How asset tracking can help manage complex construction sites

Asset tracking is a GPS-based technology that allows businesses to manage and track their assets in real-time, then store the data in a centralised, cloud-based database so it can be mined for analytics and insights. This can help businesses streamline a wide range of critical activities, including managing vendors, controlling inventory, scheduling maintenance, fulfilling orders, sending requests and distributing work orders via mobile apps.

How is asset tracking used in construction?

Being able to manage a large fleet of assets with ease can be extremely useful in the construction industry, where many managers and project coordinators are often on-site and away from their offices. This can minimise unnecessary delays, which is a critical factor when working with large machinery that’s expensive to run and maintain and fixed project deadlines.

The data-driven management of assets such as premises, machinery, vehicles and other equipment can create leaner operations within your business. This is because it gives you the insights you need to right-size your fleet, increase utilisation and head off any inefficiencies throughout your business. By introducing data-driven efficiencies, the use of valuable resources is minimised, which creates greater value for customers while eliminating waste.

Worker In A Construction Site

Reducing Theft

Despite the size of some of the machinery used within the industry, construction sites aren’t immune to theft. Research from Allianz Insurance into plant theft, for example, found that construction sites are increasingly targeted by criminals, including organised gangs. The results suggest plant theft is rising year-on-year, with 428 instances reported to Allianz in 2013, 665 in 2017 and 730 by the end of 2018.

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building involving senior-level construction workers found that as many as 21% of respondents said they experience theft every week. This widespread loss of assets adds up to $4.3 billion dollars every year, including $298M worth of construction assets, $440M worth of small plant and equipment and $708M worth of vehicles.

Tracking assets add an extra layer of security and significantly increases the chance of recovering a stolen asset. Geofencing and mobile alerts even let you know when assets leave their assigned site so that you can take immediate action.

Increasing asset visibility

Large construction companies frequently have expensive equipment moving from site to site, and asset tracking provides greater visibility of that movement. When you know exactly where your assets are and what they’re doing, you’re in a better place to maximise their utility and ensure they’re providing an adequate return on investment.

Additionally, the right asset management software also allows managers to deploy and allocate equipment to the right site when needed, together with support for purchase order requisitions and logistics. These systems allow access for multiple users, which means on-site project managers can issue machinery repairs and request equipment to be collected when it’s no longer needed – significantly streamlining the process.

Improving site safety

Sadly, many construction site workers are killed or injured every year in the course of their work, as reported by Safe Work Australia. In the 5 years from 2009-2013, 182 fatalities and 63,230 serious injuries were reported across the construction industry in Australia. . Safe Work Australia also notes that the most frequent causes of accidental death and injury are a result of slips, trips and falls, vehicle accidents, body stressing, and being hit by moving or falling objects.

Asset tracking helps prioritise safety and ensures you meet safety compliance and industry regulations. Modern asset tracking solutions include smart safety and compliance features like driver safety monitoring, vehicle health monitoring, in-built digitised checklists and safety checks, and reminders for maintenance. 

Using these tools along with insightful equipment management also ensures assets receive correct and timely maintenance, which helps prevent many accidents. Data can also track the causes of accidents and provide insights into why they may have occurred, so managers can take action to avoid them in future.

Real-time insights into tools and equipment lifecycle and costs

Inaccurate information can lead to shutdowns, slower turnarounds, outages and other delays. The cost of completing a project can quickly escalate with inefficient planning, poor decision making and straying from construction contracts. This can easily impact the reputation of your construction company. With asset tracking and data-based management, it’s easier to keep costs and deadlines on track and address minor problems as they occur, before they become major ones.

Greater asset utilisation, cost reduction and maximising tax rebates are just a few of the many other reasons why your business needs asset tracking. Data-driven management and insights keep you competitive in the industry, and staying connected to your assets ensures the most efficient and effective management. These all combine to boost your bottom line.

Maximising fuel tax rebates

Construction companies operating a fleet of vehicles, machinery, plant and industrial equipment are entitled to claim Fuel Tax Credits for the fuel they use. However, many businesses lack the evidence required to claim their full entitlement at the higher FTC rates.

The standard rate for FTC is 16.5 cents per litre, but with accurate evidence for your claim, you can increase this rate to 42.3 cents per litre for use by all vehicles on private use as well as for auxiliary use.

You can claim this higher rate when:

  • Vehicles are using fuel on construction and mining sites, shipping ports, worksites, loading docks. These locations all count as private road use and entitle you to the higher FTC rate. 
  • Using fuel to power auxiliary equipment on heavy vehicles, including crane trucks operating the crane function, the mixing barrel of concrete trucks, or the use of computers and other elevation mechanics on vehicles.

Asset tracking solutions can provide you with the accurate data you need to calculate and substantiate your claim, helping you reduce your operating costs and maximise your tax return. Learn more about maximising your Fuel Tax Credit rebate with asset tracking here.

Want to access the benefits of asset tracking?

There are many variables and challenges in the construction industry. Fortunately, the right asset tracking solution can transform your business for the better. With the purpose-built technology on hand, it’s never been easier to manage your construction sites. Forum Connect is ready to help you transform your service and asset utilisation.

Learn more about Forum's Asset Tracking, contact us today.

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