2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2010 4:47 PM by Rhino_1

    Asset/Inventory Management



      Asset/Inventory Management




      I'm totally new to FM but after some research seriously think it may be the solution for my problem. So, I'll explain my situation and proposed workflow idea. 


      My section of the company among many other responsibilities stores a large majority of the companies resources and assets. These assets include simple things like torches and handheld radios right up to desktop/laptop computers and large well equipped vehicles & trucks. To put it in simple terms we are involved in event management and planning. We will plan an event, identify what resources are required for the event and then hand over those resources to the staff responsible for executing the event management plan. Then post event all the gear is returned to us. Some of the equipment is identifiable i.e. serial numbers but other items are not i.e. notepads or various booklets etc. 


      At present one of my administration officers lists all the items using excel so that it can be tracked and audited but as you can imagine this system is very basic, labour intensive and very much prone to user error. 


      I guess you are starting to get an idea of what I am after (hopefully) based on the above description. Basically what I'd love is a system whereby all the assets we are responsible for are placed in a database,  clients book the assets out by signing out a printed report of some form listing all items they are taking. The system then records and tracks all assests and can at any time produce reports on various things like client activity, individual assets etc etc etc. 


      I use both PC and Mac at home but at work it's all PC. In fact I'd be quite happy to have the entire system running from one standalone PC rather than the network. 


      I have looked at an off the shelf product which includes a hans help PC/Bar Code reader called mobileasset v5 but I'm not certain if this is the perfect fit for us or not. 


      I guess in the end the system would be very similar to what equipment hire businesses would use but we don't actually hire the gear out for money we simply book the gear out to other sections of the same company.


      Does any of that make sense?


      I'm open for suggestions on both potential applications if you don't think FM is going to fit but if you do think it will do the job please advise from your collective experiences how best to achieve my desired outcome. I guess I would need to develop bar code systems for speed and simplicity but then I'd need a bar code reader.





        • 1. Re: Asset/Inventory Management

          FileMaker could easily handle the workflow you described. It's not uncommon to use barcode readers with FileMaker -- they essentially mimic keyboard input.


          The advantage of FileMaker over an off-the-shelf system is that you can customize it to exactly suit your needs, and make changes quickly. It runs on both Mac and PC, and can be shared on both at the same time, and shared over the web.


          Download the demo and try out some of the included templates. If you get stuck, you can always come back here, or employ a FileMaker consultant to get you going.


          You are correct in your assessment that tracking your inventory using a database will be a huge improvement over spreadsheets.


          Let me know if you have a specific question.

          • 2. Re: Asset/Inventory Management

            Thanks for the response Fitch,


            I guess all I have to do now is have a play with the free trial version and see if I can make some sense of it. I suspect the tracking of items won't be that difficult but it needs to be really simple for non computer literate staff to operate and be able to produce reports on.