Asset tracking software can be a great investment for asset-intensives industries. Some of these operations are more obvious, such as managing construction equipment or medical inventories. One industry that’s often overlooked in this regard is the AV industry.
The industry is projected to be worth $114 billion dollars at the end of 2016. Other than the sheer scale of businesses involved in AV, another complexity that arises is that it’s quite diverse; corporations, government agencies, educational institutions and of course media houses all have an active stake in it. This is why asset tracking software has to be incredibly flexible in order to help AV professionals manage their equipment, cut losses, and improve accountability. Here are some important features that should always be part of an AV company’s equipment tracking software:
Track AV Projects for quicker processing times
It can be hard to manage AV projects, particularly when you’re having to track dozens of large items like transformers and mounts as well as a whole host of smaller things like batteries, memory cards, or cables simultaneously. You might have to set up for a conference one day, and an expansive outdoor production on another. What would be especially helpful in such scenarios would be to create carts of items for a certain event, and then keep reusing that each time a similar event pops up. This would speed up processing times and also serve as a packing list so you know exactly what needs to be taken to each event type. This virtually eliminates human error by ensuring you have a reference to check items out against each time.
Improve AV equipment longevity
Services and Maintenance features are a staple of any robust asset tracking software. Having credibility within the AV industry is incredibly important; a broken lens or a malfunctioning light can throw off your production entirely. The ability to create service tickets against items allows you to plan out maintenance well in advance, ensuring that there is no last minute scrabbling to patch up AV gear in need of repairs. This also helps let you know which items are under maintenance and therefore won’t be available for a specific duration. The great thing about maintenance modules such as these is that you’ll actually be saving money in the long run! Equipment that is well taken care of requires fewer refurbishments and fixes as time goes on.
Log complex custom information for all your gear
AV gear can be quite complex! You need to be able to log very specific information about your AV equipment if you want your asset tracking software to be of any use. This is why the ability to create custom fields for items – logging the wattage of an adapter, for example, or the dimensions of a rack rail – is critical for checking out exactly what you need for a specific operation. It’s not just the physical or operational properties of your AV gear that you should be able to keep on record, though. The ability to manage warranties and legal documents all under one system can also be pretty useful. Whether it’s meters, power supplies, static fixtures, or acoustic equipment, a sturdy system should be flexible enough to account for all these items under one system.
Forecast equipment availability for effortless planning
You might be a news outlet wanting to send camera crews to the latest breaking news site at a moment’s notice. Or a university whose media department lends gear to hundreds of students on a daily basis. For complex workflows such as these, you really don’t want to be spending a lot of time organizing the availability of items, and planning out who gets what, when it’ll be due back, and how many items will be needed over a specific duration.
Features such as availability calendars can minimize this headache a great deal! With everything being automated, you can simply assign custody of items to users based on what’s available at the moment it needs to be lent out. No more second-guessing, over-stocking, or running out of items at the last moment!
Organize your AV equipment for greater control
AV equipment can be divided into dozens of categories depending on the scope of your operations and the production avenues you’re invested in. Of course, any decent asset tracking software would have features allowing you to create groups – such as those for lighting, rigging, visualizers, projectors, video equipment, etc. Creating subgroups within these larger categories is also useful, but it’s important not to stop there! The ability to create ‘kits’ can be extremely useful for such an industry. Have a beach shoot? Checkout the waterproof AV gear! Are you shooting something at night? Have all your full spectrum infrared videocameras packed up and ready to go! Small organizational tools such as these can be a huge step towards cutting down on preparation times and letting you focus on what’s really important.
The AV industry is a burgeoning mixture of smaller clusters such as education, government agencies, entertainment, and so on. Any equipment tracking software wanting to help companies in this industry needs to allow for customization and both predictive and preventive maintenance, but also have organizational tools like availability forecasts or cart management to ensure seamless AV projects each time!
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