How to Boost Equipment Utilization Rates with Align Technologies

Guest post: Maximizing the use of equipment is top priority for businesses in the construction industry. In this article, Align Technologies provides tips on how to keep machines moving on the jobsite.


Underutilized assets remain a common pain point for contractors trying to maximize productivity in the field and the return on investment of their tools and equipment. Poor asset management can result in project delays and cost overruns that negatively impact your profit margins and reputation. Common issues that adversely affect asset utilization rates include inaccurate asset tracking; inefficient inventory and requisitions processes; idle equipment due to breakdowns or certification issues; and unnecessary purchases because assets that are not actually lost could not be located in time. 

Using construction asset management software such as Align EAM from Align Technologies can address these issues and boost your utilization rates throughout the life cycle of your assets: 

Planning: Align EAM gives your team access to enterprise-wide data that yields increased visibility and operational control. Its robust reporting and analytics capabilities let you generate customized reports and gain insights into key metrics including equipment utilization rates, asset ROI, maintenance costs and performance trends. This data gives your back office the information necessary to understand what is happening in the field and make data-driven decisions for the business regarding future asset needs as well as the replacement or acquisition of new assets. 

Procurement: With Align, you can strategically resource projects and deploy assets via seamless oversight of warehouse, purchasing and receiving functions. Your team has access to near real-time tool inventory data across stocking locations and work sites, which helps boost asset utilization and decrease unnecessary purchases. 

The software tracks and keeps a record of assets including tools, equipment and consumables throughout their life cycles. Built for construction workflows, it supports both bulk and individual assets and keeps track of usage history for both. For example, hammers can be tracked in bulk while more valuable assets like generators can be tracked individually. Customizable features include the ability to create standardized kits and pick tickets, set low-level indicators for specific items and automate purchase order creation. A completely digital requisition process lets workers request needed items from the field, which then triggers picking and transferring or purchasing and receiving of items not in inventory. 

Location Tracking and Transfers: Boost overall productivity and asset utilization rates by getting the right tools and equipment to your workers in the field when they need them using Align EAM. Location tracking allows you to manage assets across multiple sites. Assign and transfer assets among projects and designate responsible parties to help you know which job site assets are on and who is responsible for them. Real-time updates and a centralized dashboard give you high-level visibility into where your valuable assets are located. 

Align EAM supports a variety of tool tracking technologies including Bluetooth, GPS, RFID and barcodes. Align’s Bluetooth-enabled wireless tracking automates inventory counts and transfers by automatically recognizing tool movement via job site gateways. For equipment that moves, Align offers GPS tracking to give you the exact locations of your high-value items, helping to deter theft and prevent idling in the field. Real-time information including time per job and hour meter data can be used to further drive utilization of your heavy equipment. Finally, you can capture ROI for high-value equipment through automated job costing and billing based on time on the job site, number of hours utilized, or other metrics. Flexible rate sheets support a number of costing and billing structures as well as accounting/ERP integration. 

Maintenance: Appropriate maintenance extends the lifespan of assets, prevents breakdowns and ensures they operate at peak performance and safety levels. Align EAM offers customizable maintenance workflows and notifications to help you optimize the process by scheduling maintenance and service requirements, completing compliance inspections and calibrations, receiving automated service notifications and capturing completed service history. The software tracks employee certifications so you can quickly determine which employees are authorized to operate specific equipment. Additionally, Align EAM improves safety by automatically recording and monitoring equipment conditions and notifying warehouse staff whenever it falls below certain safety standards or approaches the end of its useful life. 

Strategic asset management is directly tied to profitability. Implementing a comprehensive construction asset management solution like Align EAM can maximize the utilization of your assets throughout their life cycle to improve uptime and decrease operational costs, thereby boosting your bottom line. Actively managing and tracking your asset base powers more successful projects; saves you time and money; and improves the efficiency of your warehouse, field and back office teams.  

Janan Guillaume is vice president of product at Align Technologies, whose construction operations platform integrates asset management, EHS and workforce management solutions. 

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