Construction Asset Management Helps Curb Equipment Theft


The construction business is booming in and of itself, but so are the businesses of contractors and restoration companies. HGTV has inspired legions of do-it-yourselfers to start projects and aspiring business owners to hang out their shingles. Whether the company in question is a small or large operation, construction asset management is likely to be among its top priorities – or it should be. Construction equipment and tools are big-ticket investments and hot targets for theft. The National Equipment Register (NER) has estimated the value of construction equipment stolen each year to be anywhere between $300 million and a staggering $1 billion.

Report Presents Startling Theft Statistics

In its 2016 Annual Theft Report – the most recent report available online – NER found that the top 10 states for equipment theft were, from highest to lowest theft: Texas, North Carolina, Florida, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama. Those 10 states accounted for 63 percent of all construction equipment thefts in 2016, while the top five states accounted for 45 percent of all construction equipment thefts. Among the factors NER identified as contributing to equipment theft are the value of heavy equipment, poor equipment and site security, opportunities to sell stolen equipment in the used-equipment market, low risk of detection and arrest, and lenient penalties for thieves if prosecuted and convicted.

NER added that “organized theft rings are likely to develop in areas with a high concentration of equipment and a large number of potential buyers of used equipment, stolen or otherwise.” Theft tends to spike in areas experiencing an industrial boom, which means more heavy equipment is available for would-be thieves. However, “when equipment owners are aware of these prime conditions for theft and know how to thwart equipment thieves, there is often a noticeable drop in theft rates.”

Asset Management: Your Weapon Against Would-Be Theives

Construction asset management is perhaps the smartest strategy for stopping thieves in their tracks. And the great news is that thanks to mobile technology, it’s easier than ever to utilize platforms that track and manage every one of your construction assets. With your smartphone or tablet, you can see which job sites your assets are assigned to, the identity of the person who checked it out, its condition and complete maintenance history. Whether you’re in the field or in the office, mobile apps serve up the information you need to locate items, plan appropriately for projects, and make informed decisions about your equipment needs.

Of course, the monetary loss isn’t the only negative associated with equipment theft. Construction companies, contractors and remodelers who deal with theft also have the expense of renting replacement equipment. They probably will suffer lost productivity as they try to hunt down replacement items to rent. Those delays, in turn, can have a ripple effect on their other projects. Client satisfaction may be affected, as may employee morale. Insurance premiums may increase, as well. The ramifications reach far beyond the theft itself.

Construction asset management apps enable administrators and field crews to conduct equipment audits, determine the whereabouts of available equipment, provide accurate values for accounting purposes, increase disaster recovery capability and curb or even eliminate theft. Some solutions, like Asset Panda, offer a mobile app with a scanner, so no additional hardware is needed. From the palm of your hand, you can have 24/7, cloud-synced access to the complete lifecycle of your construction equipment and tools.


Courtney Roush

Courtney Roush is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist with 25 years of experience. Her favorite discipline is crisis communications – and it’s a highly relevant one in our present times.

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