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Author Topic: Inventory Managment for Production Company  (Read 6486 times)

Austin Aske

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Inventory Managment for Production Company
« on: April 11, 2013, 04:21:16 am »

Greetings,

I was wondering what you guys working in mid/large sized production companies are using to manage inventory. We are looking for something that can handle not only the inventory but also to help with allotting gear or busy weekends.

Thanks for any help.

- Austin
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 12:21:38 pm »

Greetings,

I was wondering what you guys working in mid/large sized production companies are using to manage inventory. We are looking for something that can handle not only the inventory but also to help with allotting gear or busy weekends.

Thanks for any help.

- Austin


Check out Flex Rental Solutions. 
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Austin Aske

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 09:57:59 pm »


Check out Flex Rental Solutions.

Thanks for the info but Flex rental seems grat but probably more comber someand pricie for a company of our size to implement. We have been doing most of our tracking in a spread sheet but know here has got to be some other solutions out there.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 05:35:31 pm »

Greetings,

I was wondering what you guys working in mid/large sized production companies are using to manage inventory. We are looking for something that can handle not only the inventory but also to help with allotting gear or busy weekends.

Thanks for any help.

- Austin

Manufacturers and software developers please read the rules regarding answering open-ended questions with pointers to your own product. 

It's not allowed here.  If someone asks specifically about your product, you may answer.

Thank you for your cooperation.
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 09:50:22 am »

Thanks for the info but Flex rental seems grat but probably more comber someand pricie for a company of our size to implement. We have been doing most of our tracking in a spread sheet but know here has got to be some other solutions out there.

Thanks for the feedback!

Austin, I've been looking for such a solution or several years. However, it appears that the jump from a spreadsheet with the inventory on it to the next step (show prep, pull sheets, gear tracking, availability, bar coding, etc.) is quite the monumental jump. I'm sending out at least 2 and usually 3 and 4 shows a week and I still can't justify many thousands of dollars in purchase, training, and weeks of changing the modus operandi of our shop to accommodate the new method. And even then, I still have a small problem of folks other than me loading the trucks and (not) checking the list, as we did this weekend when a truck I didn't load was missing some rigging. At least I was available to run it to them, but what if this show had been 8 hours away, as is the case occasionally....

Maybe some day...

Geri O
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Jonathan Kok

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 03:15:38 pm »

Austin, I've been looking for such a solution or several years. However, it appears that the jump from a spreadsheet with the inventory on it to the next step (show prep, pull sheets, gear tracking, availability, bar coding, etc.) is quite the monumental jump. I'm sending out at least 2 and usually 3 and 4 shows a week and I still can't justify many thousands of dollars in purchase, training, and weeks of changing the modus operandi of our shop to accommodate the new method. And even then, I still have a small problem of folks other than me loading the trucks and (not) checking the list, as we did this weekend when a truck I didn't load was missing some rigging. At least I was available to run it to them, but what if this show had been 8 hours away, as is the case occasionally....

Maybe some day...

Geri O
RentalPoint has a hosted solution, billed monthly. Upgradeable packages (get the bits you need; don't need to buy the whole thing).  Might be worth at least a phone call.

jpk
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Marc Hayes

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 07:50:21 pm »

Greetings,

I was wondering what you guys working in mid/large sized production companies are using to manage inventory. We are looking for something that can handle not only the inventory but also to help with allotting gear or busy weekends.

Thanks for any help.

- Austin

Austin-
  I've been checking out "Production Assistant" for my company too.  Not as "pretty" to look at, but gets the job done and at a somewhat obtainable price point.  Lifetime upgrades too for no additional cost.  Thats a great perk. 

http://www.productionassistant.com.au/

-Marc
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 09:20:34 am »

You may want to find out what SunBelt rental, Hertz, Enterprise use to maintain an inventory and schedule. 
If you find the vender than that vender would be able to change the model and place your needs into the database and contracts. 

Most likely these will be Oracle or Sequel server supported tool. 

These Relational databases would have Client data base tied to Inventory data base tied to show schedule and rented inventory to the show.   

Rental cars data base is a very good example.   Why re-invent the wheel,  Modify to fit the need is lower cost. 

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Doug Fowler

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 01:26:57 pm »

You may want to find out what SunBelt rental, Hertz, Enterprise use to maintain an inventory and schedule. 
If you find the vender than that vender would be able to change the model and place your needs into the database and contracts. 

Most likely these will be Oracle or Sequel server supported tool. 

These Relational databases would have Client data base tied to Inventory data base tied to show schedule and rented inventory to the show.   

Rental cars data base is a very good example.   Why re-invent the wheel,  Modify to fit the need is lower cost.

The problem with "rental software" not built for the entertainment industry is much of it does not correctly package smaller items into larger "kits".

Think amp racks with PD, 4 amps, the case itself, etc. 

How about a standard audio work box?  There could easily be over a hundred discrete SKUs in the box. 

R2 is a good example of an Oracle based solution.  While it does support kits, it is still a difficult implementation. 

While R2 does a good job of multi-site management, you still have jump through hoops to make it do what you want it to do. 

My advice is forget anything not specifically designed for entertainment.  There are better solutions now than even 5 years ago.
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Doug Fowler

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 01:37:15 pm »

Austin, I've been looking for such a solution or several years. However, it appears that the jump from a spreadsheet with the inventory on it to the next step (show prep, pull sheets, gear tracking, availability, bar coding, etc.) is quite the monumental jump. I'm sending out at least 2 and usually 3 and 4 shows a week and I still can't justify many thousands of dollars in purchase, training, and weeks of changing the modus operandi of our shop to accommodate the new method. And even then, I still have a small problem of folks other than me loading the trucks and (not) checking the list, as we did this weekend when a truck I didn't load was missing some rigging. At least I was available to run it to them, but what if this show had been 8 hours away, as is the case occasionally....

Maybe some day...

Geri O

Bud, if you go inventory management, you have to go all in.

At Logic Systems, consoles get flipped, cases opened, and everything scanned.  Console, PSU cable, multipin fanout, comms handset/station. 

Impetus for that procedure was failure to include fanout for a show 3 hours away. 

Racks, stacks, and everything else gets scanned on the way to the truck and the order is "closed out" to ensure it all made on the truck. 

Each work box, including microphones, DIs, and everything in there (adapters, etc) get scanned each time.  Work boxes are dumped and rebuilt and scanned on a per-show basis. 

For anyone used to the A-rig, B-rig, C-rig model this is a huge step.

But in order to completely leverage inventory and cross-rent accurately, it's the only way to grow the business.  IOW, inventory management causes one to change the way things are done. 
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Austin Aske

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2013, 03:18:24 pm »

Bud, if you go inventory management, you have to go all in.

At Logic Systems, consoles get flipped, cases opened, and everything scanned.  Console, PSU cable, multipin fanout, comms handset/station. 

Impetus for that procedure was failure to include fanout for a show 3 hours away. 

Racks, stacks, and everything else gets scanned on the way to the truck and the order is "closed out" to ensure it all made on the truck. 

Each work box, including microphones, DIs, and everything in there (adapters, etc) get scanned each time.  Work boxes are dumped and rebuilt and scanned on a per-show basis. 

For anyone used to the A-rig, B-rig, C-rig model this is a huge step.

But in order to completely leverage inventory and cross-rent accurately, it's the only way to grow the business.  IOW, inventory management causes one to change the way things are done.

Doug, that is a great heads up for us and really anyone looking at making that jump. Sounds like all or nothing!

I also looked at Filemaker or Access and building my own solution, anyone have experience with ether?

Thanks,
Austin
Thanks
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Riley Casey

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 12:23:30 pm »

We have been using Filemaker Pro for 15 years and it's quite reliable.  Entry cost with used copies from Ebay is extremely low.  The real cost is your time and effort in building the system.  It's a blank canvas, not a production company inventory database, not a medical records database, not a software revisions database just a tool ready to be turned into one of those.  There  are several fora online that users can post questions in but be prepared for some major learning time and effort to achieve what you want.  The system we use is based on predefined case packs so that we don't track 150 items in case 2051, just that 2051 is a mics & stands pack for a music show or that case 883 is a wireless rack with eight UHF R combos. This makes it a bit more practical to build and manage on your own a small shop of ten people or less ( the most we have working with it ).  A multi site shop would almost certainly require more granularity.  A big plus side to growing your own in this area is being able to change the software down the road to accomodate changes in your business.  A major downside is not having an experienced hand at the software wheel to make things more efficient and effective than your own skills might be up to.


Doug, that is a great heads up for us and really anyone looking at making that jump. Sounds like all or nothing!

I also looked at Filemaker or Access and building my own solution, anyone have experience with ether?

Thanks,
Austin
Thanks

Tommy Peel

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 12:50:53 pm »

Doug, that is a great heads up for us and really anyone looking at making that jump. Sounds like all or nothing!

I also looked at Filemaker or Access and building my own solution, anyone have experience with ether?

Thanks,
Austin
Thanks

I don't know much about Filemaker, but I wouldn't recomend Access. Access doesn't scale up very well and isn't recommended if you have more than one user/computer that needs access to it. I am a Computer Information Systems major at UT Tyler(graduating in the Fall) and the general consensus about Access in my database classes has been "don't go there". Access isn't considered a "true database" by most people who deal with real databases(MS SQL server, MySQL, etc...). If possible I'd recommend a SQL based solution; there are some good non-SQL database's out there too, but I'm not very familiar with them.
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Richard Turner

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2013, 10:27:59 am »

Another option would be to look at using your accounting software, sage, peachtree etc. Most will accept barcode readers.

Its a bit more cumbersome to set up but it will also track your depreciation and handle your tax collection etc at the same time. It would likely be only an option for a small shop
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Leonard Cremer

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Re: Inventory Managment for Production Company
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 06:31:37 am »

Another option would be to look at using your accounting software, sage, peachtree etc. Most will accept barcode readers.

Its a bit more cumbersome to set up but it will also track your depreciation and handle your tax collection etc at the same time. It would likely be only an option for a small shop
We are using Netsuite in line with that Richard mentioned here. The beauty is that all the ERP, CRM and accounting is then in one system with the inventory management. If you only want inventory management this is not an option but if you are looking for a complete solution for a midsize company this is definitely something to look at.
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