How to set up a hybrid equipment room

The happy medium between self-service and a closed equipment room.

Pricey gear + heavy equipment room traffic = risk of loss, theft, breakage. But in a world where most equipment managers have additional specialties and responsibilities, a locked equipment room isn’t always an option except for the biggest companies.

A hybrid equipment room may be exactly what you need to strike that perfect balance between oversight and flexibility. Discover the ultimate steps to a flawless experience – a win-win for equipment managers and users alike.

Set up the right hybrid location:

  • Designate an accessible reservation area outside the equipment room.
  • Ensure that gear can be picked up or dropped off in a predefined location – such as a specifically labeled drawer.
  • Link each drawer/space/shelf with one specific user.
  • Separate pickup and drop-off locations to avoid confusion and mistakes.

Automate communication:

  • Notify freelancers and internal equipment users where to pick up/drop off the gear and relevant passcodes for locks.
  • Work with SMS: SMS messages are simple, more present than e-mail, and don’t require an internet connection to access.

Invest in the right infrastructure:

  • Purchase lockable cabinets or cages to safeguard your gear.
  • Use a combination or numeric padlocks – not keys, which have to be exchanged in an extra transaction.
  • If working with multiple equipment rooms, consider installing a card access system (no need to reset lock combinations after every use).

The benefits

For equipment managers

  1. No need to physically be there to orchestrate pickup and drop-off

  2. Prepare equipment for checkout ahead of time

  3. No queues of users to deal with

  4. Time to handle other responsibilities

For users/freelancers

  1. No hurrying to finish up a shoot or other project on time

  2. Flexible pickups and drop-offs

  3. Easy-to-access notifications about location/time of pickup/drop-off

  4. No extra time spent on communication

Pro tip
: an asset management tool like Cheqroom adds an extra layer of insight and accountability to the equipment management process.

Rely on a digital “paper trail” documenting all notifications and the history of the booking process, ensuring full traceability in case of broken gear. Easily link SMS (or e-mail, or push) notifications to the triggers of your choice (ex. when equipment is due/late) and take automated communication a few steps further.

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Written by Hana Belbecir Aug 06, 2021