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Resources Registry in OffiServ

by on June 10, 2011

Resources in OffiServ

You might be already familiar and find useful Resources Reservations feature in OffiServ. It is a simple yet powerful feature you can use to manage and control shared resources in your organization, like: conference rooms, company cars, portable projectors, demo laptops or even teaching aids in schools.

Once you start using OffiServ to book resources, you might ask question: I would like to store all of our resources in OffiServ – to have one place, one registry with all the equipment of our organization.

OffiServ was always focused on efficiency optimization, so now we are excited to present a big extension of Resources Management concept: Resources Registry.

Get Started

To get started, just ensure you have Resources and Reservations feature enabled. If you used reservations before then you already should have it enabled. Otherwise, check the check box and click Save below:

Resource Groups

Now go to Resources > Resource groups and create resource groups you need. Possibly you already have some default groups on the list but you can add new and modify or remove existing ones.

Resource group has some attributes defining behavior of resources in the group. Here is their meaning:

Method of Sharing Resources to Users

Use Sharing method configuration option to setup the way the resource will be shared (or not) to users:

    • Not assigned to user – resources not assigned to particular employee, e.g. corridor printer, conference room table
    • Reservation – resources are bookable for short time periods but do not require handover (e.g. conference rooms). Resource groups having this option will be listed in Resources menu.
    • Short term lending – resources are bookable for short term lendings and require handover (e.g. portable projectors).
    • Permanently assigned to user – resources are assigned to one user for undefined period of time (e.g. personal computers, company cars)

Resource groups having this option set to Reservation or Short time lending will be listed in Resources menu as well. You can click the group in the menu to see current booking schedule and book the resource for you – in the same way you did in OffiServ before.

Handover Method

Some organizations require that when a resource is passed between employees, a Handover Protocol document should be signed. If your organization requires such a document for resources of a particular group, then you can choose Printed handover protocol option. Otherwise, keep the default Simple handover and rely on OffiServ excellent history of handovers.

Ownership Form

This group attribute is disabled by default. To enable it, click a little arrow on the right side of any column header, choose Columns and check the check box of Ownership form item.

Ownership form is currently rather informational, but it also changes a set of attributes visible by default for resources in the group. We expect some extensions in this functionality  in future, e.g. reminders on rental end for Rental resources or expense reports for Paid per use resources:

  • Registered property – organization’s property, usually having serial number and registration number, e.g. portable PC
  • Not registered property – organization’s property, no serial number or registration number used, e.g. conference room
  • Rental – resources rent or leased from an external supplier for a period of time
  • Paid per use – resources or services rent or leased from an external supplier, paid per use

Setup Right Roles

Creation of the group automatically creates a respective Resource Keeper role. Resource Keeper is allowed to:

  • Add, edit, delete resources in the group she or he keeps
  • Mark resources as unavailable (in maintenance)
  • Perform handovers (issue and get in resources)

Resource Keeper cannot add, modify or remove a resource group. You need to have OffiServ administrator privileges for these tasks.

To assign appropriate Resource Keeper role to a particular employee, go to Organization > Structure of the organization, choose the employee, click Change data button, mark a check box at the right role and click Save.

Resources Management

To manage resources of a particular group click the hyper-linked resources group name.

Alternatively, you can use Resources > Management menu. This will display all the resources you have rights to manage, regardless the group.

Editing Resources

To edit a resource, click on the row you want to edit. You can add a resource using the button above the list.

To dispose a resource, click a respective red icon on the right. Please note that disposed resources are still stored in the system. You can see them by choosing Special filterDisposed resources“.

There are plenty of predefined attributes available for the resources. Many of them are initially hidden. To select an attribute to show, just click a little arrow at the right side of any column header and choose the attributes.

As the list can contain many items, there are some handy facilities available like: grouping, sorting and some predefined filters.

Changing group filter might change columns arrangement. The arrangement is saved as a personal preference, so depending on your usage model, you can arrange columns separately for each group in the way you need them and your browser should remember the setup. Please note that this might not work if you change browser, workstation or clear cookies.

Handover for Short Term Lendings

Nothing changed too much here: once the resource from  a group with Sharing method set to  Short term lendings, it can be booked through Resources > (group name) menu option and handed over through Resources > Lending resources menu.

Handover for Permanent Use

Many resources in the organization are issued to users permanently. Common examples are: personal computers, company cars, mobile phones, etc.

To handover resource from the group having Sharing method set to Permanently assigned to user, just click handover icon in the Actions column. Small dialog box appears. Choose the user from the list, enter remarks on the current state of the resource (e.g. “scratches on the right side”) and click “Issue” button.

State of the resource has been changed to In use:

Click the icon again to get the resource in once the user returned it.

If the Handover method option of the resource group is set to Printed handover protocol then issuing or getting the resource offers to open or save a PDF printout of the handover protocol. You can print the PDF file, sign it together with the user and store in your archive.

Notes for Existing Users

If you have already used OffiServ reservations, all your resource groups will have Sharing methods properly set up from day 0 – you do not need to set up anything. Columns with additional attributes will be available, but should be mostly hidden by default, so you should expect no disturbance if you would like to stick to simple reservations.

Wrap Up

Now you can extend OffiServ usage not only to manage shared resources reservations, but also to store and manage all the information about resources in your organization. We are looking forward to hear your opinions, suggestions. Please do not hesitate to drop a comment, submit an OffiServ Support Ticket or use UserVoice!

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