time training your staff. We also found the cloud-based software simple to navigate, and we were impressed by its range of sleek hardware, plus its intuitive mobile app.


  • Comprehensive training provided
  • Intuitive interface

X Cons:

  • Setup and training is full on

Further Reading

We've shown you how to keep track of your assets, but there's so much more to learn in the world of asset tracking.  Don't worry, we've got many years of experience in the field know our stuff. Over that time, we've published plenty of articles covering the best asset tracking software, and much more.

If you'd like to learn more about how much asset tracking software might cost your business, then check out our in-depth asset tracking costs guide.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.

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