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5 tips for efficiently managing and tracking loan-outs

Lending equipment to customers, employees, or students can have numerous benefits, but it could end badly if not managed properly.

Examples of equipment loans

  • Schools and universities that loan out IT, AV, and other tech equipment to students
  • Companies that want to monitor their employees' IT equipment checkouts
  • Video production companies that assign AV equipment to productions
  • Government or military bodies that issue safety equipment
  • Sports clubs that lend sporting gear to their members
  • Hotels and resorts that provide sporting equipment such as bicycles or scuba gear to their guests

Recurring problems with equipment loans

Unfortunately, it's easy to lose oversight when lending out equipment. Keeping track of due dates, identifying the last user of each item, and maintaining the condition of your equipment can quickly become complex. To prevent overlapping bookings, consider using a proper asset calendar.

Manually sifting through documents to retrieve information or check availability is inefficient and inconvenient, while contacting people to locate your equipment is a pure waste of time… 🥴

If an item is returned in questionable condition, it can be difficult to verify or prove whether the damage was caused by a specific person. This would only lead to unnecessary confusion and maybe even arguments.

But don't worry - solving these consistent, recurring problems is easier than you might think!

5 tips for efficiently loaning out your equipment

1. Keep your records up to date

Reliable data is key to good equipment management. Make sure both the info on your equipment and the users borrowing them are up-to-date. Require users to sign a loan agreement to hold them accountable if something goes wrong. Don't forget to debug your equipment management! 🐛

2. If it fits together, it sits together

When dealing with gear that always comes with the same set of items, keep them together in ‘kits.’ One kit could, for instance, include a camera, 3 lenses, a battery, an SD card, and some cables.

Or when you’re lending out laptops to students, store laptops together with their chargers in laptop bags and keep items neatly in a secure location. Any loose pieces could be stored separately and labeled as ‘extra charger,’ for instance.

3. Track damage

Document any damage using photos and precise descriptions. Remove damaged items from use, and keep a record of the reasons they are not in use. When using equipment management software such as Cheqroom, you can easily flag damaged items as broken. This prevents others from reserving them and makes it easier to identify items that require maintenance.

Flagging equipment in Cheqroom

4. Accurately registering goes a long way

Accurate registration is crucial in managing loaned equipment. This includes logging any necessary upcoming activities such as inspection, repair, maintenance, or cleaning. It's also important to record when certain procedures were last executed, like making a backup of a laptop or resetting it to factory settings. Additionally, reservations should be carefully tracked in a calendar.

5. Make clear agreements

It's crucial to communicate about agreements clearly. This includes explicit details about where and when items were picked up and where and when they should be returned. It's equally important to clarify what condition the items are in at the time of checkout, such as whether they were cleaned or recharged.

Make sure to set some guidelines regarding the acceptable use of the equipment, for instance, whether it's for professional or personal use only. Additionally, the value of the items should be disclosed to users so they are aware of the cost they’d be facing in case anything were to happen to the equipment.

Gear reservations in Cheqroom

Efficiently automated loan-out tracking

But what if… there would be a magic formula that would take care of all of the above in 1 go? Abracadabra, here’s equipment management software! 🪄

Cheqroom integrates all the tips from above and makes it easy to register, manage, organize, and track your equipment. Our intuitive software turns your front-line employees into gear management experts! And even when they are out on location producing the next blockbuster, users can manage the equipment easily on mobile. Changes are immediately synchronized to the cloud, ensuring everyone’s working with the same information.

And when you're dealing with different kinds of roles and people from outside your organization, we have a feature called ‘Equipment Access’. This feature restricts access to specific equipment, such as preventing juniors from booking the most advanced cameras until they reach the 3rd grade. Explore this feature and more by starting a free 7-day trial today or scheduling a demo.

Elke 4
Written by Elke Swinnen Dec 12, 2023

Elke Swinnen is Cheqroom’s video reporter and event queen. Most of the time, you’ll find her out in the world visiting Cheqroom customers and shows like NAB and IBC. She is passionate about sharing the latest gear updates, film industry insights, and top gear management tips and tricks. Her favorite pieces of gear are the ARRI ALEXA 35 and Aputure MC Pro. She’s also a Content and Social Media Marketer at Cheqroom.