Hardware tracking..how does your business do it?

Lex

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Right i am in a small/medium sized company. We have about 4 teams of installers and each team has 2 people (and sometimes more). (We are expanding very fast in size).

The problem is thus, engineers are sent all around the UK and we are forever giving them hardware to use on their installations. Frequently they dont use all the hardware and therefore are 'exepected' to bring it back to the office.
As you can imagine it doesnt happen and infact remains in their van or gets sold on the sly.

I want to be able to setup a system to track our hardware from the inexpensive to the very expensive 2k cameras we have.

can anyone think of a system? remember the engineers all due respect dont like writing on paper and will probably forget anyway. Im thinking bar code reader which requires ALL stock to be tagged BEFORE it leaves the office < any insight into this or anything else?

please give me some suggestions:
 
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its simple, they right down everything that i used, whats left etc.

If they dont or 'forget' you discipline them.

Also introduce random checks of vans and the work they do to make sure they are being honest.

Anyone found selling on company property is fired and the police are called for theft.

It sounds hard but you need to be, some of them will take you for a ride and put the company at risk.

Doesnt matter if its barcodes or not, how will you know for sure whats been used on the job. Just because its scanned out doent mean they use it.
 

Lex

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MNuTz said:
its simple, they right down everything that i used, whats left etc.

Doesnt matter if its barcodes or not, how will you know for sure whats been used on the job. Just because its scanned out doent mean they use it.

well pretty much if they dont use it the task wont really be complete. but i see what you're saying. we just need to displine them.
 
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You need to be firm but fair. They have got to realise that you are serious about protecting company property and that anything they used to get upto in the past is known about and WONT be tolerated in the future.

Sounds to me like you need a stock controller. Someone whos main function is keep track of these items and its upto them to make sure things are accounted for. Unless you do this pretty soon things will get out of control and you wont know where anything is and who took what etc.... if you just leave it up to the installers to fill in the paperwork and such they will find a way round it and stuff willo go missing ( human nature... ) where as if they have to answer to someone else about stock then there is less chance or incentive to get "creative".

Have a look in the yellow pages for stock control companies and see what they can offer... its wont be as expensive as you think and will save you money and hassle in the long run if you get something sorted ASAP.
 
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leaskovski said:
Read F###### Internet Dude! :D :p


Lol,

Radio Frequency Identification

I.e. those little sticky things that computer shops put on products. If you walk out without paying, the alarm goes off. Not sure how this would help you.

I would go for the barcoding system to know exactly what you have, then random client site and van inspections to see if the equipment was actually used.

When an installer goes out, they have a printed list of the items they used, they need to check of what was used and return it to you along with unused equipment. Those who don't get fired (not being bothered isn;t an excuse), random inspections etc should let you catch a few more and fire. This hard lined attitude should get everyone else in line.

IMO
TM
 
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Also, you may want to security tag EVERY item worth more than £100 for example (melt a logo into them for example). Then, if they do try to sell them on, it looks very suspicious. Ought to deter a few more.

TM
 
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you can also get those ultraviolet pens that you can write on stuff with and only shows up under a UV light. Good for marking stuff up.

ideally, you need an experienced stock controller to come in and set up systems and procedures and the enforce them, especially if the company is expanding. Ive been doing this kind of thing long enough to know that you should always do it while the company is small. :D Sounds obvious doesnt it?

My last job i set up a stock control d-base and supervised all stock movements in the 3 months i was there (the company went into administration), a new guy took over and they are still using my system. however, my new company is massive, the amount of goods we send out is amazing and add that to the fact its fresh food so stock rotation comes into effect and running 24/7 means controlling stock is a nightmare.
 
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Get them to sign a contract which states they are responible for the kit they have and mis-use, theft(themselves doing it), irresponsible damage etc etc are punishable by P45. They should all have a stock list of what they have, signed off and checked by someone senior and the person who has the kit themselves.

This kind of slack accounting and stock control can make a company bankrupt.
 

Lex

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everyones suggests are pretty much valid. the type of equipment i'm refering to is a mixure its basically surveillance hardware such as pole,wall brackets, baluns, dome cameras, dual lense cameras but these are all expensive in terms of actual cameras and then the amount we send out across the installers etc.

so you guys suggest:

- security tags of some kind e.g. pens that showup in ultra violet light or tags
- bar code reader
- smart watered
- using RFID
- paper based with stern punishments for not cooperating with the system

i wonder which is the better suggestion or even if there's anything else available.

Let me know. meanwhile its more than helpful i will revise this tonight.
 
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obviously i dont know the business so its hard to suggest any solid ideas. Im guessing you guys fit CCTV etc?

If you could appoint one of your trusted people into a stock managers position, you could setup a system where a customer speaks to a sales rep about what they want, the rep creates a list of everything that will be needed.

That list is then sent to the stock manager who collects all the neccesary parts together and labels them with the order number. Its then given to the installers.

If you cant develop a way of getting the unused stock back, try and find out why the stock isnt being used in the first place and only give them what they need.
 

Lex

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MNuTz said:
obviously i dont know the business so its hard to suggest any solid ideas. Im guessing you guys fit CCTV etc?

If you could appoint one of your trusted people into a stock managers position, you could setup a system where a customer speaks to a sales rep about what they want, the rep creates a list of everything that will be needed.

That list is then sent to the stock manager who collects all the neccesary parts together and labels them with the order number. Its then given to the installers.

If you cant develop a way of getting the unused stock back, try and find out why the stock isnt being used in the first place and only give them what they need.

The assumption has been made that i'm a manager of some kind. When in actual fact it is ME who has been appointed the one in charge of hardware tracking and stock management. I'm having to come up with a system which is why i asked for some options.
 
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