For efficient asset tracking and inventory management, EZOfficeInventory comes with a predefined set of fields. However, we understand that every business is unique and you may need some Custom fields as per your specific needs. To customize your inventory data depending on your needs, we provide Custom Fields, which can be used to track any data point with an item, cart, or purchase order added to our asset tracking software.
Here are a few examples of how our customers in various industries make use of this feature:
|Media and Production||Recording the focal length of a camera lens, keeping a tab on whether a flashlight is buzzed.|
|Service Providers||Tracking Job Numbers, the condition of the equipment checked out, recording any damages on return, setting up maintenance alerts.|
|Health Care||Expiration date alerts on drugs, recording whether a tool has been sterilized post-return.|
|Software and IT||MAC Address of devices, Installed OS, Installed programs.|
When using custom fields for Carts, you can track data points like shipment number, special handling instructions, and delivery fee for Cart # 777 which has been checked out to Emily Rose.
For purchase orders, a custom field can be defined as to what kind of binding (e.g. saddle stitch) you would like for the next stock of company handouts or what paper size (e.g. A4 or A6) should be used.
Let’s dig a little deeper!
Custom Field types
Here’s a list of all possible Custom field types that you can create for the various modules. The available options change depending on the module.
- Checkbox: choose between a number of pre-set values, making it easier to speed up processing times when dealing with high-volume items.
- Date Field (Alert): specify date alerts to receive reminders on the specified date. This custom field can also be set to a recurring alert.
- Dropdown: compress an extensive list of options and also set a default value.
- Multiple Choice: quickly choose through a shorter list of options with all of them displayed.
- Number Field: specify the quantity for a custom attribute and set a default value for it as well.
- Paragraph Text: allow users to add detailed comments and any other important details that may be out of the usual.
- Single Line Text: for attributes that can have several different values which cannot be listed or categorized.
- Boolean: for attributes that have either a Yes or a No value.
A Note on Boolean Custom Fields: Boolean values are included in all custom field types except items. They are great for providing quick insights into your workflows. Is an employee working with you full time? Do you have a discount code with a vendor? You can ask users ‘Yes/No’ questions and quickly process their answers.
You can, for example, use these insights to figure out whether a Cart is at its location of origin, or if it was inspected on the field. You can even run a Custom Report – using Carts as the primary module and the boolean as a column – and collate the responses for a better understanding of trends or bottlenecks.
It is important to note that the Custom field has to be mandatory for the boolean value type. This is because users must choose either a Yes or No value; not filling in either checkbox provides data that ultimately isn’t meaningful.
1. Creating Custom fields in different modules
Here’s a list of modules that support Custom fields:
- Purchase Orders
Add custom fields from More –> Custom Fields –> Items –> Add Custom Field.
All associated Custom fields will start appearing on the relevant Item Details Pages.
Associating Groups with Custom Fields for Items
When you’re adding a Custom field, you can choose to associate it with:
- All groups (therefore, all items)
- All future groups
- Only a few specific groups (use shift+click or ctrl+click to select a bunch in a single go)
Learn More: Assigning Groups to Custom Fields
Cart Custom fields are of the following types:
- Single line text
- Number field
- Paragraph text
Add custom fields from More –> Custom Fields –> Cart –> Add Custom Field.
Here’s a look at the created Custom field in the Cart Details Page.
Custom fields for Carts cannot be associated with groups. However, you can make this field mandatory for all carts under Preferences.
Furthermore, for an action taken on a Cart e.g. reserve, check out or check in, all Custom fields associated with the added items in that cart will show up.
Custom fields for Locations can be of 5 types:
- Number field
- Single line text
- Paragraph text
To create, head to More –> Custom Fields –> Locations –> Add Custom Field.
For this example, we’ve created a mandatory boolean field for Instore Pickup Availability by location.
Once saved, all new Locations will require you to specify this attribute at the time of creation. All old Locations will require you to specify this attribute whenever you choose to edit them.
1.4. Purchase Orders
Custom fields for Purchase Orders can be of 4 types:
- Single line text field
- Number field
- Paragraph field
- Date field
Create a Custom field from More –> Custom Fields –> Purchase Order –> Add Custom Field.
Note: These are only visible to admins.
Here’s a look at the Purchase Order.
2. (Items Only) Different Preferences for Different Custom Fields
2.1. Mandatory Custom Fields for New Items and Reservations
- Mandatory on Create/Edit: When you enable this option, you’ll get to have an additional field while creating or editing an item. For example, you want to record the color of every item whenever a new item is added to the system or being edited by a staff user. This way you can make it a compulsion for the users to fill in this field. See image below:
- Note: This custom field will only appear on item details pages that belong to the group associated with it.
- Mandatory on Reservation: On enabling this preference, a custom field will appear whenever you reserve an item for checkout. To enable this, you must first select ‘Display at Reservation’ under the ‘Display at Reservation’ preference. Useful when a user wants to reserve ‘white’ background sheets for an event.Learn More: Item Reservation in EZOfficeInventory
2.2. Customizing Check-in/Checkout and Other Events
You can add Custom fields of your choice on Check-in/out forms. The ‘Display on checkout’ and ‘Display on check-in’ options are available under Preferences when you’re adding/editing a custom field.
Here are some ways in which you can configure these settings:
- Selecting ‘Display at checkout’ will show this custom field on the checkout form. The user can enter a new value for this field.
- Selecting ‘Mandatory on Check-in/Checkout’ will show this custom field on the checkout form. The user then cannot check-in/checkout an item without entering a new value for this field. Note: This field will not be pre-populated with the last value or default value defined by you when creating the custom field. The image below shows how the mandatory (*) and ‘display but optional to fill’ custom fields appear on check-in/checkout forms:
- If you select ‘Only record with checkout event…’, the value entered by the user when checking out assets will NOT be updated with the asset. It’ll only get recorded in checkout events log. These logs appear under an Item’s Details Page -> History button -> Check-in/out History, and Reports -> Checkout events. Learn more about Item Reports.
- Selecting ‘Display at reservation’ shows the custom field on the reservation form. The values recorded for the custom field(s) on reservations are also recorded in the checkout events log when you check out a reservation.
- Similarly, you can configure how the custom field(s) will ‘Display on check-ins’.
- You can also make it mandatory for the users to set a value on check-in/out.
Note: All the above preferences can be used for any type of custom field for items only.
2.3. Set up Date Alerts
You can also enable date alerts using ‘date field’ type custom fields. For example, you may want to get an alert when a laptop battery expires. For scenarios where some equipment requires regular servicing, you can set up recurring date alerts e.g. a Forklift Truck requiring inspection every 2 months.
When creating a ‘date alert’ custom field, you can either set to receive a notification on a specified date or set up recurring date alerts e.g. every year for 3 times. An alert in advance can also be enabled for this type of custom field. Learn More about setting update alerts.
When you edit a custom field for date alerts, you can select an email template for sending out alert notifications.
If you click on the eye button next to the Email Template you will be able to view a Sample of the Email alert that will be sent out.
Note: In case no Email Template is created, the default template will be selected.
When you click on the plus icon, an overlay appears allowing you make a new Email Template.
You can enter the Template Name, Subject and the desired Placeholders.
When you have entered the required information, click Create Template.
After you have created the Email Template, you will be able to select it from the dropdown options. The sample for the Email Template created looks like this:
2.4. Editable by Staff User vs. restricting visibility to Administrators
On enabling ‘editable by staff user’, all users in your company will be able to view and edit this custom field. This option will overlap the settings configured under User Listings. Learn More about Item Visibility and User Listings.
On the other hand, ‘restricting visibility to administrators’ will only allow the admins in your company to view this custom field or edit it. One of these two options can be enabled at a time.
Read More: Flavors of Arbitration in EZOfficeInventory
2.5. Save History
Keep a history trail of how a custom field value is changing over time for a particular item. Make sure that the Save History option is checked under preferences for the custom field(s) for which you’d want to have a history record.
Say you have a custom field called OS for your Macbooks. You can track when was the OS updated to Yosemite from Mavericks, and who made that change.
You can also export the history trail to a CSV.
2.6. Display on Sale and Display on Add Stock
Though the custom fields can be recorded and displayed on all types of items and check-in/checkouts. However, you can also choose to display a custom field on sale and add stock forms. Enable them under the preferences for custom field you’d want to display.
2.7.Linking Custom Fields to Modules
The custom field enables you to link to the following modules: items (assets, asset stock, inventory), locations, members, vendors, bundles, purchase orders and work orders. For example, you can assign a default location or item owner to an asset to help users reference to data in the system.
An event management company has multiple assets being checked-in and checked out daily. To coordinate events smoothly, as an admin you can link a default location for all checked out assets. This way employees can easily know the location they need to return items to.
Create a Custom field from More –> Custom Fields –> Items –> Add Custom Field.
Select type ‘Dropdown’ and check ‘Link to Module’.
You can then choose the relevant module (items, location, vendors, members, bundles, carts, work orders and purchase orders).
After this, you can enter your choice of item in the options or select items through a filter-based criteria.
In the example below, we search for a location by entering it in the ‘Option’ Field.
You can also choose ‘Apply filter-based criteria’ to link modules. In the example below, we apply a filter for ‘Name’ and search for all locations containing the name ‘Office’.
Once you’re done click Add to create the custom field.
Linked modules function like regular custom fields and can be added to the relevant assets based on how they are set. Go to the asset details page and click ‘Edit‘. Here you will be able to view the Linked Location custom field you created.
After you link the location, it will be visible as a clickable link on the asset details page
You can also view this custom field linkage on the Location Details page
- This custom field cannot be set as mandatory due to data corruption issues
- If the criteria or values in the custom field are changed, emails are sent with CSV files of all fields that were updated.
- Custom field linkages tab is only visible to admin users.
2.8. Other Options
- Any custom field can be printed on a Print Label. For the custom field to appear on the label designer as an element, you have to open the relevant field, click on ‘Edit’ and select the “Make available for print label” option.
- You can also have a custom field shown when someone scans the QR Code for an asset. Enable Company Settings -> Show on Public QR Code Page -> Custom Fields.
- Make sure to have the relevant preferences selected.
2.9. Importing Linked Custom Fields
In some cases users want to set linked custom fields for a large volume of items. In order to do so, you can now import linked custom field values via excel. For example, you have a linked custom field ‘Storage Location’. When you import items from an excel file, you can choose the custom field from the dropdown.
Note : The identifiers provided in the brackets next to the field is the format in which you need to upload your custom field in. E.g. In the following image, for the Storage Location field we need to upload the Location # for the system to detect the correct location.
Now let’s say the value you entered does not exist as an option in the linked custom field, i.e. you cannot set that value for the linked custom field, it should show you the following error:
3. Deleting Custom Fields
You have the option to edit/delete any custom field under More -> Custom Fields.
Warning: Deletion of a custom field will also delete the associated values for the items associated and recorded with it. This applies to custom fields for carts and purchase orders as well.
4. Customizing Asset, Asset Stock, and Inventory Details
You can edit a single item to update the custom field values. Or you can select a bunch of items on Asset Listing (Items –> Assets) and from Actions –> Edit, edit custom fields for all of them in a single go. Same goes for inventory and asset stock listings. Say, you have a stock of 10 camera lenses that have a focal length of 65mm. You can mass edit all of them to update their focal length to 85mm.
5. Customizing Item Listings
The best part is that you can edit the Asset, Inventory, and Asset Stock listing tables to include columns that are more important to you. These columns can also include custom fields.
Learn More: Filter Items using Custom Fields
6. Alerts for Custom Fields
Custom fields set as ‘date field’ under types when you create/edit a custom field receives an email alert on a specified date or recurring intervals.
7. Importing Custom Fields
Data for all the custom fields can be imported to your EZOfficeInventory account from an excel sheet. The custom fields are available when you’re mapping columns during the excel import. Make sure to create all the required custom fields from More -> Custom Fields -> Items before importing data for them.
8. Reporting, API Calls and More
- You can also get into more insights that involve custom fields from Reports –> Custom Reports –> Custom Fields Report. These reports can be filtered. You can export these reports to CSV format or upload them to your Dropbox account. Upload Images and Documents to your Dropbox Account.
- You can retrieve all your custom fields data and custom fields history recorded in our system via API calls. Get API for Custom Fields here.
- Custom Fields can be searched through as part of the general search function. Learn More about search limit for custom fields.
9. Utilizing Custom fields on-the-go
We believe in making our asset tracking software even better than yesterday. Custom fields for items can also be utilized using EZOfficeInventory’s mobile application. You can view custom fields on an item’s details page and edit custom fields while creating an item (asset, asset stock, and inventory) from the mobile app. They are also viewable/editable when taking actions like check-in/checkout on items.
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