Travers Trim adopted ONE-KEY™ after thieves stole thousands of dollars of tools from his family's business.
“I realized it was designed for exactly what we were looking for. We needed an inventory system, not just to prevent theft, but to know who has what.”
Travers Trim knew something had to change when thousands of dollars worth of tools were stolen from his family's business.
Trim, 21, lives in Calgary in Alberta, Canada where, he works as the Operations Manager for The Gentlemen Pros, the plumbing, heating, and electrical company that his father started in 2002. He describes himself as a religiously devout person who loves race cars (his favorite Formula One driver at the moment is Lando Norris on the British McClaren team).
The family business has grown exponentially over the years, and now serves residential clients in three major metropolitan areas: The company's homebase in Calgary, as well Red Deer and Edmonton.
The Gentlemen Pros has an inventory of roughly 300 power tools and equipment distributed in kits across a fleet of about 50 work trucks. As operations manager, it's one of Trim’s many duties to keep track of all those mission critical assets.
He was only about a month into the job in April, 2023 when thieves broke into a company truck and made off with all the tools inside.
“There was a lot of money that was lost in that break in,” Trim said.
The theft was just the beginning of the problem. At the time of the break-in, The Gentlemen Pros had no real inventory management system to speak of. Tools would get loaded onto trucks, but nothing ever got written down. Without knowing the specific serial numbers of the stolen tools, any hope of recovering them went out the window.
“Because we weren’t really tracking anything, we didn’t know which of the 300 items were stolen,” Trim said. “It was impossible to figure out what exactly was gone.”
The stolen tools were counted as a loss. But the incident galvanized Trim to make sure something like this never happened again.
His first instinct was to use GPS to track tools in the field.
“As I started looking, it came to my realization that GPS is very expensive and very big and doesn’t have a long battery life,” Trim said.
“My initial thought was Apple Air Tags,” Trim said. “I actually got in contact with Apple about tracking 300 items. But they said no, each iTunes account can only have 16 Air Tags associated with it. Obviously, that isn’t going to work for us.”
“I realized it was designed for exactly what we were looking for,” he said. “We needed an inventory system, not just to prevent theft, but to know who has what.”
After a little more research, The Gentlemen Pros followed Trim’s recommendation and invested in 300 ONE-KEY™ Bluetooth Tracking Tags, one for each asset in the company’s tool and equipment inventory.
So far, they’ve tagged the entire Calgary inventory and have started to make progress in both the Red Deer and Edmonton markets.
“This inventory system is my baby,” Trim said. “So far it’s been great. It’s easy and it makes sense.”
With One-Key, the company can now track the serial numbers and locations of each tool, offering a lifeline in the event of future thefts. Before One-Key, tracking down a specific tool required a lot of guesswork and tedious email chains between team members that often led to nowhere. Now, if a team member is looking for a specific tool, they can simply check the app.
“It definitely is a great system,” Trim said. “I appreciate that the software is free and it’s not a monthly subscription. I love that I can use it on any tool, not just Milwaukee tools. And I love that it has added transparency to who has what.”