Snap-On Tools is a well-known, respected manufacturer of tools for maintenance and sustainment professionals. While the company has existed for more than 100 years, it seems possible that its broad range of capabilities may not be as widely known. With its 28 wholly owned subsidiaries, this worldwide company can provide solutions for a wide range of industries, everything from aviation, to aerospace, to electronics, to mining, and military and defense.
In fact, Snap-On has been providing products to the Department of Defense for many years. But their goal is to be a provider for more than just tools ordered for one-time use. Among their advanced capabilities are logistics sustainment solutions, asset management and vending systems, advanced tool control, custom tool kitting, and more.
Their logistics sustainment services include 4PL and 3PL solutions. This means they’ll manage all aspects of the supply chain for the tools needed to work on a particular asset, including data analysis, tracking, procurement and upgrading of tools. Snap-On will not only deliver tools made by its own companies, but also tools made by others, to make sure that everything needed to work on a particular asset are available and at the ready—including the provision of dedicated warehousing and just-in-time delivery.
Their asset management systems include software that provides a holistic view of the tools throughout a whole facility or even many facilities—what’s checked in or out for use, what’s missing or needing repair, what needs calibration and/or re-certification, who is authorized to have access to specific tools, etc. Their asset vending systems help track “consumables” like specific screws and bolts, requiring personnel to swipe a badge to gain access to parts, and allowing an inventory of usage by specific personnel.
Their advanced tool control and kitting systems can automate the control process by requiring personnel to badge out and badge in the tools, and by utilizing a special foam storage system that can digitally detect the presence or absence of each tool. With their level-5 tool control, all aspects of the inventory control system can be integrated to analyze deeper trends. On a more granular level, their specialized kitting services provide CAD-developed tool layouts designed to optimize access to the tools needed most.
Snap-On also specializes in several digitally enhanced tools and electronic diagnostic tools. For instance, their torque tools can digitally track and store real-time values delivered by each torque wrench. They also can track when calibration and certification last occurred.
Their diagnostic products provide maintenance and troubleshooting capabilities for tactical and nontactical vehicles. These tools derive their advanced capabilities from Snap-On’s ownership of a company that provides OEMS with the software that goes into many vehicles’ computer systems.
And beyond the many categories of tools Snap-On manufactures and sells, the company provides tool customization services at a holistic level. They can go into a facility and analyze how maintenance and sustainment work gets done, and then design solutions that optimize the numbers of tools to be placed in specific locations in particular configurations so that the result allows maintenance times to be lowered and productivity increased. In this way, they aren’t just a provider of tools; they help deliver continuous process improvement solutions.