Lost or stolen equipment – what now?

It is a sad fact of life that inevitably some of your equipment or material will be lost or stolen. Trying to prevent loss and theft is important but make sure to prepare for when it happens as well. This gives you the best chances of recovering lost or stolen equipment!

Imagine that a drill is missing just when you’re about to head out for an important job. You have no idea where it was last used, by who or for how long it has been missing. You have a rough idea of which type of drill it was but someone in accounting will have to search for its serial number. You’re running late for the job but you have no idea if there are any other drills of this type left or where they are, costing you even more time. Not a fun situation!


Luckily you can avoid this kind of drama with a few simple tips.


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6 tips for dealing with material loss

  1. If equipment you were using is lost or stolen, contact the person in charge of equipment management as soon as possible. The sooner a theft is reported to the police or the search for a missing item starts the better the odds of recovering the stolen or lost equipment.

  2. Always keep track of who last had equipment. This saves you valuable time once an item is missing. Avoid having to contact everyone on your team just to establish who last used a missing piece of equipment.

  3. Store the details of all of your equipment so you can easily report lost or stolen equipment. Do you know the serial numbers of all of your equipment by heart? Keep track of this information so you can easily file a police report to have the best chance of reclaiming your valuable equipment.

  4. Don’t just check out, check in as well so reporting of theft or loss can be done as quickly as possible. By requiring items to be checked in you can notice that an item is missing when it is overdue, not when it is already needed again.

  5. Keep track of all of your equipment to minimize the impact of an item being stolen or lost. If you have a full overview of all of your material you can quickly find a spare or know if you need to order a replacement. Good equipment reporting will save you time and effort in the long run.

  6. Use software and tools to help you with the points above, using pen and paper for such tasks in this day and age is outdated. Next to wasted time and impracticality, just think of the many other drawbacks of pen and paper: lost papers, indecipherable handwriting, no updates, backups or syncing… And estimate how much time and money upgrading to a more efficient method would save you!

Equipment & asset tracking software example:

Using the right software to track where everything is and who has it will reduce the impact of loss or theft while dramatically increasing your overall return on investment on your valuable resources.