The global Audio Visual (AV) industry is expanding at a rapid rate, so much so that it has the potential to reach a market of $325 billion in 2024. This growth coincides with an increase in GDP across the globe because nearly all facets of the economy require AV products and services.
The use of AV technology spans across multiple industries. Some of the major users of AV equipment include:
- Educational institutes,
- Creative and advertising agencies,
- Film production houses,
- Media and broadcasting networks,
- Government and military institutions,
- Event management companies, and;
- Religious organizations
A key factor in the growth of the Audio Visual industry is an ever-increasing demand for media and entertainment content. A shift to online communication and broadcasting systems also calls for smart AV solutions.
Key Challenges facing the Audio Visual industry
While growth is promising, the Audio Visual industry has four pressing challenges to contend with:
- Shortage of skilled labor for AV installation
- Need to shift to software applications for deployment
- High operating and legal costs of each AV project
- Miscommunication during projects
Let’s see how traditional equipment management plays a critical role in creating these challenges.
Problems with traditional AV equipment management
The Audio Visual sector relies heavily on equipment for its operations. It uses a diverse range of assets to carry out daily operations.
Here’s what AV equipment typically consists of:
- Projectors and accessories,
- Video conferencing equipment,
- Audio controllers and workstations,
- Cables and connectors,
- Camcorders, cameras, tripods, and accessories,
- Signage and video walls,
- Lighting control systems,
- Microphone and speaker kits,
- Drapery, staging, and rigging,
- Surveillance equipment.
Since equipment is at the heart of AV projects, managing it efficiently is critical to the success of the Audio Visual industry.
Most companies still rely on paper trails and spreadsheets to log equipment data and track their deployment. However, manual data logging takes up valuable employee time. It’s also prone to typographical errors.
All of this boils down to miscommunication; the very thing AV solutions aim to resolve.
Here are some major challenges that AV companies face with traditional equipment management.
1. Monitoring the availability of AV equipment
AV equipment is diverse and complex in nature. It comprises of multiple kits of different items e.g. microphones, projectors, video walls, lighting booms, etc.
This volume and variety make it hard for businesses to track the availability of their equipment. Add to this, finer parts such as cables and connectors are even harder to locate.
Manual tracking further complicates this. Your team members may update the status of a piece of equipment long after it has been checked out. Outdated records mean you may even end up making a conflicting reservation for an item that was already checked out.
Your installation technicians will have to scurry around for unavailable equipment. And even looking for replacements delays projects. Missed installation deadlines can reflect badly on your business and you may lose potential revenue.
2. Tracking items across multiple locations
The nature of operations of most AV users is such that their items travel around multiple locations. Let’s say, you’re part of a media network that uses AV equipment for recording and broadcasting news from different regions.
You will often need to dispatch your AV equipment across the country, sometimes even outside of a country.
This scale of operations means spreadsheets just aren’t enough. They can’t give you a comprehensive overview of the whereabouts of your assets. There’s less visibility into how valuable equipment is being used at different locations.
Keeping oversight of assets in transit is an even bigger concern. Lack of visibility and control bleeds into another issue that we shall discuss below.
3. Risk of equipment theft and damage
It comes as no surprise that with less visibility into where your equipment is and who’s using it, there’s a greater chance of it getting lost or stolen. This risk increases as you stock smaller inventory and as it becomes more mobile.
Furthermore, with poor oversight, your AV gear might get damaged during transit and cost you a lot of money. This not only delays your projects but you may have to spend a hefty amount to replace lost items on short notice.
4. Unexpected equipment breakdowns
Another major concern for the Audio Visual industry is unexpected equipment breakdowns. Most companies still stick to a reactive approach when it comes to servicing their items. This means that they enter their assets into repair only after there’s equipment failure.
This approach massively backfires when your AV gear experiences instances of unplanned downtime. It slows down projects, deteriorates the health of your equipment, and leads to a higher total cost of ownership of assets.
The challenges listed above all relate to poor equipment management practices. It’s easy to overcome them if only companies would look into removing inefficiencies in their internal processes.
One way to accomplish this is by investing in a dedicated AV equipment tracking software. It automates your equipment management processes and eliminates the possibility of human errors. It maintains a timely and accurate log of your assets so you can always keep an eye on their whereabouts and never meddle with your projects.
Overcome equipment management hurdles with EZOfficeInventory
Leading AV equipment tracking system – EZOfficeInventory offers all the benefits mentioned above. It seamlessly integrates with your company workflows instead of the other way around. You get end-to-end management of your AV gear.
Here are some helpful EZOfficeInventory features that solve the common equipment management challenges prevalent in the Audio Visual industry.
1. Availability calendar for effortless equipment scheduling
Inaccurate data about equipment availability can lead to conflicting reservations. This may further slow down your operations. EZOfficeInventory comes equipped with an availability calendar. It shows you which items are available, checked out or in maintenance.
It also gives you the option to reserve a certain piece of equipment in advance for a specified period. This marks it unavailable in the calendar for the given period so other employees can make alternate arrangements in advance.
With an accurate knowledge of the availability of all your items, you can ensure the effortless scheduling of your fleet. This helps you with quality project delivery and uninterrupted events for your customers.
2. Location management for greater visibility across sites
Keeping tabs on a myriad of AV inventory across different teams and locations is painstaking – even more so for tools in transit. EZOfficeInventory offers location management so you can track your AV gear wherever it goes.
It gives you the ability to label your AV equipment with barcodes, QR codes or RFID tags. You can then scan these labels whenever you dispatch items to a certain location – say a video shoot site or a classroom. This automatically updates the location of an asset in the system so you know where it is.
You can even choose to integrate with selected GPS tracking software to oversee moving equipment. EZOfficeInventory makes on-site equipment tracking even easier with its mobile app. It’s not just your equipment that’s portable now but also your equipment tracking software.
Seamless check-ins and checkouts with EZOfficeInventory help you effortlessly track items across teams and locations. Here’s what Carlos from CNN says about the ease of use it offers them:
“Fantastic software, allows me to track over 1300 shared pieces of photographic equipment across a 10 person team with ease.”
3. Custody verification to enforce accountability
AV equipment is generally high-ticket and advanced. You can’t just put up with it getting stolen, misplaced or damaged. It is important to enforce accountability and ensure whether your team members are using it right.
EZOfficeInventory helps you put this accountability in place.
It enables you to request item verification so your team members can acknowledge possession of items checked out to them. This not only keeps a trail of who’s using the equipment at a certain time but also inculcates a sense of responsibility in those operating the gear.
Moreover, you can see who last owned a piece of equipment in case of damage or theft and hunt down the culprit. Here’s what Ray Caudill, a Video Engineer at Samaritan’s Purse had to say about us:
“This software is key to use to make sure our equipment comes back to us. Also allows us to see which person had the equipment last in case of damage to the equipment.”
4. Recurring services for preventive maintenance
Using faulty AV gear and a reactive maintenance approach simply adds to your costs. It also negatively impacts the performance of your equipment. You can switch to a more proactive approach with EZOfficeInventory by scheduling recurring services for your equipment.
Plan inspection checks and services for each piece of equipment on a recurring basis so your gear is always in top shape. This not only increases the lifecycle of your AV gear but also keeps it prepped for use at all times.
Fewer instances of equipment breakdown mean your projects can run smoothly. Your team members don’t have to run around getting alternate arrangements done either.
Pro tip: Use our Carts and Bundles to check out AV kits together
Most AV items are usually classified together based on their use. For instance, cameras, tripods, and related accessories are often clumped together before they are sent to a site.
Individually checking out these items simply takes up a lot of time and is redundant. Use our Carts module to check out related items en masse. You can even use Bundles to make assortments of AV equipment that is often checked out together. This way, you won’t have to make Carts over and over again.
EZOfficeInventory was built with your workflows in mind. It makes daily tasks even easier for you!
Time to face these challenges head-on
With so many challenges facing the Audio Visual industry, it’s near impossible to overcome them all on your own. Especially when your current system revolves around manual equipment tracking.
With an automated AV equipment tracking system, however, you can shoot your shot at solving all the challenges identified above.
EZOfficeInventory helps you keep your total cost of ownership low. It also fulfills your need for switching to software applications for efficient deployment.
With streamlined workflows, you don’t have to worry about miscommunication. Shortage of skilled labor is also no longer a concern because your resources don’t have to spend time doing mundane manual data logging.
With EZOfficeInventory by your side, easily track the movement of all your assets and always have access to accurate data.
Have any questions?
EZOfficeInventory is the leading AV equipment tracking software. It enables you to track, maintain and report on your AV gear from anywhere, at any time. We offer a free 15-day trial – no credit card required!
If you’d like to share any queries or confusions about EZOfficeInventory, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our support team will get back to you.