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Thread: Online equipment inventory and booking system - Quartermaster's database

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    Online equipment inventory and booking system - Quartermaster's database

    Does anyone have have suggestions and experience of using any online booking systems for managing camping equipment bookings?

    I'm hoping that we can maintain an online camping equipment inventory and then individuals can book resources, flag equipment as out of service, see available equipment etc. Maybe manage insurance records (i.e. purchase price, purchase date, insurance value, etc).

    I've looked at the Quartermaster's database on OSM but it seems rather limited with no central overview and reporting.

    Thanks

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    I looked around for a system to do this sort of thing but couldn't find anything that suited our needs. I ended up building a web application to provide an interface to an inventory database.

    It's fairly simple and allows for the cataloguing of equipment.

    The majority of our camp equipment and boats are given a reference number (POR requires this for watercraft) and each item has a record in the database.

    Some pieces of equipment (like tents/camp crates) have this reference in the form of a barcode on a tag/label.

    These can be scanned in and the record brought up. Our Scouts loved using the barcode scanner to put items on the system, it's a great way to get them involved in the quartermaster/maintenance stuff.

    We use the system mainly to keep a record of what we own but also things like serial numbers and storage location. If a piece of equipment gets damaged it can be noted on the item's record.

    Once I've finished it I'd be happy to share it with people if it will be of use. I've not thought about including a booking facility as we've never felt the need to do that as a group.








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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Look forward to hearing more about this

    We presently use spreadsheets, which are not ideal

    Rich

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    looks interesting.

    The old equartermaster access database had a scanner interface - issue we found was that barcode labels never seemed to last long.

    Long ago ran out of time and inclination to carry on with the eqm project but equally looking for something for our HQ stores. Booking isn't an issue for us as we don't ever run different camps at the same time. At the moment we have a spreadsheet of what kit we have in stores with faults etc listed, and gradually getting round to writing codes on some of the kit. Would be interested to see how this project pans out

    (still have a barcode scanner lying around SOMEWHERE at home!)

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    I'd like to hear some more about this too. Would be good to keep my QM occupied for a weekend or two

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    The barcodes are on laminated luggage tags cable tied to the handles of the tent.

    Boxes/crates have the barcode on a laminated contents label

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    Member sibrows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmolesey View Post
    The barcodes are on laminated luggage tags cable tied to the handles of the tent.

    Boxes/crates have the barcode on a laminated contents label
    Have you labeled cooking equipment or just the boxes they are stored in?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibrows View Post
    Have you labeled cooking equipment or just the boxes they are stored in?
    We label the crate, not the stuff inside it. The crate's record on the system will contain relevant information about contents.

    i.e.

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    ASL Kev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    (still have a barcode scanner lying around SOMEWHERE at home!)
    Could it be implemented using QR codes scanned using a mobile phone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Could it be implemented using QR codes scanned using a mobile phone?
    No reason why not, there are free QR generators on the internet, and QR codes are just a 2D barcode.... A lot of the QR readers for phones will also read barcodes....

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevynxxx View Post
    No reason why not, there are free QR generators on the internet, and QR codes are just a 2D barcode.... A lot of the QR readers for phones will also read barcodes....
    No real advantage over code 128 and you'd need a qr code app to read them. You'd also have to somehow link it to whatever system you're using.

    A usb barcode scanner is seen by the pc as a keyboard so it's as easy as clicking in the reference box and scanning the barcode.

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    GSL/ESL(YL)/TA Mark W's Avatar
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    A major problem is getting labels that last more than two seasons. There's no point having a system that requires continuous replacement of unreadable labels. In my experience, laminated labels aren't sufficiently resilient.
    If it was easy, it wouldn't be so much fun...
    GSL 1st Aylburton & Lydney, TA, ESL(YL), District Campsite Warden & webmanager .....only 1 hour a week, they said (not pointing out that was what was left)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    A major problem is getting labels that last more than two seasons. There's no point having a system that requires continuous replacement of unreadable labels. In my experience, laminated labels aren't sufficiently resilient.
    We'll see how we go but i can't see how a laminated sheet stuck to a box is going to be a problem.

    The tags are laminated twice with reinforced eyelets. The only way I can see them coming off is people picking up the tent by them.

    The system would actually function just as well without the labels. As I said, we built it to keep an inventory which POR requires us to do with watercraft. You can search by item name (rather than scanning a barcode) so just as easy.

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    GSL/ESL(YL)/TA Mark W's Avatar
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    I haven't yet found an adhesive/tape that keeps a laminated sheet attached for any length of time (years not months). Similarly, even double laminated reinforced eyelets perish (water ingress between laminations, ripping, wire/tie-wrap fail in use). I like the idea but couldn't implement it in an efficient manner. If you spend too much time maintaining the inventory management system, rather than the inventory, it's a fail.
    If it was easy, it wouldn't be so much fun...
    GSL 1st Aylburton & Lydney, TA, ESL(YL), District Campsite Warden & webmanager .....only 1 hour a week, they said (not pointing out that was what was left)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    I haven't yet found an adhesive/tape that keeps a laminated sheet attached for any length of time (years not months). Similarly, even double laminated reinforced eyelets perish (water ingress between laminations, ripping, wire/tie-wrap fail in use). I like the idea but couldn't implement it in an efficient manner. If you spend too much time maintaining the inventory management system, rather than the inventory, it's a fail.
    We need a list of boats and serial nos for por and insurance reasons. The system would do the job we require it to do without any labels at all.

    Works for us!

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