Milwaukee One-Key™ – Evolution of Tool Technology

Milwaukee One-Key™ Tracking and Security Network

With the New Year just around the corner and the World’s largest consumer electronic show, CES, the first week of January it seems like a great time to reflect on how electronics have impacted the construction industry. Electronics are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the construction industry every day. From estimating software and smartphones to GPS locating equipment there is no shortage of examples. On the power tool side of things we’re seeing a fast expansion of tool tracking and security features similar to what Milwaukee has rolled out with their One-Key™ Tracking and Security Network.

Now I know there are lots of people out there that will say they have no use or desire to invest in more technology. For some in our industry that may make sense depending on how the tools are used and the size of the operation. However, for many contractors from small to large operations, keeping track of tools and equipment is an important consideration for the bottom line.

Over the last 5 years we’ve watched how the One-Key™ Tracking and Security Network has grown and developed into a very powerful tool for Milwaukee users. If you’re not currently taking advantage of this platform perhaps a quick review of the system can benefit you and your business.

What is One-Key™?

Before diving into the benefits of this platform its worth a quick overview of what exactly One-Key™ is. In a nut shell the One-Key™ system offers three distinct features including tool tracking, tool security, and smart tool controls. Integrated into a powerful cloud based platform that is updated on a regular basis the system is extremely flexible and offers options and benefits to a wide range of end users. With 5 years of development and advancements this is a system that’s now a proven technology and not just some selling feature to print on a box.

Milwuakee One-Key

Benefits of the Milwaukee One-Key™ System

When this system first came out 5 years ago I was a bit skeptical. At first it didn’t seem to offer much at least to me and how I manage jobs at work. But as this system has developed and gained acceptance in the industry I’ve become a bigger fan. Not only do I use it myself, but many of my sub-contractors are also using it more and more as they become more comfortable with the platform and technology. I recently asked Milwaukee why should users consider the Milwaukee One-Key™ system over some of the other platforms on the market and here’s what they had to say.

Industry’s Largest Tracking Network

  • One-Key is 3x larger in size than all of our competitors combined
  • One-Key averages 5.5 million location updates a day
  • One-Key has the most items tracked versus our competitors

Leader in Smart Tool Technology

  • Milwaukee has over 40 One-Key enabled items on the market today and that number is only growing
  • More smart items on the market than all of our competitors
  • One-Key allows a user to get more out of their tool than they ever could before
  • One-Key offers tool utilization, safety, security, tracking, diagnostics and maintenance on One-Key tools

We Know Inventory

  • Milwaukee puts the time into the One-Key software to make sure that we’re adding value to the contractor’s day, and taking some of the frustration out of an age-old problem on the jobsite
  • Other than just a list of tools, we offer valuable features such as, Geofencing, Barcoding, Inventory Audits, Tool Transfers, Jobsite management and people (crew) management
  • We are the only inventory management platform on the market that updates our system monthly
  • We are completely free to use

One-Key AppOne-Key™ – Something for Everyone

One-Key™ is a huge platform with nearly endless capabilities and may seem overwhelming especially for individual tradesmen or small construction companies. However, when you start digging into it you quickly realize there is something for everyone.

In my capacity helping manage a small to medium size general construction company we are not large enough to dive into a really detailed tool crib type management program. However, it is nice being able to keep track of the tools we own, and the ability to inventory them in a simple app. In the screen shot you can some of the Milwaukee tools we’ve got in our system.

We also take advantage of the smart controls for the tools. One of my favorite controls is the ability to turn on and off the M18 RADIUS lights when we hang them up high on a building project. Last year when building a small school it was extremely useful being able to program the lights to come on before workers arrived and turn them off after the day was complete by using the built-in scheduling feature.

Recent use of the M18 1″ High Torque Impact Wrench had one of the fleet mechanics in my office asking how to get the app so he could customize the settings for speed. This from a guy that’s really not a “tech” kind of guy, but he saw the value in being able to set up the tool to meet his needs.

The bottom line is this, technology is here to stay in the tool industry and if you take the time to start using it the benefits will likely help your bottom line. Being more efficient, keeping track of your investments and being more organized are all great benefits for any business. So if you haven’t started using the One-Key™ features it’s time to start!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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