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Smart Site: Improving tool time and site safety

Discover how our IoT-enabled Smart Site is taking the guesswork out of productivity monitoring to improve project outcomes


Coates is developing a range of complementary technologies and services to support customers in improving productivity and efficiency. 

By equipping its fleet with telemetry devices, Coates is helping customers to capture vital data on the location and utilisation of powered mobile plant. This data feeds into the Coates Connect customer portal, where it can be analysed to produce actionable insights and enable customers to make smarter hire decisions and improve productivity.

Taking this solution one step further, Coates has developed Smart Site, another high-value offering that helps customers optimise tool time efficiency by providing live visibility of assets and people. Here we take a closer look at the Smart Site technology and the benefits it brings.

What is Smart Site?

Time spent looking and waiting for tools and equipment, or in non-productive or restricted areas of a job site, can have a huge impact on the delivery, profitability and safety of a construction project, industrial shutdown or maintenance event.

Smart Site is an innovative productivity tool available exclusively to Coates customers that aims to increase productivity by reducing wasted time and movement around a site. Part of Coates’s Internet of Things (IoT) strategy, Smart Site is a great example of proprietary technology that’s informing customer projects and adding value far beyond equipment hire.

How does Smart Site work?


Coates uses LoRaWAN® technology to create a dedicated, geographically specific network around the perimeter of a customer site, turning that site into a Smart Site. Any personnel tagged for time and motion studies, or tagged equipment and other assets located within that geographical area, can then be easily located, tracked and studied. Valuable data on the movement of personnel and tagged assets can also be used to find new project efficiencies. 

“To set up a Smart Site, antennas are strategically placed around the site to network a pre-determined geographical area. This area could be an industrial site, a construction site or a warehouse,” explains Neil Moore, Coates Product Specialist - Industrial Services. “Once this network is up and running, it gathers information on all of the devices located within that area.”

“Geozones can be created inside these networks to isolate key locations on site, like tool stores, permit huts and break-out facilities,” Neil continues. “This allows customers to study time and motion to measure tool time by determining the amount of productive time spent in predetermined work zones, and the amount of unproductive time spent outside of these zones.” 

Why do customers need Smart Sites?


Locating Equipment

Smart Site provides customers with a network that allows equipment to be easily and accurately located. Live visibility of equipment during a project means customers can redistribute or off hire underutilised equipment to optimise productivity and reduce costs.

When events close out and high-cost hire items can’t be found, hire costs can quickly run over budget. “Some equipment may only be the size of a small carry on suitcase but it can be worth upward of $20,000,” Neil explains. 

“As this type of equipment often doesn’t have its own power source, it isn’t compatible with the retrofitted telemetry device that Coates is currently installing across its mobile fleet. Smart Site addresses this gap for customers.”

Improving productivity

The costs of an unproductive workforce can also quickly add up. By studying time and motion  around sites, Smart Site also helps customers to better understand productivity, and to identify inefficient elements of the site layout that may be inhibiting tool time. 

“There is a considerable opportunity for Coates customers to improve on tool time by understanding where the productivity roadblocks are, and which processes need to be refined,” says Neil. 

“Whether people are spending too much time in the permit hut, the tool store or attending site meetings, Smart Site helps customers to find these roadblocks and to refine these processes, enabling increased tool time and therefore a return to operations sooner.”

What are the customer benefits?


Here are a few of the many customer benefits of Smart Site. 

Cost and productivity
  • Increased tool time and project efficiency.
  • Smart Site mitigates the cost of lost or misplaced equipment, particularly during event close out and demobilisation. 
  • Creating and sending SMS and email alerts can help customers to prevent theft and the accidental removal of hire equipment from site. 
  • Another cost benefit is the ability to locate high demand equipment and quickly make it available to new users. 


  • Smart Site helps customers to monitor and manage access to restricted areas, with alerts triggered by unauthorised access. 
  • To manage safety incidents, customers can set parameters that allow alerts to be sent when a member of the workforce remains stationary for a pre-determined period of time, allowing welfare checks to be performed. 
  • Smart Site was also recently used to assist a customer in monitoring social distancing on its work site. In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak this technology allows customers to quickly and easily determine who may be at risk of exposure. 


Industrial Site Design

By using data from the movement of assets and time and motion studies, Smart Site can help customers to optimise site layout. “Perhaps the tool store needs to be located more centrally or more toilet facilities are required, whatever the inefficiencies are Smart Site can help to refine and inform the necessary change,” Neil concludes. “It’s all about understanding site dynamics and maximising the time spent in productive areas.”

To learn more about Smart Site, SiteIQ and other proprietary technologies contact the Coates Industrial Solutions team. 



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