Step 3 - Make it possible to store stuff in our storage room
In our facility there's an enlarged cupboard next to the lift. It had become a kind of dumping ground for various bits and pieces. A bit of a hotchpotch really. Got right into the back of that and removed various flight cases/t-shirts and hats. All kinds of other junk that we needn't have been storing for such a long time.
This has freed up enough space that you can now:
- see what's at the back on the shelves
- store things that have been taking up valuable space elsewhere
Step 4 - Re-cataloging the assets (This is the iphone bit)
Over the past 5 1/2 years we've maintained asset lists in various forms.
- Excel documents - Which proved to be a little bit clunky and unlike Office 2011 for Mac, 2001 certainly didn't have any useful group editing features.
- FileMaker Pro (Offline) - Had the advantage of having all assets in one place: iloks, software codes, hardware assets and keys. Also initially required being the latest DB file to be pushed/pulled from the server. So sometimes got a little unwieldy to manage.
- FileMaker Pro (Served) - Moving the FMP DB onto an old system we had kicking around simplified certain aspects of the asset management process. It required people to logon to a web site and update the location of said asset. Turns out that wasn't going to happen.
So, I came up with moving the FMP database to Bento for Mac. As you may have read in previous blog posts I use Bento for project related information as it is (Change lists, LFOA's etc). I do this because it has a very useful, adaptable iPhone application.
As you can see, it's possible to add pictures to the assets etc. This is very useful for determining which generation of kit a particular item is. Here for example you can see a first generation Extendit unit.
As a company we have moved to Yammer for a large portion of our internal communication. It's a Twitter clone for companies. As such it allows the addition of #hashtags to entries. We use these hashtags for project names, utility (shoppinglist, servers etc).
To get round the major disadvantage with this method of asset management I created a new Yammer hashtag for movement of assets. This means that while I am the only one who can update the asset list I don't have to be present at a particular time, have access to the bento DB on my Mac or have to update at a particular time. I can search the Yammer feed by that hashtag and I'll get a complete breakdown of the fact that asset 72 was moved to room 6 for example.
More to follow..