Organization Overview: Antioch College
Antioch College is a small liberal arts college with a big history and mission. Originally opened in 1850, it was one of the first coeducational colleges in the United States.
Rooted in a strong sense of community, Antioch College’s goal is to translate learning into victories for humanity. With less than 100 enrolled students, their class sizes and student/teacher ratios are small. They focus on providing their students with robust real-world work experiences.
One such example is their Media Arts department that includes training where a sizable volume of audio visual (AV) equipment is checked out to students for projects.
Tracking media equipment with EZOfficeInventory for streamlined classes
David Adkins joined Antioch College in June 2015 as Media Services Coordinator for the IT and Media Services department, and later took on the responsibility of Media Arts support as well. At this time, EZOfficeInventory was already being used by the Media Arts department to track equipment.
The department owns and tracks a wide range of AV equipment. With over 380 items, their inventory includes camera kits, audio recording kits, tripods, projectors, microphones, media players, and lighting equipment, etc. While David is the owner and primary user of the software, he can have up to three student workers assisting him at any time.
David inherited the system from his predecessor. He had previously used Excel spreadsheets and immediately recognized the benefits of an automated cloud-based equipment tracking system — conflict free booking, accurately tracking checked out equipment, sending prompt check-in requests for overdue equipment, and fewer lost and damaged items.
Seamless workflows and operations
EZOfficeInventory’s powerful asset tracking capability enables David to simply apply a filter to identify which department assets are checked out and who is in possession of them. He is also able to keep track of overdue items – for which they charge a late fee. The benefits trickle down to the classroom level as David is able to quickly and accurately inform faculty if their requested equipment is available.
EZOfficeinventory also offers powerful reservation functionality which eliminates confusion and delays allowing study schedules to proceed smoothly. The Reservations feature is especially useful during terms that include a photography class in addition to the media classes that already check out equipment.
For example, in such a case, they may run out of DSLR camera kits. During these terms, David uses the availability calendar and the ‘Asset Reservations Starting Today’ metric to keep track of AV equipment and requests made by students.
“I like how easily I can find the information I need,” says David. “It would be much harder for us to know exactly what we have for assets at any one time, because Excel lists never seem to stay accurate over time, or they take so many more hours to keep accurate.”
Information at a glance with the availability calendar
The intuitive, user interface ensures that new student workers can be trained to use it quickly and easily. Student media workers who assist David and operate EZOfficeInventory, start their training with the availability calendar.
David regularly views the calendar to track which AV equipment is due back on which specific day. The department currently has a one-week checkout period for students borrowing equipment. The overdue alert is particularly useful to them as it lets them know at a glance when equipment is overdue. David and team can then contact the borrower to let them know the facility is open for check-ins, and also to see if there are any other issues that might be causing items to be overdue.
Enhanced student accountability
A dedicated real-time software makes it easy to keep students notified and accountable for the equipment they have checked out. The system generates notifications to remind borrowers before the AV equipment is due back, and if something does become overdue, check-in requests are sent for every day the equipment is overdue.
David also regularly generates check-in reports.The Reports module is designed to mine volumes of information and provide valuable and targeted insights that can help users make informed decisions. It enables David to get a comprehensive, real-time update on the status of all items and apply a late fee when applicable.
Fewer lost and damaged items
Without EZOfficeInventory, David anticipates using spreadsheets or some kind of paper system for checking out AV equipment. It would be much harder to keep track of items and there’s a higher chance of typographical errors and losing track of equipment.
Similarly, the Service function processes equipment that needs to be repaired. David can make this equipment unavailable during the maintenance period so it is not accidentally checked out. He simply reactivates the equipment after the work is complete.
All this adds up to cost savings for the department with fewer lost and damaged items.
Exploring the full potential of EZOfficeInventory
While the system was implemented before he arrived, David plans to maximize the powerful functionality that EZOfficeInventory can bring to their workflows. His long-term goal: Use Groups and Locations to further streamline inventory management and check-in/checkout processes.
He also plans to enable Custom Roles so the students’ roles can be well defined and they can be given customized permissions to perform specific tasks. Moreover, the Carts module will enable students to check out multiple items together, which can then easily be tracked across locations.
He is confident that the EZOfficeInventory team will be their valuable ally as he moves towards optimizing his equipment tracking processes.
“I have always had a quick and helpful response from support, and I like that over the years someone has reached out to ask questions about our experience and if there are any specific improvements we would like,” said David.
The value in EZOfficeInventory
The powerful functionality along with the ease-of-use and highly responsive customer service team ensures that EZOfficeInventory is a high value product for the department.
The solution enables them to automate asset management so the department runs more efficiently and can focus on their core priority — preparing the next generation to make a positive change in the world.
“Without EZOfficeInventory I would have to spend a lot more time dealing with everything related to checking out equipment,” says David. “As a result I would either have less time to spend on other responsibilities, or my focus on other responsibilities might result in not enough time to devote to dealing with our media equipment.”