Tool inventory management software – frequently asked questions

In this blog, we answer some of the common questions we get asked about tool inventory management software, so that you can make an informed decision about the best options for managing your tooling inventory. 

If you are using pen and paper or basic spreadsheets to keep track of tooling inventory, it can be hard to keep on top of everything that goes out on the shop floor and comes back in—especially when you are dealing with hundreds of tools at a time. 

Fortunately, there is an answer: tool-management software. It helps you manage your tooling inventory so that you have control over how much is going out and coming back in on any given shift. Tool management software also helps you automate your processes at your machine shop so that they run more smoothly and efficiently than ever before. 


Can inventory management software help me manage my tooling inventory?  

There are many benefits to the use of such inventory management software. It reduces administration. The process for ordering tools can be automated using intelligent rule-based systems. As such, expenses can be controlled. Further, the ways in which tools move through an organisation and around the shopfloor can be streamlined and controlled precisely. Crucially, the software guarantees that the right tool for a given job will be in stock when it is needed, helping to make production delays a thing of the past.    


What should I look for when selecting tool management software? 

The first aspect that you must consider is the software itself, and how your machine operators will interact with it. You must think about how easy the software is to use, the kind of reports it can generate, the degree of automation it provides and how it interacts with your other systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. The second aspect to consider is the hardware options you could have to complement the software. What sort of storage options will you have? Finally, you need to consider the ways in which the software can be installed and which of these options would best suit your operation.    


How do I find out if my company needs tool management software?  

Given today’s business environment, it has never been more important to ensure that your operations are as efficient as they can be. And, for those looking to increase the efficiency of their machine shops, an examination of the ways in which they purchase, store, and use tools is a good place to start. An out-of-control tooling inventory, and the costs associated with this issue, are significant. Inventory takes up space that could be used for more profitable endeavours, while money tied up in unnecessary assets is money that could be invested back into the business. Huge amounts of time can be spent maintaining and managing tooling inventory, including ordering tools, putting them away, and picking, counting, and relocating them. It can also breed disorganised and wasteful working practices. Stamping these issues out can have a substantial impact on your costs, boosting your bottom line.   


How secure is tool management software? 

When using any kind of software, the threat of hacking is very real, but it can be mitigated by choosing secure systems and by staying vigilant. Suppliers of cloud-based software build their reputations on high security standards, and it is therefore vital to source software from a responsible vendor, who can explain all aspects of their approach to security, such as protecting multi-site networks. Users can also follow a few simple rules that will protect them against all but the most cunning of hackers. 


Will tool management software integrate with my other business systems? 

Inventory-management software cannot exist in isolation; it must be able to work with your other systems, too.  CRIBWISE has a ready-to-go integration with Monitor’s ERP system, and the software has been developed so that it can seamlessly integrate with other ERP systems. We know that ERPs carry-out a multitude of important business functions, including supply chain management, warehouse management, order management, inventory management, manufacturing, purchasing, finance, and ecommerce. We also know that a basic function of an ERP system is to serve as a bridge between business processes to enable the flow of data between them. We have, for instance, developed the means to synchronize purchase order data from CRIBWISE to the Monitor ERP system.   

Every business is unique and has its own ways of working and challenges to overcome. If this blog has helped you to see the benefits of tool inventory management software and you’d like to discuss how it might help your business to prosper, get in touch! Or read one of our case studies to see how it’s helped engineering businesses all over the world.