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RentalDesk NX and Barcodes


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Hello All


I hope this is the right section, it looks like it. I have a small question for anyone using RentalDesk and Barcodes... erm how does it work?


Basically what I want to know is for example, I have a relatively large collection (about 600 lines of stock) of lighting, sound, AV equipment and cables (as well as other bits and bobs) and I want to introduce barcoding to try and keep a better track of things. Now I know barcodes should be the answer, but in the help files in RentalDesk it seems to be for specific items, as in an amplifier, but does it work for equipment where being specific is not required, for example mic leads, the help files aren't that helpful in RentalDesk.


Could all the equipment be barcoded and then read with a scanner and then an amount entered in and then be transfered over to RentalDesk. For example, I want four mics, four mic leads, four stands, a mixing desk, a stagebox, 4 DI's etc etc, so could I just scan them in and enter the quantities and then connect it to the computer with RentalDesk on and 'download' the list to there and then print off the lists (customer copy, warehouse copy etc). From the help files creating barcodes for the mixing desk shouldn't be a problem, but I don't need to be specific about mic leads as I don't want to track each individual mic lead just track that A mic lead has gone out.


I gather in RentalDesk that the Type Code would be the bar code and if you add a barcodes to an item (like a mixing desk) then it would tag it on to the end of the Type Code. So for example a Klark Teknik DN360 EQ would be KTEQDN360 in the Type Code and then if we had 2 of them the first Bar Code would be KTEQDN360SN001 and the second Bar Code would be KTEQDN360SN002. But for a 10m mic lead, it could be 3XF3XM10MBK for the Type Code and that is also the Bar Code, of which we could have 50 of them, but when it comes to taking them out of stock we would then just scan in the barcode and then enter a quantity. Am I right?


I can't really seem to find information like this anywhere and I'm not that up to scratch with Barcode readers, scanners, software etc. so I don't know what it's capable of. So any help would be brilliant, if you understood that.


EDIT: I've noticed in RentalDek that Type Codes are for General Items, but if I can still have your experiences on this then that would be great, just so I know what I'm donig and also so I can tell those who make the descicions what it is all about and for them to say 'Yes'.


Thank You

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Hire track is a similar bit of software made by the same people and the barcoding in that works so that you have a barcode per an item. So each XLR has a unique barcode. If you want to just enter in items with hire track you can just type in the number of each item that you want to send out (or do a select all and send selected out).


The reason behind this is that barcoding will give you a history of the item. You can check up to see when it created, PAT tested etc. as well as any maintance carried out on it. You can also do some clever stuff such as see who the last 5 people were to hire it (good when you think it has been broken by someone), you can pick a bit of kit off the warehouse floor and ask when did this come from also if you are sending out a job it can tell you that it is currently on hire to someone else. A quite good additional function is the ability to mark something as due for repair so if someone attempts to send it out they cant until approved by someone else.


It can also help on counting errors and almost completely elimiates the picking of wrong equipment, BUT it does add a heavy overhead to the picking time.


The above is for hire track but I cant imagine why they would do it differently (I believe but am very unsure that you can upgrade your rental desk to hire track when it suits your business need)

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Barcoding in HireTrack Eclipse and RentalDesk is slightly different.

Both support unique barcodes per item of equipment, these barcodes are nothing more than a prompt to the software, so there's no need to have any human useful information in them e.g you can tell a piece of equipment is a Klark Teknik DN360 EQ by looking at it, so why have the description within the barcode e.g KTEQDN360SN001, KTEQDN360SN002 when all that is required is a unique number e.g MyCo00001, MyCo00002 etc.

So in this example each Klark Teknik DN360 EQ device would have a unique barcode. This allows a complete record to be kept for this piece of equipment, whether that's PAT test results or just the Hire History, useful if it's found to be damaged.


The other kind of barcode is a TYPE CODE, this is where HireTrack Eclipse and RentalDesk NX differ.

In RentalDesk NX the Type code is mearly a place to store some user specific information for this piece of equipment. All Klark Teknik DN360 EQ's would have the same code. The code can't be used for anything else.

However in HireTrack Eclipse this code can also be used to scan out/back equipment, in which case it's used for equipment that doesn't merit an individual barcode such as a mic cable where you want to know if one didn't get returned off a job, but you don't really care which one it was.

So if type code MyCo9999 is on the warehouse bin containing say 10m XLR cables, if you scan the barcode MyCo9999, HireTrack Eclipse will prompt you asking how many you wish to send out I.e you'll track a quantity of XLR cables rather than tracking each one individually.


You may find asking questions on www.clubnavigator.co.uk useful, which is a peer to peer forum for RenatlDesk (and HireTrack) users.

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