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Managed tool store drives efficiency at major WA mine site

The client

One of Australia’s largest nickel and cobalt producers recently approached Coates Hire for help driving efficiency and performance in the allocation and management of tools and equipment. This Western Australian mine site currently employs over 1000 employees and contractors. 

The problem

Despite being a leader in its field, this client was finding it increasingly difficult and time consuming to manage its own tools and equipment in-house. This process was also diverting focus away from the more important task of operating a large mine site.

“Previously the client had issued a complete tool kit to each individual worker, but in many cases a full kit was not required,” explains Neil Moore, Coates Hire Product Specialist, Industrial Services. “This meant there was a tendency to oversupply equipment to the workforce.”

“Our client was also having to frequently replace tools that went missing. Without a specialist tool and equipment management system in place they also reported unnecessary delays when tools and equipment hadn’t been certified, couldn’t be located, or simply weren’t in good enough working condition for people to use,” says Neil.

The solution

This client turned to Coates Hire, a recognised industry leader and specialist in equipment hire and tool store operation, to provide a comprehensive tool store solution for this site.


“Having achieved successful outcomes for other operations in WA and the Northern Territory, Coates Hire was the obvious choice to help this client optimise the management and performance of its tools and equipment,” says Neil. “With a proven track record in tool store operation and cost management, in early 2019 Coates Hire was chosen to implement a new fully managed tool store for this site.”

Now up and running, this facility offers a broad scope of services and support to this operation. Overseen by Coates Hire equipment specialists, the new fully managed tool store is now responsible for all aspects of equipment allocation, traceability, maintenance, cleaning and storage. It also coordinates off site repairs and certification as required.

According to Neil, the use of the proprietary CHASE management system sets Coates Hire apart in the industry, and contributes to the success of many tool stores just like this one. 

“In my experience customers really value the ability to have one system, and one provider that can manage all aspects of tool and equipment management, as well as being connected with the knowledge and expertise that specialist store operators bring,” he says. 

The impact

This client now enjoys the convenience of a fully managed on site tool store. Other benefits include: 

  • Workforce productivity: Tools are readily available and remain certified and in good working order.

  • Reduced equipment costs: Better allocation and tracing capability allows this workforce to rely on a smaller fleet of tools and equipment.

  • Operational focus: This solution gives the client the confidence to focus on more critical aspects of operation, knowing that its tools and equipment are being optimally managed.

  • Tool hygiene: All Coates Hire managed tool stores subject tools and equipment to a thorough cleaning regime, a process that has become vital to continued operation during COVID-19.

  • Flexibility: Working with a large national provider like Coates Hire allows large mining and industrial sector sites to quickly scale up and scale down tools and equipment, to allow for maintenance events throughout the year. “Having the tool store up and running with an efficient equipment management system in place allows clients to quickly and seamlessly expand its operations, and bring equipment on site to accommodate planned and unplanned events like shutdowns, breakdowns and maintenance campaigns,” says Neil. 

“Our client is now realising the benefits of a managed tool store approach, and values the high level of trust it can have in this relationship,” says Neil. “After a few weeks of aligning and agreeing on expectations, our client has the confidence to step back and allow this part of its operations to run optimally and smoothly.”


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