Inventory management

#1

One problem that must be avoided whilst deciding on specific inventory management is the acknowledgement that for certain categories of things, there are specialist concerns. For example, for electronic parts, I personally and some organisations I’ve been involved in have had excellent results with partkeepr (https://partkeepr.org/). This has a lot of really useful specialist features for electronic components which really help in making it actually useful enough to add value and use.

At the same time, it seems pretty hopeless as a general tools/assets system. I think where such things are justified, we shouldn’t be too afraid of having multiple systems. A similar area might for example be 3d printing consumables.

On the other hand, we do need a “one true source” of knowledge about capital assets. So, to start the flamewar about this, I propose consideration of the following two options:

  1. https://snipeitapp.com/ (kitchen sink)
  2. https://github.com/cadrspace/hackdepot (bare bones but proibably easier to customise to any needs)
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#2

I’d be careful about using hackdepot. It looks like it hasn’t received any attention for about a year now. Also, russian hackers :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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#5

I think I will try and spin up a snipit container, play around see if you can strip off a lot of the “IT” bullshit and add in custom fields for "category of possession - Loan / Donation / Purchased " etc.

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#6

Dan - I’m planning to use Gnucash for most of our financial needs. There are currently many complaints from users that there is no inventory management module. I imagine Gnucash may add one in the near future, as there certainly seems to be demand for it. For now, I’d be grateful if you could tell me whether and how your ‘wotsit’ would play nicely with Gnucash. Please give me a simple answer as anything else will go straight over my head!!! :smiley: Thanks

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#7

Not Sure if this is relevant or not but the south london hackspace has some home built hackspace managment software that handles a slew of hackspace type issues.
Our (SLMS) membership system was made by @unknowndomain (who’s no longer a member, but still advises on the topic)
GitHub14
southlondonmakerspace/membership-system

membership-system - This is a membership management system, it’s chiefly a database of member data for legal purposes, setting up subscription payments, managing access control permissions, log…

IMO, it’s an excellent bit of software.

It handles access permissions (front door, roller shutter, laser cutter, band saw etc.) It includes discourse account linking, and automatic promotion/demotion from discourse groups according to those access permissions

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It has an activity log (Joe blogs, opened the door) and this synchs to a chat popup on discourse (using the babble plugin1)

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It uses Gocardless for payments.

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#8

Could you provide a link to the GitHub repository?

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#9

https://github.com/southlondonmakerspace/membership-system

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#10

this looks absolutely great to me, and is even (somewhat) maintained.

I don’t think it does physical asset tracking in any sense, though? So that would still have to be a separate thing under the principle of “don’t try and write something until you absolutely need to”

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#11

I agree. Even if we have to bodge something else to get something that sort of works. That way we have a clearer idea of what we would want. If we did decide to build a package, that did what we needed, they seem to sugest that its fairly simple to add onto theif existing framework

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#12

I just want to clarify on what they mean by it being simple to add functionality to the system.

This means it’s easy to link the existing code with new code. It doesn’t, however, mean that writing new code (such as an asset management system)is quick or easy.

So, writing an asset management component will still require a lot of effort and is probably a bad idea.

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#13

dear all,
there is now a Digital Ocean droplet configured with a completely default version of snipe-IT for us to test at:

http://139.59.185.117

there is a “demo” account, with
username: demo
password: demodemodemo

this has all permissions except deleting users.

Please play around with it!
Unfortunately I haven’t found a way (yet) to disable all the extraneous very IT specific functionality, so I think the hunt continues…

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#14

We’ll have to be sure to change the credentials before this forum becomes publicly readable.

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#15

sure, I was intending this just as a demo to play around with, not the actual instance we use

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#16

so I’ve been looking at another possibility - searched for a long time amongst what other spaces are using, and Makespace (Cambridge) seem to have an honest to god actually working in house system (available here http://makespace-equipment-db.herokuapp.com/ ) which whilst not under active development at the moment is very mature. It’s on github as well (https://github.com/Makespace/equipment-db).

Only drawback so far as I can see is that it’s in Ruby, which I don’t know, and we’d probably want some kind of login integration which doesn’t seem to yet exist…

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#17

update : It’s a real pain in the a*se to install on a recent version of Ruby on Rails

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#18

after a fair bit more mucking around, I found this system: http://www.kit-catalogue.com/projectpages/

written in PHP (ugh), but is actually very close already to what we need. Integration with LDAP for login, custom fields, and a REST API (which I think is read only, but could be used to easily hack together a label printed for example). I think with very minimal hacking this could be pretty good (no mobile clients, though).

I’ve spun up an instance http://206.189.23.103 - anonymous access for browsing items in the inventory, but you need an account to add new items.

if anyone wants an account, lmk

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#19

I think this could be a decent place to start. I’m not thrilled about the php bit because that tends to increase the probability of it being a massive security risk, but as a starting point this is great.

Maybe we just make sure it’s only reachable internally (while physically on site)?

We could probably run with this for a while… and migrating to something else later shouldn’t be too rough.

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#20

ok, my current position after some more messing around when I should have been working this morning:

we should move to something decent and customise something. In the immediate term, we should use this:

I got an account and messed around with it and it seems to do absolutely everything we want including custom fields, barcodes, has mobile apps etc, and bonus is it exports not horrendously awful looking CSV for when we want to migrate the data to our own solution.

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#21

Ticks all the boxes.

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#22

except login integration, but if we push I think we’ll have something nicer in place before that becomes a real issue.

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