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Asset Management Locations

Daniel_PolivkaDaniel_Polivka Customer IT Monkey ✭
I am in the process of creating a pick bin system with additional large storage locations. I am hesitant to begin because it does not seem like the Asset Management > Locations tab is built for this.

For example, let's do a mock life cycle of a consumable:

1. I order 10 mice and enter them into storage on shelf 1D4.
2. Eventually, I move 5 of these mice to pick bin 2A64.
3. Eventually, I issue 2 mice to a department from pick bin 2A64.

Where is the proper place in Asset Management to hold an entire Kanban system like this? The Locations field seems more geared for entire locations, like a remote office that has X number of PCs, phone, monitors, etc...

Comments

  • Nicholas_VelichNicholas_Velich Cireson Consultant Ninja IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Correct, the Locations field is typically geared towards entire locations. Location naming convention is typically flattened to represent an entire territory, building, office, floor, etc, such as:

    • NW-WA-SEA-Bldg 1
    • NW-WA-SEA-Bldg 2
    • NW-OR-PORT-Bldg 1
    • NW-OR-PORT-Bldg 3
    • SW-CA-LA-Bldg 106
    • SW-CA-SAN-Bldg 9

    More on that here.

    What you are describing here sounds most like the usage of the "Locations Detail" field which is present for Hardware Assets. Although there wouldn't be a Location for it, you might know a Hardware Asset is in "NW-WA-SEA-Bldg 1", but you also want to know its in Room 103 and "behind a desk in the back corner of the room." As this Locations Detail field is just a free-form string, it is not typically designed for any type of reporting, and is only useful for operational purposes.

    In the case of Consumables, this Locations Detail field does not exist. You could potentially use the "Notes" field for a similar purpose, or could extend the data model to include a "Locations Detail" field.

    That being said, Consumables can be assigned when distributed to users; that is the purpose of the "Assignment" tab.

    Hope this helps!
  • Daniel_PolivkaDaniel_Polivka Customer IT Monkey ✭
    Thank you for your response!

    I am hoping to use Asset Management for a multitude of different uses, and reporting is going to be a large part of it. Here's a few examples of what I would like to get out of Asset Management, and why proper usage of locations is important:

    1. Catalog Item Purchase Forecasting and Planned Obsolescence:

    Let's say we need a new server for $50,000. Upon the purchase of this item, I should be able to Asset Tag this part (I know this is supported in Asset Management). Let's say the write-off period is 3 years, and we plan on decommissioning the server in 9 years. The server will occupy 4 spaces in a server rack.

    - Is there a way to specify where this server is going? (i. e. Rack 5A, space 33 to 36)
    - Can an equipment list be generated for a server rack, for easy locating of equipment?
    - Can fields be added for Write-off time and decom time, like stated above?
    - For planned decommission, can an email be sent stating that the time is approaching (1 year, 2 years, etc...), thus putting the decom activity onto the proper party's radar?

    2. Consumable Purchase Forecasting and Asset Tracking

    So, let's use my example from the original post:
    1. I order 10 mice and enter them into storage on shelf 1D4.
    2. Eventually, I move 5 of these mice to pick bin 2A64.
    3. Eventually, I issue 2 mice to a department from pick bin 2A64.

    I have one room for large, slow moving stock. I have another room for fast-moving consumables (and some Catalog Items). I need to be able to leverage Asset Management to be able to tell me how much of each item I have, as well as the locations. For example, let's say I label monitors as a consumable. I'll need to put 20 new monitors in a room as part of a reorganization. I keep 10 monitors in one stock room, and 5 in another. Instead of having to go to each room and count 15 total, I should be able to know that I have 5 monitors on shelf 2A3, and 10 more on shelf 1B2. Just by checking Asset Management, I should know this information, and realize right away that I'll need to put in an order to replenish the stock.

    Can Asset Management aggregate data from item usage and purchases for purchase forecasting? If I have to submit a yearly budget for Catalog Item and Consumables, can I refer to old data to forecast? Year over year, if I issued consumable X 10, 9, 10, 11, and 9 times, it's a pretty safe bet that I'd like to have 10 to 15 on hand to start the year. I know this is a simple example, but does this type of functionality exist in any way?
  • Geoff_RossGeoff_Ross Cireson Consultant Super IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi Daniel,

    Glad you are looking to use Cireson AM. You sound like you have a load of great processes in place so if you are going to go ahead, i would recommend some consultancy services to help you integrate / transform these into the product. However, for now, here's some answers.

    1. For this scenario, you are going to need to use parent - child locations. This is a built in function of the product where a location can have another location as a parent. So you can have a location of 'Data Centre' (for when you need to report on everything in the Data Centre for insurance purposes for example) with child locations for each Rack. You would assign items to the Rack locations and then can use the Locations Details text box for details such as 33U to 36U. For simple reporting, you will want to represent the parent - child relationship in the name of the child locations, eg 'Data Centre - Rack 1'. This allows you to report on everything in Rack 1 by specifying that location and on everything in the whole data centre by searching for anything where location contains Data Centre. 
    Any custom fields you need can be added, in the normal way to extend an SCSM class, although there may already be properties for this eg we have Expended End Date.
    However, you can assigned contracts to Hardware so you can create your own internal Write Off - 3 year contract and Decommission - 9 year contract and assign both of these to server assets.Then you can configure notifications from these.

    2. For the stock room scenario, we can use similar to the Data Centre and racks situation. A parent Location called 'Stock Room' with child locations called 'Stock Room - 1D4' and 'Stock Room - 2A64'. You can have further tiers if needed to break into Rows or Sections before individual Shelves. Just keep the full 'path' in the location name as many of the views, you can only see the actual Location and don't see that its a child or what the parent is. Finally, remember if you have your locations managed in another system, then we can import those using the Cireson AM Connector to bring those in and keep them up to date which would save a lot of manual management of locations.

    3. The final question about using Cireson AM data for forecasting. There's no report like that built right in, but all the data is there so a simple custom report / dashboard in any of the platforms we support (including our own dashboard designer) would do that nicely.

    Hope this helps.

    Geoff

  • Daniel_PolivkaDaniel_Polivka Customer IT Monkey ✭
    I like your naming convention of the locations, and have implemented something very similar in our dev environment. I have been looking through the locations I've created, and there's a functionality that I wish existed. It would be awesome if locations could contain single or multiple items, and record quantity accordingly. Asset Management is great for the tracked items like PCs and servers, but for consumables, having a quantity field would help tremendously.

    Also, for consumables, would it be possible to have a field for Asset Tag? I like to think of a "start to finish" barcode process. For example, I assign 6' VGA Cables an asset tag of ABC00123, and assign it to pick bin location A1, and then it moves off to Accounting (Let's say they're known as 101). We will still know the item by it's "friendly name," but will move quantities of the consumable using a barcode scanable asset tag.
  • Nicholas_VelichNicholas_Velich Cireson Consultant Ninja IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Daniel-- you could extend the data model for Consumables to include a field for Asset Tag.

    More info:
  • Daniel_PolivkaDaniel_Polivka Customer IT Monkey ✭
    Ok, so I'm revisiting this thread after some soul-searching on my end. I've turned my model "upside down," and I've realized that most of what I want already exists, but I needed to approach it differently.

    Instead of focusing on locations, and finding consumables based on locations, I needed to do this the opposite way (by finding locations based on the consumable). In this regard, I am close to achieving my goal of accurate consumable management. However, there are a couple questions I have concerning the items themselves. 

    1. Unique Item Identifier Field (on both the Catalog Item and Consumable Screens)

    I'll use my Microsoft LifeCam Webcam screenshot all the way at the bottom of this post as an example. The consumable name for this item is Microsoft LifeCam Webcam. I think of this as the official name of the item, so if you were to look up this text against the vendor for this item (like CDW for example), then you would see it listed on their website as Microsoft LifeCam Webcam. However, if we were to use barcodes, we would like to use an identifying field like a Unique Item Identifier, instead of the consumable name. Not only is it easier to make a barcode, but it allows us to "group" at the Identifier level.

    For example, let's say we stock three different types of webcam (Microsoft, Logitech, and Adesso).

    Here's the name of each item as it appears on CDW's website, and how it would appear in our system to avoid confusion:

    a. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Web Camera
    b. Logitech C920 HD Pro Web Camera
    c. Adesso CyberTrack V10 - web camera

    Here is the barcode for each of these items:



    Not only is this impractical, but the length of the barcode is unreliable. Let's say we were to assign a unique number to each of these items, using a format like ABC000123. I can say that we are going to set aside the range of ABC000100 to ABC000199 as "mice," and as we buy new mice in the future, the item falls into this range.

    Let's apply this to the items from before:

    a. Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 Web Camera (ABC000104)
    b. Logitech C920 HD Pro Web Camera (ABC000105)
    c. Adesso CyberTrack V10 - web camera (ABC000106)

    Now, in barcode form (as ABC000104, ABC000105, and ABC00016):



    This is much easier to read, and when I want to see all mice in my environment, I have another way to do this by using a unique identifier range.

    This structure should exist for both Catalog Items and Consumables. So, if a Catalog Item like a desktop computer has Unique Identifier ABC000201, I should be able to relate the Related Assets to it, just like the Consumable Name field. Let's say I use the serial numbers of the PCs as my Asset Tag, I should be able to show the relationship:

    Catalog Item Unique Identifier:
    ABC000201

    Catalog Item Related Assets:
    OF93NTW
    9VNWL50
    2NBOS95


    Consumable Item Unique Identifier:
    ABC000104

    Consumable Item Related Assets:
    None (because it's a consumable)

    And so on and so forth...


    2. Ability to have multiple locations for one consumable

    This point will also reference the Microsoft LifeCam Webcam screenshot at the bottom of this post. I'm not going to beat a dead horse with how I would like multiple locations associated to a consumable (feel free to read the previous posts by me in this thread). However, I believe I now know how they can be implemented logically in Asset Management. Please note that I understand that I am not a programmer, and am not sure what the difficulty level is for this request.

    In the screenshot below, I can envision a separate tab existing after General, Assignment, Related Items, History, and calling it something like Locations, or Related Locations, or something to that effect. In this tab, you would be able to see fields that are shown below, like the Location, Available Count, Reorder Point, Maximum Available Level, etc... This would create a simple GUI for actions like adding stock, transferring stock, and issuing stock to a GL.

    There could even be an option to create a new location for the item in the right-hand side, as well as options for deleting a location, as well as associating all information from a location (for re-purposing).

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