Office optimisation - into week 3

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:

  1. move
  2. see what's at the back on the shelves
  3. 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.


  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 


 Bento for iphoneBento for Mac



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..