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Author Topic: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?  (Read 1113 times)

Tim Hite

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Going through some growing pains here. . .

I've been doing manual equipment lists when dropping off gear for rentals but it's sub-optimal. I recently did a film shoot and rented out a bunch of gear from my home studio for a couple days for set dressing. I was on set working but gear got shuffled and comingled during the course of setting up shots. I ended up walking off the shoot without a couple pairs of studio monitors. The gear got found but I had no labels on anything and I'd like to figure out a solution for the future and for the rest of my inventory.

We are still two man shop so I don't know that putting in a full bar code scanner system is the right move yet, but I'd like to put something on my gear to ID things. Also I'd like to have company ID on a label to help people return any missing gear in the future.

I guess the question is, what is the best process for this?

Bar code tags?
QR Code tags?
Separate company info stickers?
Where to source them?
Something that interfaces with rental management software that I don't have yet?

Things are taking off, gigs are getting bigger and I'm slowly getting buried in paperwork doing quotes and invoices manually using Apple Numbers and Pages and emailing PDF's.

I know that all these functions SHOULD be integrated, but is there a cost effective way to do it for a smaller operator ?
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 02:45:31 pm »

Going through some growing pains here. . .

I've been doing manual equipment lists when dropping off gear for rentals but it's sub-optimal. I recently did a film shoot and rented out a bunch of gear from my home studio for a couple days for set dressing. I was on set working but gear got shuffled and comingled during the course of setting up shots. I ended up walking off the shoot without a couple pairs of studio monitors. The gear got found but I had no labels on anything and I'd like to figure out a solution for the future and for the rest of my inventory.

We are still two man shop so I don't know that putting in a full bar code scanner system is the right move yet, but I'd like to put something on my gear to ID things. Also I'd like to have company ID on a label to help people return any missing gear in the future.

I guess the question is, what is the best process for this?

Bar code tags?
QR Code tags?
Separate company info stickers?
Where to source them?
Something that interfaces with rental management software that I don't have yet?

Things are taking off, gigs are getting bigger and I'm slowly getting buried in paperwork doing quotes and invoices manually using Apple Numbers and Pages and emailing PDF's.

I know that all these functions SHOULD be integrated, but is there a cost effective way to do it for a smaller operator ?
Have you looked at rentman.com?

It's everything I had hoped our open soirce project would be (except free).  Modern amd browser based.

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 03:37:53 pm »

Asset tags are essential even if you don't have them integrated with software, other than maybe a database (even a spreadsheet) to help keep track of repairs and warranty status.

We've generally gotten our tags from Metalcraft, but more recently are printing our own on a P-Touch printer with a custom report in our rental software (HireTrack NX).  The nice thing about printing your own is that you can make several copies (in different sizes even) of the same serialized tag to put in several locations.

Cables all get custom-printed velcro ties from Bardsco (they're sort of a rep for Cord-Lox?), and also most of them get custom-printed heatshrink from Conquest.  The heatshrink also helps implement a color code for cable lengths.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 05:22:41 pm »

Asset tags are essential even if you don't have them integrated with software, other than maybe a database (even a spreadsheet) to help keep track of repairs and warranty status.

We've generally gotten our tags from Metalcraft, but more recently are printing our own on a P-Touch printer with a custom report in our rental software (HireTrack NX).  The nice thing about printing your own is that you can make several copies (in different sizes even) of the same serialized tag to put in several locations.

Cables all get custom-printed velcro ties from Bardsco (they're sort of a rep for Cord-Lox?), and also most of them get custom-printed heatshrink from Conquest.  The heatshrink also helps implement a color code for cable lengths.
Agree,  asset tags on everything

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 08:19:35 pm »

Agree,  asset tags on everything

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

I'm not sure that sort of obvious labeling on a mic would fly for corporate work.  I've never worked a corporate gig where labeling that obvious (and un-camera-friendly) would fly.  Most other equipment is pretty easy to label though.  For some mics you can label inside them or just put a dab of colored paint (or nail polish) in the middle of the three pins of the XLR.  Some shops use an engraver to etch a small identifier into the shell of mics that have no other option too.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 08:22:55 pm »

I'm not sure that sort of obvious labeling on a mic would fly for corporate work.  I've never worked a corporate gig where labeling that obvious (and un-camera-friendly) would fly.  Most other equipment is pretty easy to label though.  For some mics you can label inside them or just put a dab of colored paint (or nail polish) in the middle of the three pins of the XLR.  Some shops use an engraver to etch a small identifier into the shell of mics that have no other option too.

The qlx-d is labeled in the battery compartment.    You are right, if I needed to bring wired mics to a gig with IMAG this would be an issue. 

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

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Cleveland OH
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Geert Friedhof

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 08:44:33 pm »

20 years ago we put smal stickers on the outside, and put uv markings on the inside. Sometimes we engraved things (avalon, foucusrite etc) on the frame. Point being is: mark it obviously, but always have a hidden marking.

The same company has now rfid tags, as much as possible.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 08:53:07 pm by Geert Friedhof »
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Riley Casey

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 10:05:12 pm »

I used stick on labels for years with my company name, phone, logo and they were easily peeled off.  Customers complained that the labels on mics looked ugly on camera so those came off first.  Eventually we decided on the KISS principle.  Everything too small for a stencil is marked with paint markers.

LINK
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 11:30:07 pm by Mac Kerr »
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Tim Hite

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 10:48:06 pm »

I looked at Rentman a while ago but it doesn't look like it will integrate with quickbooks. Currently looking at Intellievent but that's super spendy. Also looking at RentalPoint, which does what I want but I'd need to set up hosting for the package.

Taking another look at rentman and will email them to see how they integrate with QB and CC payment processing, since Square isn't cutting the mustard for deposits, either.



Have you looked at rentman.com?

It's everything I had hoped our open soirce project would be (except free).  Modern amd browser based.

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk

I'll have to look into UV marking equipment for visible gear like mics and stands. That would be an elegant solution that I can inspect without even having to touch the gear in someone else bag or case.

20 years ago we put smal stickers on the outside, and put uv markings on the inside. Sometimes we engraved things (avalon, foucusrite etc) on the frame. Point being is: mark it obviously, but always have a hidden marking.

The same company has now rfid tags, as much as possible.

I've about had it with Rip-tie velcro stuff. I much prefer tie line and you can't beat the price. Custom printed colored heat shrink would be great, the length ID thing is a nice touch. Will look into pricing.


Cables all get custom-printed velcro ties from Bardsco (they're sort of a rep for Cord-Lox?), and also most of them get custom-printed heatshrink from Conquest.  The heatshrink also helps implement a color code for cable lengths.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 10:50:51 pm »



Agree,  asset tags on everything

Sent from my VS996 using Tapatalk
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2018, 11:05:47 pm »

The qlx-d is labeled in the battery compartment.    You are right, if I needed to bring wired mics to a gig with IMAG this would be an issue.

We do try to squeeze the tags inside a mic whenever possible.  That's gotten easier with printing labels in-house; the guy doing the labels even managed to do one that'll carry a barcode and fit in between the XLR pins.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2018, 12:59:44 am »



Haha...More for our control and easy identification on joint gigs.

I pulled this out of a mic kit I happened to have in my car.  The guys could do a better job of putting the labels on straight.

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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Tim Hite

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2018, 01:57:04 am »

I get it.

I left my pair of PMC monitors behind at a job because I didn't inventory things off and on the truck. Lesson learned.

Having dealt with US Government property books in the past, I feel like I should have a good plan in place walking into this task.  I know I'm going to be adding a RMS software package shortly, and I may as well start integrating now.

Are you guys using barcode guns and cell phones to scan gear in and out?

Are you using pre-packed road cases with set inventories of gear?

I already feel like I'm going to end up buying a lot of stuff twice to manage the whole affair. . .I can't even figure out what size cases to standardize on right now.


Haha...More for our control and easy identification on joint gigs.

I pulled this out of a mic kit I happened to have in my car.  The guys could do a better job of putting the labels on straight.
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peter dakin

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 01:20:32 pm »

We went down the road of FLEX. Its not cheap, but its a beast and does what you need it to. Integrates with Quickbooks too.

We have barcode scanners and most items are barcoded. SDC and hand-held mics are tricky, are you want them barcoded but want them to still look tidy.
I've seen some companies use micro barcodes and stick them between pins 2&3 in the XLR chassis.

You can build racks temporarily or permanently, so you don't have to scan everything in a rack overtime, just scan the flightcase and the system know's what's in side.

I've used a few different software platforms and FLEX is far from perfect, but it seems the most logical to me.

However with all these programs, they're only as good as the people operating them.
If you don't scan something out, the whole system can collapse, so getting these systems might seem like a good idea on paper, but be prepared to have to hire someone, just to run the scanning/warehouse side of things.
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: Asset tags and ID labels? Rental mgmt and quoting/invoicing software?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 04:31:58 pm »

We went down the road of FLEX. Its not cheap, but its a beast and does what you need it to. Integrates with Quickbooks too.

We have barcode scanners and most items are barcoded. SDC and hand-held mics are tricky, are you want them barcoded but want them to still look tidy.
I've seen some companies use micro barcodes and stick them between pins 2&3 in the XLR chassis.

You can build racks temporarily or permanently, so you don't have to scan everything in a rack overtime, just scan the flightcase and the system know's what's in side.

I've used a few different software platforms and FLEX is far from perfect, but it seems the most logical to me.

However with all these programs, they're only as good as the people operating them.
If you don't scan something out, the whole system can collapse, so getting these systems might seem like a good idea on paper, but be prepared to have to hire someone, just to run the scanning/warehouse side of things.

This is very helpful info. We're in the market for something exactly like this.
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