Rentman Academy - Plan equipment and solve shortages

Reading time: 30 to 45min

Hi there! At this point, you have already scheduled equipment on a project. This was only the surface, however, and what you are about to discover will be a game-changer for sure!

If you get lost or stuck at some point in the process, please don't hesitate to ask our Support team for help in the bottom right corner of your screen. They will be happy to assist you.


One step further in setting up your items

You have already set up your database in the implementation guide. Now, it’s time to dig a little deeper...

Serial numbers

How-to: Serial numbers

When you have valuable pieces of equipment, you may want to track exactly where they are and how they have been used. This is why Rentman allows you to use serial numbers if you want to. This way, you do not just have a vague idea about how many microphones you have, but you know exactly which one is still in the warehouse and which one is used on a project right now.

Serial numbers can be used only on specific items. For example, you probably don’t want to track each and every cable you own.

If it hasn’t been done yet, we will add a few serial numbers to your equipment database. You may not use them yet, but they can come handy with the growth of your company.

1 - Go to your category Equipment module and edit edit a rental item. Go to the Serial numbers tab and + Add at least two serial numbers.

The serial numbers are extremely useful with valuable items. You may want to keep a close eye on their history, location and status.


How-to: Alternatives

Sooner or later, you’ll want to plan an item on a project and realize that you don’t have it in stock. There are two ways of handling such a situation. You can either subrent that item (we will talk about this later) or plan an alternative.

2 - Go to your category Equipment module and edit edit a rental item. Go to the Alternatives tab and add one or several items that could be used as a replacement.

One step further in planning your items

Planning serial numbers

Let’s now go back to the project you created in Project Management - L1. You experienced previously that it’s possible to plan your equipment on a project. Let’s now be more specific. If a piece of equipment has serial numbers, it’s possible to assign a serial number to the project. This way, your crew will know that they need to use this specific serial number and not another one. It is extremely important to keep track of the serial numbers but also to make sure they rotate nicely. Last but not least, if you have just acquired a new serial number, you may want to use it prior to the other items that have been used and worn out.

3 - Plan an item with serial numbers on the project. Click on the More options more_vert button and "Assign serial numbers". Select one from the list. Check it out, you can even see if they are already assigned to another project or not.

Use the method we learned in Project Management - L1
Hint 2


Dealing with the availability of the equipment

How-to: Equipment availability

4 - Plan the equipment that has an alternative. Raise the quantity of this item and another one to the point you know you won’t have enough in stock.

Now, Rentman should show you a big red line, making it very clear that you do not have enough of that item. As we mentioned earlier, there are ways to fix that situation. But first, you want to understand why these items are not available anymore.

5 - Select the items in red, the ones that have a shortage, and watch_later Open timeline. Click on the item name to unfold the dropdown list.

You will see that there is a shortage here because there are more items scheduled than available in the warehouse stock. The timeline also shows you on which other project the items may be scheduled. This timeline is also available from the Equipment module.

Now that it’s clear, you know you have an alternative for one of these items.

6 - Hover your mouse over it and click on "Details". The widget will open with quite some information including the alternative equipment. Add it (+) and delete the one that has a shortage.

For the other item that has a shortage, you know you do not have any alternative and you have no other choice but to subrent it.

7 - Select the equipment that has a shortage. Click on the More options more_vert button and then "Subrent shortages". You probably do not have any subrental requests open at the moment so you need to create a new one.

8 - Check that your item is in the list. If it’s ok, select one of your contacts as a supplier.

9 - Enter dates to make sure that the equipment you are renting will be available for the entire duration of the project.

10 - Save and go back to your project. The shortage must have disappeared.

A subrental request can last longer than a project to cover several projects for example. If you reopen the timeline, you should see that there is now a blue line. This shows the item you are subrenting to cover the shortage.

Equipment reserved

To be 100% sure the items will be available for your project on D-Day, they need to be reserved. This prevents them from being reserved for other, less important projects. The reservation is automatic once the project is confirmed. This project is not confirmed, it is an option. However, it is an important project and you are sure it won’t be cancelled. Therefore, you need to make sure these items will be reserved.

11 - Click on "Reserve equipment" above your list of planned equipment. Do you see the equipment status change?

The specific case of sales items

12 - Plan a sales item on your project and watch_later Open timeline.

The difference you see is due to the nature of sales items. Once they leave the warehouse, they are not meant to come back. The timeline reflects that.

Your equipment is now fully booked and you are satisfied. The date of the event approaches and you want to communicate the packing slip to your crew.

13 - Go to the General tab of your project. Click print "Create Document". In the layout section, you will be able to select the document template and the letterhead. Choose to generate a packing slip.

Looks like you are getting ready for the event. It is now time to dig deeper into functionalities of Rentman. You can learn more about planning your crew, booking equipment, or invoicing if it has not been done yet. If you have completed Level 1 of all your modules, it is now time to have a look at Documents and Communication - Level 1 before moving up to level 2!


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