Equipment Checkout Services and Software Strengths and Shortfalls

Date: 07/05/2019
Equipment Checkout Services and Software and ndash; Strengths and Shortfalls

Equipment lending and checkout schemes are highly valued by students and staff alike. Students can progress their skills and achieve professional results using high end cameras, lighting and audio equipment.

Every day, they provide much-needed resources and advice. However, as these services work under constraints, it isn’t possible to satisfy everyone all the time. It’s also important that robust equipment checkout software is in place to ensure resources are tracked and easily accessed.

In this article, we look at what’s valued most from university equiment lending operations. We also look at areas needing further support or ideas. It’s based on input from over 130 staff and students. Here’s what they said…

GREATEST STRENGTHS

Both the range and quality of equipment on offer are the most highly valued aspects of equipment lending services. The array of resources available enable students to grow skills for future careers in film, music and other media. It provides valuable access to equipment without the deep pockets or connections otherwise needed.

Respondents stated that the ease of reserving items ahead of use and good availability are also highly valued. Ease of access can’t be under estimated! Another key aspect is that these services offer resources that are reliable and well maintained.

So to sum up, these are the top 5 features most recognized and liked from successful operations:

1.Range of equipment
2.Quality of equipment
3.Ease of booking ahead
4.Good availability
5.Equipment is well maintained

MOST COMMON SHORTFALLS

Limited availability of equipment and reservation slots that are too short are causing the most frustrations. In fact, over a quarter of students felt this was the case. Others complaints are more focused on the systems in place for access. So what exactly is going wrong?

Many students are expected to turn up on spec and hope for the best when checking kit out. Here they find that checkout is slow, with the need to wait in line and long prep times. When they get to the front of the line, they sometimes feel rushed.

In these cases students felt that access could be better organized, and systems could be more user-friendly. The top 5 suggestions for raising service standards were:

1.Improve resource availability
2.Make it possible to reserve items in advance
3.Speed up checkout times
4.Make reservation system easier to use
5.Modernize outdated systems of access

The systems under criticism vary from paper and sticky notes, to spreadsheets, library management systems, online forms and reservations by email. Some resource scheduling systems are also failing due to poor usability or no advance reservation facilities.

These problems are really worth solving when the services in question are so important to those that use them. But what about the top criticism here, the one concerning availability? With finite resources, this isn’t so easy to fix, right?

Well there’s actually a lot you can do without needing a bigger equipment budget. Well designed equipment checkout software improves availability through the option to book ahead and with better turnaround on resources used. Students will become more aware of the whole range of resources too. And it can even reduce overdue items and losses.

ABOUT CONNECT2

Lorensbergs has developed connect2 software for equipment checkout and scheduling over the last 15 years in conjunction with our higher education customers. It meets the requirements of all staff, student users and senior stakeholders for an easy to use and efficient checkout and inventory management solution. Today connect2 supports equipment lending services in over 100 academic institutions, as the leading software in its field.


http://www.connect2software.com

Tags: equipment lending services | equipment checkout software | higher education IT
Submitted by Philippa Bryant (Lorensbergs)
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