How to Manage Your Tool Crib

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If you are in charge of your company's tool crib, you likely control a large amount of the company's assets, as the tools normally stored in a tool crib are very expensive. If a tool “walks away” you are responsible for locating it or you are responsible for the cost of replacement. It is your job to ensure every tool is accounted for at all times in the event of an audit or if another employee needs a piece of equipment.

Install chain-link fencing with a lockable gate around the tool crib. Chain-link fencing is relatively cheap to install and you can easily make it larger if your tool crib needs to grow. A lockable fence means no one can enter the tool crib without you knowing it. This prevents the appropriation of tools while you are not around.

Label each company-owned tool with an individual identification number. For example, if you have a 6-inch to 12-inch micrometer stored in your tool crib, a logical identification would be “MIC-06-12.” Scribe the surface with an electric engraver or with a letter punch kit. Permanently marking the tool prevents anyone from removing the label. If a permanent mark is impossible, use a secure adhesive label and mark the label.

Create a sign-out sheet that allows you to track the identification of the person signing out the tool, the date they signed it out, the date they signed it back in, the tool identification number, the person they signed it out from if you are not the only tool crib manager and the manager present when the tool was signed back in. This gives you a great paper trail to locate the tool if necessary.

Keep a complete inventory of your tools using the labels to identify them. If you have a relatively small inventory, complete a visual inspection of the tools in your crib every day before close of business. If you have a moderate or large tool crib, complete a weekly or monthly inspection. This will ensure that you are alerted early of any missing tool, and will increase your likelihood of recovery.