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Booking Shared Equipment using OffiServ

by on September 9, 2010

OffiServ helps employees in your organization to book shared equipment or facilities like conference rooms, projectors or company cars. Starting to use this feature takes a bit of time to set up but when finished your organization can benefit from simple and well-organized reservation management without conflicts and unavailabilities.

Booking Equipment in OffiServ

Every office-based organization has some equipment used by employees when needed for some business purposes: notebook computers, portable projectors, mobile phones or even company cars. Usually someone looks after such equipment, maintains booking schedule, resolves booking conflicts and ensures that the piece of equipment has been returned on time and not broken.

In OffiServ such equipment is referenced as resources. OffiServ helps your company to manage such shared resources efficiently thanks to the features like Resource Booking, Resource Management and Resource Handover.

How to Book a Conference Room

To book a conference room click the Resources – Conference Rooms menu option.

There is a convenient calendar showing when a conference room is free and when is busy. Just mark the checkbox beside the conference room that you like, choose the right day and time for your reservation, enter some reservation reason and click Reserve.

Finding Free Slots and Conflicts Resolution

Sometimes it might be difficult to find a free slot in a conference room schedule. OffiServ helps you to find the conference room by displaying a tooltip with names and contact information of the person who previously booked a conference room. It is then easy to call the that person and ask for rescheduling possibility. If not possible, it is convinient to book another, similar conference room.

View or Cancel Your Reservations

To view list of your reservations with option to cancel unnecessary ones you can go to the Resources – My reservations menu.

There you see a list of reservations with an option to cancel these which are no longer required.

Reservations on Dashboard

Dashboard is the main page of OffiServ, in fact deserving for the separate post – stay tuned 🙂 ! Reservations of resources starting in near future are displayed in the dasbhoard in List of reservations and lendings section. There are also displayed recent lendings required to be handed over.

Equipment Management in OffiServ for Administrators

Resource groups

OffiServ helps your company not only in booking conference rooms. In a typical office-based company there are different kinds of equipment, looked after by different employees. For instance, notebook computers and mobile phones might be supervised by IT Administrators while company cars might be maintained by a Facility Manager.

In OffiServ you can create a different groups of equipment, called resource groups and assign different persons as their supervisors, called resource keepers.

To create a new resource group, go to the Resources menu and select Resource Groups position.

After that the resource groups list will be presented. If you just created OffiServ application for your organization then you will see the following default groups. Of course you can adjust the list by adding new resource groups more suitable for your organization or removing unnecessary resource groups.

To add a new resource group, click Add resource group button and fill in a few details.

For instance, in your company there might be some GPRS Cards in stock. Employees borrow GPRS Cards when they plan a business trip to stay connected during the trip. As GPRS Cards are quite expensive and they tend to be forgotten, broken or lost, signing handover protocol is required when a GPRS Card is borrowed or returned by an employee. We also want to help employees to return GPRS Cards on time, so we set up some reminders. We also input a Resource Keeper, i.e. the person who looks after GPRS Cards, hands them over to the employees and check their condition when returned.

After pressing Save the new group is created.

To remove a group or change data of existing group just click the respective action in the table row.

Add or Remove Resources

To add, modify or remove a resource, click the Resources – Management menu item to go to to the management page.  A resource may be added using Add resource button. Then you enter required details, like: Name, Description and Resource Group. Please note that only Resource Group you have rights to manage (i.e. you are their Keeper) are available.

From the same page you can make a resource temporarily unavailable, for instance when the resource is broken or in scheduled maintenance.

You can also delete the resource by clicking delete and confirming the dialog box.

Summary

Resources reservation and lending is a powerful feature of OffiServ. It may be one of the most frequently used features of OffiServ in many organizations, especially when administrator takes a few minutes of time to properly configure it: create a list of reservable conference rooms, list of projectors and notebooks available for booking, etc. We hope you’ll find even more useful ways to use it.

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