Smart Solutions

Icon Mechanical Streamlines Inventory Management and Cuts Costs with Milwaukee Tool’s ONE-KEY™ App

Icon Mechanical streamlined its inventory process dramatically with Milwaukee Tool’s ONE-KEY, a free digital platform that allows users to track all their tools and equipment in real time (among other features).

In search of a way to track equipment efficiently, Icon Mechanical took advantage of Milwaukee Tool’s ONE-KEY™, the first digital platform for tools and equipment. Now, it has a full picture of the company’s allocation and location of equipment and has experienced a noteworthy increase in tools being returned. “It’s made our jobs so much easier,” said Frank Dickerson, warehouse operations director for Icon.

Game-Changing Technology

When Dickerson first heard about ONE-KEY from his Milwaukee Tool sales representative, he was a bit skeptical. “You just never know if what you’re hearing about is just a sales piece or the real deal,” said Dickerson. “I’ve been in warehouse operations all my life, and sometimes you run into situations where you’ve been oversold.”

Dickerson is responsible for managing and maintaining the company’s growing list of equipment. The company specializes in the design, fabrication, installation, modification, and ongoing service of process piping, power piping, boiler making, industrial equipment installation, and HVAC for health care, laboratories, pharmaceutical, educational, and commercial buildings—so the equipment list is extensive.

First introduced little more than a year ago, Milwaukee Tool’s ONEKEY combines tool and software technology into a tool management solution that provides a better way for work to get done for any size company. This technology can help solve user problems and frustrations the industry has never before been able to address.

The application offers a variety of functionalities to increase company and user productivity—including the ability to track tools in real time, customize M18 FUEL™ ONE-KEYcompatible products, and generate reports for electrical terminations with key electrical products. In getting started, Dickerson was particularly interested in ONE-KEY’s simplified tool and equipment management function.

Through the ONE-KEY inventory management functionality, a user can create a central place to manage all of their tools and equipment across their network of jobs and operators—all through the free-to-use web and mobile app. Putting information where it can be easily accessed allows users to keep track of the location of their tools and equipment at all times.

“At the time, we really didn’t have any system in place to track our equipment, so the idea that ONEKEY would allow me to do this all in one place—and for free—was incredible,” said Dickerson.

Up and Running

In February, Icon began working with Milwaukee Tool and implementing the inventory management functionality of ONE-KEY. “It wasn’t hard to get started with, and we received a really positive response right away for how streamlined it made our entire inventory process,” said Dickerson.

When tools and equipment are brought to him after job completion, Dickerson is able to bring up the ONE-KEY app on his phone, confirm a tool came from the correct jobsite, verify the serial number, log it back into the system, and receive it back into the warehouse. When equipment is ready to be allotted to the next jobsite, he just needs to go into the app, add the person and what jobsite it is going to, and close the app. And this process works with every tool he has—not just Milwaukee tools.

“I can’t say enough how easy it is to learn and use,” said Dickerson. “Just to see how easy it would be for my staff to use, I equipped them with some smartphones and got them up and running with ONE-KEY. The adoption of the system has been received very well…. My entire staff is now using it on a daily basis. It’s that simple—anyone can use it.”

Before using ONE-KEY, Dickerson had a hard time locating tools. Tools would not always make it back to the warehouse. The new system has led to full accountability for the entire company.

‘A Feature for Everyone’

ONE-KEY is opening the door to the first-ever fully connected jobsite. It has already started to noticeably and positively affect the productivity and performance of companies taking full advantage of its features.

“Everyone has a smartphone these days anyway,” said Dickerson. “ONE-KEY is free, and it’s simply a no-brainer. With the ability for ONE-KEY to introduce new functionality to tools even well after purchase, I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to use it. There’s a feature in ONE-KEY for everyone—you just need to try it out,” he said.

Given the success he has seen with the inventory management feature, Dickerson plans to introduce other features of the ONE-KEY system to Icon—everything from using the app to configure Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL ONE-KEY-compatible tools to improve the end of line quality control process to keeping a virtual eye on where these tools are in real time.

“Before we started with ONE-KEY, we weren’t a dedicated Milwaukee customer. After our experience here, I’m committed to purchasing Milwaukee,” said Dickerson. “We’ve been going through some growth and we’re going to have a lot more jobs. My goal is to use ONE-KEY for every resource it has. Absolutely.”

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