Asset Intelligence and Management

Asset Intelligence and Management

EZOfficeInventory Blogs Request Portal

[How-to] Set Up and Use The EZOfficeInventory Request Portal 

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In large organizations it is difficult to track hundreds of item requests coming in from different users without a dedicated system. Once a request has been made, users are unable to view the status of their requests resulting in long queues and delays in daily workflows. 

Request portal bridges the gap between the end-users and the admin with  a robust platform where requests can be initiated and managed seamlessly. The platform is hosted on a different URL than the EZOfficeInventory app so the requesters don’t need to be trained to place their requests. 

The portal serves as an additional site where all items from your EZOfficeInventory account are populated. Requesters can access this link, add an Item to the Cart and reserve it. The request is sent to the Admin and they can choose to either accept or deny the request. 

Benefits of the Request Portal 

Request Portal is a platform designed for high frequency checkout users in organizations  such as hospitals, universities or construction sites. The second use case includes low frequency checkouts but a high volume of users that reserve items. Here are some benefits of using the EZOfficeInventory Request Portal:

Scalability and accessibility: The Request Portal offers organizations, especially those with high-frequency checkouts, a centralized platform for managing asset requests while easily scaling to accommodate a growing number of employees or users. The scalability and accessibility of this system ensures that it remains adaptable to any future changes or demands that the organization may face.

Operational efficiency: IT administrators receive a huge influx of requests from various sources including email and text causing informational overload. Streamlining the asset request process enables organizations to reduce the time it takes to fulfill requests, thereby improving the efficiency of the asset request workflow and enhancing visibility into assets. This results in enhanced operational efficiency leading to employees being able to perform their tasks/projects in a timely and efficient manner.

Optimized user experience and productivity:  The user-friendly interface significantly reduces the likelihood of user errors (such as logging requests for unavailable monitor models) and diminishes the necessity for support requests, leading to increased employee morale and productivity – happy employees means higher quality work. 

Let’s look at how you can set up and use the portal:

Enabling the Request Portal

Go to Settings →Request Portal→ Enable. 

Populating your account

Before you start with the Request Portal, it’s important to know how to get set up with EZOfficeInventory. Here’s a quick guide. If your account is already set up then you may skip this section. 

First, you’d want to populate your account with items so that they can be showcased on the Request Portal. There are three quick ways to do that:

Import Items from Excel

This is a quick way to import all your data into your EZOfficeInventory account. Learn More.

Add and Clone Items

For instance, you may have 20 HP Probooks of the same brand and model number. You can just create one asset and then clone it 19 times. You can clone up to 25 items at a time. During cloning you can even choose the same item image if required to avoid uploading images multiple times. 

Change Display Pictures for Multiple Items

This is a simple process for both new and current users, especially useful in scenarios where a mass edit is required. For example, you may want to upload/change the display image for an asset that has 5 similar items added in your account, such as a monitor Type and search ‘Monitor’ from the search bar and then choose ‘Assets’ from the ‘Filter Results’ section that shows up.

Click on Assets (5) under the view tab on the right. Here you can  collectively change display pictures from the Mass Actions tab as shown below:

Setting up your Request Portal

Once you have populated your account, now you can start using the Request Portal. Let’s walk through the entire configuration process:

Request Portal URL 

You can easily use the URL or domain we’ve provided for your request portal. 

Or, you can also use your own URL/Domain to access your Request Portal on EZOfficeInventory. Your users can use this URL to reserve items e.g. national.library.com. 

Note: Each registrar has its own method of adding CNAME records. It may take several hours for your DNS change to take effect.

Branding

You can customize the portal according to your business themes. Go to Settings →Request Portal  → Branding

Upload your company logo: This image can be a graphic that represents your brand, including business name, symbol, initials or even a logo. You can also embed a URL onto the logo. This way, you can easily jump back to the home page by clicking the logo (or any other page if you embed its link). 

Themes

It’s important to maintain your company’s consistency when using the Request Portal. You can set the following color themes for your portal:

Customize colors for different buttons and backgrounds: You can set a theme for the action buttons, the menu bar, search buttons, backgrounds and panel colors. Pick a color that best suits your company’s portal theme. Here is what your portal will look like:

Advanced CSS editor: For advanced portal design and development, use the advanced CSS editor. 

Note: You can always reset the theme to default colors.

About Us: Add text for the ‘About Us’ Tab. Tell your users about your company in the ‘About Us’ tab. Go to Settings → Request Portal → About Us.

This is how it will appear in the portal:

This space can be customized to provide a company overview, contact information, and terms and conditions. Use HTML to format the text.

Item display: 

Number of rows per page: Set the number of rows you’d want your items to take on a page from Settings → Item display settings. As an example, we went with 3:

Grouping items with the same name(s): This is for assets only. You can group items with the same name so that they are displayed in a consolidated manner. For example, if you have 6 similar ‘extension wires’, you can simply group them as 1 listed item rather than crowding your portal with 5 more. A requester can always mention the quantity required while checking out an item.

Manage reservation duration 

There are two options for managing reservation durations. You can either allow requesters to reserve indefinitely or set a default maximum or minimum duration for reservations. 

Indefinite reservations mean that there is no end date for a reservation made for an item. These work well in industries such as healthcare and education where items are often checked out till the end of their lifespan that means the requesters don’t have to specify an end date.  Select the indefinite reservation checkbox and click update. Now go to the portal and select the item you want to reserve, and click ‘Add to Cart’. 

Click on “Add to Cart” again and you will be redirected to the Cart details page where you can confirm the reservation:

In another use case, where the requestor knows for how long the item needs to be requested, they can select specify reservation duration from the Items page:

Once you select ‘Specify Duration’ you will be asked to enter a ‘To’ date:

Click on ‘Add to Cart’ again and complete the reservation. 

The next option is to select ‘set a default or maximum period’. A default reservation period is set by the admin when the timeline of the reservation is known beforehand. This saves time and facilitates quick checkouts for requesters. Maximum reservation period entails the longest time an item can be reserved for. Maximum duration has to be greater than default duration when setting up reservation periods and can not be applied if you’ve already checked the indefinite reservation. 

Once you select the checkbox, you will be able to set days, weeks and months for the default duration. In the next column you can also set a maximum duration. In case the maximum duration is left blank, there will be no max duration set. If needed select the last checkbox to allow requesters to edit the default location. The entire workflow is summarized below:

Update the settings and open the portal. Select an item you want to reserve and click’ Add to Cart’. The default duration will be visible: 

If you enabled the editing access for requesters, they will be able to edit while adding the item to the Cart:

In case you select both ‘reserve indefinitely’ and ‘set default duration’ checkboxes, the maximum duration column will be disabled:

Disclaimer on the Cart

Use this space to configure a message for requesters when checking out items from the Cart. Say you want your requesters to know that there will be a slight delay in reservations. A simple note will do the job. See image below:

Visibility Control

Control which items you want to show on the Request Portal. To get started, head to Settings→ Request Portal → Visibility Control.

Show available quantity of items: Select this option to show available quantity of items on the Request Portal at the time of reservation.  Item visibility for roles will vary according to the permissions set for each custom role. Learn more about setting permissions here. 

Item permissions for custom roles 

Custom role permissions: The Request Portal will be used by different roles in  organizations. In order to ensure a seamless user experience, members should be able to view only items relevant to  their roles. For this purpose, you can select what information you want to display. Here is how you can set up group and location permissions for custom roles  in the Request Portal:

Now when this requester goes on to the Portal, they will only be able to view Items within the selected Groups and Locations.  

Terms and conditions: Set the terms and conditions for reserving any item from your Request Portal from Settings → Request Portal → Terms and Conditions

Item Filters

The ‘Item Filters’  speed up the checkout process for requesters. Admins can select relevant filters from Settings → Request Portal → Item Filters. Available filters include item availability, show available items, location and group filters. Some businesses have very specific item traits that can be depicted by custom field filters as shown below:

Main Menu Tabs

Provide customized names to the main menu tabs from Settings → Request Portal → Main Menu Tabs. Fill in the fields against My requests, About and Catalog. You can also enable Bundles for the portal here.

This is what the tabs look like once you set them up:

External Links as Tabs

If you’d like to feature additional tabs in your portal, you can add links to external pages and redirect your requesters there e.g. your corporate website, a dedicated blog site, or even detailed terms and conditions. EZOfficeInventory allows you to add up to 3 external links to your Request Portal tabs.

Restricted Access

Enable Restricted Access from Settings → Request Portal, in case you want to restrict your Portal only to the members in your EZOfficeInventory account. Once enabled, only members will be able log in to view your catalog. 

Using the Request Portal

When you are done setting up the portal, you can now click on the portal domain to start using it. When you land on the Request Portal you will be able to see a list of all the items populated in your EZOfficeInventory account. 

The Request Portal setup is divided into the following categories to help you set up:

  • Request experience
  • Visibility control
  • Custody management
  • Access Restriction

Request experience for high frequency checkouts: Reserving an item

When you land at the homepage, there will be a list of items displayed from your EZOfficeInventory account. You can apply filters to find the desired item:

Select an item you want to reserve from the Request Portal. Click ‘Add to Cart’ 

A pop up will appear asking you to fill in the time period and quantity of the required item. 

Next hover on the Cart icon on the top right and you will view the option to View/Edit Cart:

Here on the Carts page, you can edit the Cart reservation period:

Next you can attach reference files, and add comments. You can take three actions for the Cart: Browse Items, Clear Cart and Reserve. If all the required items are in the Cart, click Reserve. 

The reserved Cart looks like this:

View Reservations 

Requesters can view all their reservations under the ‘My Reservations’ tab as shown below:

Here users can check the status of their reservations and track them until it is checked out to them and appears in their custody.

Actions on Reservations

Once a reservation has been made, it is displayed under the Notifications bell icon. The Account Owner/Admin can go to Pending Reservations 

The Account Owner/Admin can then view Reservations and take an action as shown below:

Request Portal simplifies the reservation process, making it easier to track, review and expedite user requests all at a single platform. 

My Items

Once a reservation request is approved, the item is checked out to the requestor. All these items will appear under ‘My Items’ as shown below:

From here the user can ‘Request Return’ to check-in the item. Once the return has been requested the status will be changed to ‘Return Requested’. In order to request return for the whole Cart, go to ‘My Reservations’ and click on the ‘Return’ button under Actions:

Reservation Reports

Reports can be generated for the number of reservations received from 4 different sources: API, Mobile app, Web App and Request Portal. A reservations report displays reservation count#, total self serve, and mean time to resolve reservations:

This report can be customised by applying numerous filters. For instance, you can generate a report on how many reservation requests were made using the Portal at a specific location:

Additional resources

[How-to] reserve items in EZOfficeInventory

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