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Author Topic: The inventory control question again...An idea..  (Read 20858 times)

Riley Casey

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Re: The inventory control question again...An idea..
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2006, 09:29:27 pm »

I know that the computer programming geeks among us have been having fun tossing around their own sql/opensource/whizbang compter terms but I'd like to suggest that alot of what has been suggested is perhaps over kill for what Geri is describing.  Bar coding is certainly a slick idea.  Being able to manipulate the contents of standard case packs and racks is very slick.  In actual use however it's surprising how much traction can be obtained by a much simpler database that is able to tell you that five of your eight tri-amp racks is out on a certain day and that drive rack 1005 is out.  Know that it's easy to see that your coming up short on booking a second that day that needs tri-amp racks.  It's also possible to know that the SPX2000 that is a part of the 1005 rack is out on rent to a local band with a good query function.  It will still be necessary to put a gaff tape label on the rack lid about the missing SPX but it's all a very real world solution that is a bit more attainable and reliable in some ways than some more high dollar, high complexity solutions out there.  Aiming for a mid level solution may well be a more usable solution for the mainstream operations than aiming for functions that are more suited to large, multi-warehouse operations.
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Rich Mullen

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Re: The database idea subthread
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2006, 09:45:28 pm »

I am sure filemaker would work out in a similar fashion. I would just add that what I typed was an example of what you can do in our system (or any other build in this way). We built ours to allow for any form of operation. Meaning, we have some items that are 'in racks' because that's what we do on a day to day basis. We have some racks that are pre-built and we built others to suit. Many components, wireless etc.. are in storage racks and pulled and built during prep. They way our table structure and user forms etc... are built is to allow for either situation or both. And really many combinations of that. Particularly given that when we are REALLY slammed we're tearing things apart and/or building all kinds of special duty racks and stuff.

I would point out that like any system you get out of it what you put in. If you don;t enter the raw data and maintain the orders correctly, the system won't work. GIGO baby. Pretty much like any sound system....If the muso's suck they're gonna suck loud.Laughing  

By the way, if you haven't picked it up we ARE NOT a touring company. We do corporate, special event and some theatre stuff.
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Mark Meagher

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Re: The inventory control question again...An idea..
« Reply #52 on: September 23, 2006, 12:33:56 am »

Riley Casey wrote on Fri, 22 September 2006 21:02

If the sticker shock of things like HireTrack are a major issue look at this solution :

http://www.projectmaker.com/

After building my own Filemaker based system I was very impressed with this as a commercial offering.


This certainly has some interesting points. Has some potential. I would need to review it and certainly demo it further before spending money on it.

I particularly like the way they deal with the correspondence section from a project management POV, in that all communications for that project is contained within.

I think the master item database should work the same way. I would like to be able to select a certain piece of gear and find out everything there is to know about the life history of that gear from one inquiry screen with all those documents at my fingertips.

FWIW


Anybody got that wiki ready yet?
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Jack Arnott

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Re: The inventory control question again...An idea..
« Reply #53 on: September 23, 2006, 02:05:47 am »

[quote title=Geri O wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 20:57
I still maintain, keep it simple, make accounting optional, if at all.
Geri O
[/quote]

Hello Geri O

I think that remark is aimed at my suggestion, and I think I misrepresented myself there.

Quickbooks is good for sales, both in the estimate, and billing department. But it is not great for doing estimates or bids in live sound, at least from my perspective or use of it.

I think that this new software should be usable for bidding. Billing is easy to lift the total and place in Quickbooks.

But one of the elements of bidding is knowing if you have the gear/manpower/transportation to do a show. It seems if it was used for this, if the bid comes to fruition it would be easy to enter it as a solid date on the calender, with all the components already accounted for. And in your case this is when it would come to your attention. Also, it seems if all bids were run through this it would make the process more consistent, and speaking for myself, wouldn't have to remember what was budgeted for labor, etc. (Maybe even have PITA factor, so I can justify those extra charges to those special few.)  Cool  

Regards, Jack

Oh, and for this and MAC FOH also. A weight calculator option for everything added to the bid/pick list. So you know if you are at or above your maximum payload for that vehicle.  
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: No, not necessarily...
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2006, 07:27:13 am »

[quote title=Jack Arnott wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 01:05]
Geri O wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 20:57
I still maintain, keep it simple, make accounting optional, if at all.
Geri O
[/quote



Hello Geri O

I think that remark is aimed at my suggestion, and I think I misrepresented myself there.




I went back and checked the context of that post and no, it wasn't your post that I was referencing. I guess what I'm getting at is a program that won't be too difficult to write. You make some excellent points about the accounting part and that sounds fine if it's doable. I would hope that the accounting part could be written so that it doesn't continually nag the user to input prices and values should he (or his boss) is using another accounting program.
Also, the weight part of the program is an EXCELLENT idea!! Didn't think of that one and man, what a help that could be for loading trucks and trailers. Good idea indeed.

Take care,
Geri O
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Scott Raymond

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Re: No, not necessarily...
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2006, 10:10:07 am »

[quote title=Geri O wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 06:27]
Jack Arnott wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 01:05

Geri O wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 20:57
I still maintain, keep it simple, make accounting optional, if at all.
Geri O
[/quote



Hello Geri O

I think that remark is aimed at my suggestion, and I think I misrepresented myself there.




I went back and checked the context of that post and no, it wasn't your post that I was referencing. I guess what I'm getting at is a program that won't be too difficult to write. You make some excellent points about the accounting part and that sounds fine if it's doable. I would hope that the accounting part could be written so that it doesn't continually nag the user to input prices and values should he (or his boss) is using another accounting program.
Also, the weight part of the program is an EXCELLENT idea!! Didn't think of that one and man, what a help that could be for loading trucks and trailers. Good idea indeed.

Take care,
Geri O


I'd agree on the bid or quote part.  Even as a small company I've wished  for even a spreadsheet where I could go down a list of components or subsystems and just click a box to add that item.  Then a section for time and distance and it would come up with the amount. Most PDA's will even handle spreadsheets which could be a bonus if you need a quick estimate and aren't around a computer.  Ahh well, maybe a winter project along with all the others on the back burners.

The weight idea sounds good for the guys with trucks or large trailers.  Maybe even calculate HOW to load the truck.  We had a company come through with a national CW act several years ago (when the fair was doing big shows) that could of used something like that.  They got to the back of the trailer and didn't have room for the last few items.  They had to pull a bunch of gear off the truck and repack to get it all in. Rolling Eyes  They should have at least made some notes on how it was in there in the first place.  Mad
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Tom Bourke

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Re: The inventory control question again...An idea..
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2006, 10:15:22 am »

#1 requirement is cross platform!  Just in this thread we have 50/50 mac/windows with a Linux person or 2.  Personally at one gig I have Mac/Linux/ and one windows NT box ONLY because I have a Shure box that needs it.  At another gig every thing is Win XP.  At home every thing is Linux with a Mac book in the future.  I have another friend with old windows looking to slowly switch to Linux.
As far as I can tell the world is moving slowly to platform independent/web based programs.

If all you need is a simple tracking program open up Open office or your favorite database/spread sheet and spend some time playing.
If you need more look at the other programs out there.

Every company is a little different.  Make it flexible if you want to sell it to the masses.
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Rich Mullen

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Re: No, not necessarily...
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2006, 11:27:06 am »

We have 2 conditions that apply to an item that is added to an order. When an item is added to an order that is NOT confirmed (signed contract), the next time you go add THAT item to another order it will show a 'yellow' condition. Meaning it is in another outstanding estimate. There is a adjacent button on this screen that launchs a 'Where is it' report that'll tell you what estimate it's on. When an order gets confirmed that item is not available to choose from the equipment list. This works pretty well for us.

As far as the travel distance issue, we end up putting in different line items charged that apply for different conditions (i.e. different trucks and delivery 'rings' or 50, 100 miles etc..). We also have a mileage line charged that in manipulated by the QTY field in the order. Just put in the rough mileage.
This is a good system.

We have the weight summing AND a case count. Both are pretty cool. I can say that we haven't been real good about getting a good, exact weight on everything. So it more of an estimate, but I would be accurate if we weren't SOOOO lazy.

Again these are all the best solutions we could come up with. I'm sure there are different solutions that'd work too. But these are good ways and seem to OK for us.

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Re: No, not necessarily...
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2006, 12:10:15 pm »

[quote title=Scott Raymond (Scott R) wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 10:10]
Geri O wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 06:27

Jack Arnott wrote on Sat, 23 September 2006 01:05

Geri O wrote on Thu, 21 September 2006 20:57
I still maintain, keep it simple, make accounting optional, if at all.
Geri O
[/quote



Hello Geri O

I think that remark is aimed at my suggestion, and I think I misrepresented myself there.




I went back and checked the context of that post and no, it wasn't your post that I was referencing. I guess what I'm getting at is a program that won't be too difficult to write. You make some excellent points about the accounting part and that sounds fine if it's doable. I would hope that the accounting part could be written so that it doesn't continually nag the user to input prices and values should he (or his boss) is using another accounting program.
Also, the weight part of the program is an EXCELLENT idea!! Didn't think of that one and man, what a help that could be for loading trucks and trailers. Good idea indeed.

Take care,
Geri O


snip-

The weight idea sounds good for the guys with trucks or large trailers.  Maybe even calculate HOW to load the truck.  We had a company come through with a national CW act several years ago (when the fair was doing big shows) that could of used something like that.  They got to the back of the trailer and didn't have room for the last few items.  They had to pull a bunch of gear off the truck and repack to get it all in. Rolling Eyes  They should have at least made some notes on how it was in there in the first place.  Mad


That would be the difference between a simple musical act and a Broadway play. They have laminated cards with all the trunk numbers and diagrams of how they fit.
Smile

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Too Tall
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Sebastiaan Meijer

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Re: The inventory control question again...An idea..
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2006, 09:42:50 am »

Geri,

http://www1.live-audio.com/messages/archive6/50928.html
I did some work for Mike Babcock in the past. Consider it a predecessor for the design made for MacFOH. (Shaun: long time since we've had contact! But I've been touring a bit much too....) It is a MS Access file, so not Mac-friendly, but you could use it as a starter. I consider it freeware, just send me an email at sebastiaan (insert @ here) basstec.nl. I'm a tad busy this week but will send the file as soon as I have internet for more than 30 minutes.

Sebas
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