Magazine Article | December 20, 2012

RFID Enables Self-Service Tool Rental

By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine

Speedy Services is able to provide 24/7 access to equipment for its customers thanks to RFID-fueled ‘pods.’

One of the many advantages of using RFID for asset tracking is that it operates relatively autonomously — staff members never have to chase assets with a pen and paper or a bar code scanner. Items can be tracked without much human intervention at all. A United Kingdom tool rental company has leveraged this capability to design unmanned, self-service equipment “pods” that provide self-service capabilities to its far-flung construction customers. RFID provides real-time monitoring of all equipment, while customers enjoy 24/7 access and consolidated invoicing.

Speedy Services is the UK’s largest tool and equipment rental company. The company provides equipment rental and support to customers in the construction, infrastructure, industrial, rail, and manufacturing sectors. Speedy operates a network of 320 depots across the country where equipment can be dispatched either directly to customers or delivered using one of the company’s 1,200 vehicles. Some customers require greater access to tools and equipment, however. In some cases, they might require equipment during late evening hours or on the weekend, which could cause a delay of several hours, depending on which depot they use. Other customers working in remote areas might also have to wait several hours for delivery from the nearest depot.

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