In 2021, Randy Hind was put in charge of the tool inventory for Allstar Group, a construction company based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Right from the beginning, I could see that there was a big problem."

No one, it seemed, had been keeping track of the locations and statuses of any of the tools Hind was suddenly responsible for: Items regularly went missing or were completely unaccounted for to begin with, and there was no protocol for flagging tool statuses as “in-use” or decommissioned for service.  

“There was no way to know if a tool was in Seattle or Vancouver,” Hind said. “I had to go to each site and figure out where those tools were.”

Desperate to keep his head above water, Hind did his best to cobble together his own inventory management system using the Notes app on his iPhone. This was better than nothing, but the limitations quickly became apparent: The Notes app was quickly became so overwhelmed with how much information Hind was logging that it started to get sluggish.

“It would take me three to four minutes just to enter something, sometimes longer,” Hind said. “It took me so long with all the lagging that I had to take out a lot of the important information, such as the serial numbers and where [the tools] were the last time I checked them.”

Outside of work, Hind is a collector of rare antiques. One of his most interesting finds, he said, was “a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers” that he found in an auction house in New Jersey. Another time, he found a $450 painting by John Singer Sergeant that he estimated might be worth more than a million dollars. Though he has a keen appreciation for old things, Hind could see plainly that where his company’s tools were concerned, it was time for something new.

A co-worker mentioned it to him: A free and easy-to-use inventory management app by Milwaukee Tool called ONE-KEY™. 

Hind remembers that his first reaction was skepticism. He had some Milwaukee® tools in his inventory, but what about his many other non-Milwaukee tools? Would he be able to keep track of those on the One-Key app as well?

“Once I started entering stuff in, I found [One-Key] absolutely amazing. The tracking of the tools, being able to manage the tools—and I can do it all from my phone or my computer.”

He soon found out that the answer, of course, is yes: Among its many capabilities, One-Key allows users to track and manage…well, anything really, regardless of tool brand or whether it’s even a tool at all. As long as you can type its information into the app, snap its photo, or affix it with a Bluetooth Tracking tag, you can use One-Key to track and organize it.

“The one word that I would use to describe One-Key is ‘simplicity,’” Hind said. “I’m not very strong on the computer but I was able to figure it all out myself. I was a little apprehensive at first, but it’s all very self-explanatory. It’s made my job 10 times easier.”

Gone are the chaotic days of slowly logging partial records of tools into the Notes app. With One-Key, Hind’s inventory is now neatly organized and easy to keep track of. The once painful and time-consuming process of conducting inventory audits and routine tool transfers is now a breeze.

“Once I started entering stuff in, I found [One-Key] absolutely amazing,” Hind said. “The tracking of the tools, being able to manage the tools—and I can do it all from my phone or my computer.”

So far, Hind’s favorite thing about One-Key is his ability to store essential information for each tool within the app, including serial numbers, purchase receipts, warranties, service records, and calibration settings.

“We have a COR® audit in a couple of weeks and I’m excited about it because we have it all in our One-Key system,” Hind said.

It's been almost a year since Hind adopted One-Key. Now, he can’t imagine his job without it. 

“The simplicity of using the app is just absolutely incredible. From the system we had before to shifting to One-Key—I would pay a couple million for it. That’s how much work it’s saved me.”

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