Schools, universities, and colleges deal with large amounts of equipment. Often, students can access video gear for projects, keys to editing rooms, and sometimes lend outdoor equipment. It’s surprising that most equipment desks still rely on spreadsheets, printed checkout forms, and checklists to manage these procedures. Some schools and universities try to adopt digital solutions but don’t quite succeed by using Google Forms and similar tools.
Almost all of these methods require a lot of manual work, which makes them inefficient and prone to errors. You wouldn’t want to have student-workers check out the wrong equipment, or worse, be unaware of theft and missing objects. For this reason, an increasing number of schools, colleges, and universities are already switching to cloud-based equipment management systems. Here are three reasons you should too.
Most equipment management systems allow for individual login accounts. This means employees who work at different desks can be logged in at the same time (and access the same inventory). They can obtain information on multiple locations and devices, which promotes collaboration.
These cloud-based management tools give authorized users access to real-time inventory data, helping your staff spot availability issues when scheduling equipment. The primary benefit of equipment software is that employees have access to current data without having to rely on traditional tools. They always know which gear is available for checkout without having to edit spreadsheets or fill out paperwork.
Tip: In Booqable, you can set permissions for each user account. You can keep specific team members from accessing sensitive information or taking unwanted actions.
Every student comes in with a different goal, something different they’re trying to loan. For your equipment desk, it’s important to identify which equipment is needed upfront. When such clarity is absent, your team’s productivity comes to a halt. Lack of overview, and therefore preparation, means checkouts could take minutes.
Your equipment desk will need to have a schedule so they know precisely when students are coming in to check out and check in equipment. The more your staff knows about upcoming reservations, the more productive they can be. In Booqable, the dashboard gives you a daily overview of future checkouts and due dates, so your staff knows what the day will bring—and take action.
Tip: Display your dashboard on a large screen near your equipment room. That way, it’s easy for everyone at the equipment desk to stay informed.
While equipment checkout software can help you work faster and more efficiently, it can also help you work smarter. Most tools provide more than just equipment scheduling and inventory management. They can also accelerate your checkout process and minimize errors. Besides knowing which equipment is available, your staff can see whether they are giving out the right gear to students.
Many equipment checkout systems work based on the serial numbers and other identifiers such as barcodes. Instead of manually filling out a checklist, the software can help you determine whether you are checking out the right equipment and whether everything is complete. The same goes for returns. With equipment management software, you immediately see whether something is missing as students return the gear.
Tip: In Booqable, you can also add barcodes to customers. This allows you to scan student IDs and use the barcodes on these passes to identify who’s picking up and returning equipment.
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