Supplier Tooling Register Template for your fixed assets

Anne-Sophie Le Bloas

CEO of Ravacan

We often hear that manufacturers have difficulties keeping track of how many fixed assets they have outside their organization. Most manufacturers buying mechanical components need to purchase custom molds, dies, and plates used on the suppliers' machines. These pieces of equipment are costly and sensitive. You would think it should be easy to map their precise location, condition, and performance quickly. However, as your business grows and without proper solutions, it will become challenging to track them efficiently.

I have experienced it first hand during my career, and I have implemented such solutions several times at industry leaders in Consumer Goods, Aeronautics, Automotive, and Electronics.

In this article, I'm sharing a set of templates and guidelines to get you started with a Supplier Tooling Register.

What is a Supplier Tooling Register?

A tooling register is a ledger of all the fixed assets inside and outside your organization.

Setting a Supplier Tooling Register will help you record your equipment's physical location, condition, capacity, and performance tremendously.

You can then leverage this information to plan capacity allocation, track performance, and plan Capital Expenditure (CapEx).

The Risks of Not Tracking Supplier Tooling

Abrupt tool break

The worst that can happen is that a tool breaks. In that case, you cannot use the tool anymore, and therefore will be unable to produce parts until a new mold is created, which will undoubtedly take several months. Unplanned downtimes will lead to missed sales and remarkably high expenses, such as extra time to recover the backlog, express shipping/air freight, low negotiation leverage with alternative sources.

Fatigue is a significant cause of mold damage and thus breakdown. You can prevent this by identifying what tools are in poor and average condition and when they will reach end-of-life. Also, ensure your suppliers conduct proper regular maintenance and have an efficient channel to report risks they identify. Right now, with the COVID crisis, some suppliers might have cash flow issues and might skip some required maintenance.

Uncontrolled Bottlenecks

Another considerable risk for your business is the lack of anticipation of bottlenecks. Your sales might experience seasonality, peaks, or explosive growth. Not having easy access to supplier capacity data is like flying in the mist with no controls. Again, this will lead to missing sales and high expenses.

With a clear view of your equipment's daily and weekly capacity, you can find solutions before it's too late. Flattening some of the demands, agreeing with your supplier to increase the number of shifts, or re-activating inactive equipment are some levers you will be able to pull to reduce the stress on your planning.

The Demand / Capacity ratio is a good KPI to track to detect potential bottlenecks. However, it must count all the demands of parts that the same equipment could produce.

Intellectual Property theft

Lack of proper tracking of your equipment location, especially molds with the imprint of your designs, seriously exposes your company to IP theft. It not only will make your company lose sales, but will also damage your brand image, as the quality of the counterfeits items will rarely match your own.

Without tracking, you cannot guarantee that your molds are at your approved supplier and not relocated to a subcontractor without your knowledge or that they were properly destroyed after their end of life.

A Tooling Register will give you the minimum structure to trace location, stage, store pictures, and documents. 

Poor Performance

With regular use, your equipment will deteriorate and lose performance over time. It will lead to a higher lever of scraps and waste, leading to higher part cost and efficiencies for your supplier.

Being able to follow performance indicators can help you assess the return of investment of refurbishment or replacement.

What Data Should You Collect in Your Tooling Register?

You can break down your tooling register into segments:

  • Tool Detail: Information of the specific fixed asset: Identification or serial number, owner, tool type, parts produced, stage, condition

  • Supplier: Location, supplier name, primary contact

  • Specifications: Dimensions, manufacturer, type of machine, start of production, lifetime

  • Costs: PO number, cost, warranty

  • Capacity: Number of cavities or parts per cycle, Cycle time, OEE, number of shifts, scrap %

Get started with a tooling register right away.

To get you started, we are sharing a supplier tooling template that you can download:

Download for Free

Going further

This spreadsheet is the first step that every organization needs to take at a minimum. It serves as a great baseline. For larger organizations, we recommend opting for Ravacan Supplier Tooling. It delivers a robust and user-friendly system.

Ravacan's cloud-based tooling register will help you:

  • Receive automatic updates directly from suppliers

  • Get alerts when tools are in bad condition, need replacement, or when bottlenecks appear.

  • Create dashboards for corporate reporting with BU/Region analysis

  • Allow suppliers to upload documents and pictures for condition reports

  • Benchmark the best mold manufacturers and track tooling performance

You can learn more about the Ravacan Tooling Register by booking a 15-minute call here with the team.


The goal of regularly updating your Supplier Tooling Register is to give you the tools you need to make operational decisions about your supply chain.

You will be able to able to answer questions like:

  • Do we have enough capacity to cope with the demands in the coming months?

  • Do I need to refurbish or replace some equipment in the next six months?

  • Am I overpaying for poor-performing fixed assets used at suppliers?

Building a comprehensive, operationally-focused supplier tooling register requires much work to set up, but the benefits are critical to growing your business and are worth the effort.

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