Why having too many tools creates inefficiency
There are a number of issues associated with having an overstock of assets in your tool park.
Firstly, a large number of tools requires more time and money invested in maintenance, with larger stocks having to be managed more carefully. If you have duplicates of the same item, it’s likely that certain tools aren't being used. From a lean thinking standpoint, overstock is considered to be waste - as there is little return on investment for you or your customers.
When considering waste, it’s important to differentiate between a large tool park that has accumulated over time and one that has been created by investing considerable upfront capital. For the latter, when investing in new tools, it’s important to consider the value you're getting from each asset in terms of the frequency of use.
For tool parks that have been built up over time, overstock often occurs when new tools are added without existing assets being removed. Having duplicates can make it difficult to keep track of what needs to be repaired and when - increasing the investment needed in maintenance. If a company is using a manual asset management system, such as an Excel spreadsheet, this may be even harder to track.
By not knowing what condition your tools are in, workers may be given unusable or dangerous equipment - reducing productivity, increasing downtime and putting staff at risk of accidents.