Key features used
When the MC Digital school at Middlesbrough College reviewed their student lending process, they realized it needed to be more cohesive. Lewis Taylor started searching for a solution that would allow them to track bookings, stock availability, and rental history. He found that using barcodes, online bookings, and availability in Booqable was perfect for achieving these goals.
MC Digital is the digital school at Middlesbrough College that specilizes in media, IT, and computing courses at the Digital Centre. It is home to industry leading technology for application and web development, networking and system support, computer science, animation and visual effects, games development, film and television production, and journalism.
The school has different faculties for each specialization, including the video production department, focusing on TV and film. They offer a wide range of equipment for students to borrow for their projects and assignments, including cameras, lenses, headphones, tripods, powerbanks, cables, cases, green screens, projectors, capture cards, lighting, laptops, and microphones.
In addition to having industry-leading technology from the likes of Canon, DJI, GoPro, Sennheiser, and Sony, they also allow students to book well-equipped studio and streaming spaces. This provides students with all-round solutions that give them access to everything they need to complete their assignments to the highest quality possible successfully.
The missing links
Like rentals, equipment lending comes with its fair share of challenges that can hold an operation back. In the lending process, MC digital lacked cohesiveness regarding managing operations. This led to several problems that made it difficult to manage the day-to-day tasks on lending because their was no central way for students and staff members to manage things.
One thing that they struggled with was tracking incoming bookings against stock availability, as they didn’t have a system for monitoring it. Of course, this led to a lot of confusion, double bookings, and equipment not being signed out correctly. This meant borrowing and lending equipment was chaotic for both students and staff members.
They also had no way of tracking past bookings, making monitoring where equipment had been challenging. This made it difficult to hold people accountable for damaged and missing equipment accurately. As you can imagine, the lack of availability tracking led to a lot of wasted time and asset cost loss for the department.
Bring cohesiveness to the process
Lewis was tasked with finding a software solution to this problem. He came across Booqable after having seen other educational establishments have success utilitizing it for equipment lending. It was precisely what he needed to get the department back in shape. He implemented several measures to improve the tracking of bookings, inventory, and availability,
Firstly, he used Booqable’s website builder to create an internal portal for students and staff. This allows them to see the entire catalog of equipment they offer and check availability for their required dates. Students can now book in advance and know their equipment will be there for them as the portal automatically updates with inventory availability.
Secondly, Lewis implemented barcode tagging for all products so that staff can scan student’s barcode and check equipment out. This means less oversight is required as they know they have picked up the right items. It also improves reporting accuracy as the team can see a complete product usage history and when the items have been picked up and returned.
A positive outlook
Initial feedback from students and staff have been very positive, and they have found it easy to learn the system. They also love being able to show a QR code from their booking email, allowing staff to find bookings easily. The success of using Booqable has opened the possibility for the college to lend products to local independent production companies in the future.