Best Practice for inventory management

Valued Contributor II

We have machine's that go in and out of stock all the time. However that stock isn't handled by me and I rarely know where an asset is at any given point in time. How are you handling those assets and keeping them from showing up in a 'not checked in' group?


Honored Contributor

What does out of stock mean? That's typically something I hear in retail where products are sold.

Valued Contributor II

Sorry, yeah, we are a retail company :) What I meant was, they are turned in and re-deployed from the hardware asset management team (who holds on to the physical asset in a secured environment until it's deployed).

Valued Contributor II

You really have to rely on the desktop support team giving you a list of machines which they have pulled out of service... You could also make a drop-down fed extension attribute to allow other IT folks to designate the status of the machine in the JSS record, and then have an imaging setup script which would reset the status to "issued".

Contributor III

Depending upon the asset management software used by the hardware asset management team, one other possibility is have that software communicate directly with the JSS's API. That way, the hardware asset management team can update the JSS within their normal procedures and not have to complete an additional step; after all, a simpler process is usually the best way to go.

Tell your TAM about the asset management software and see if this is an available option.

Valued Contributor III

If they have a database of what they are doing they may be able to create a read only method for machines to read information out of it and pass that info back to the JSS. We have a database the machines use for naming themselves etc... we had stuff like lease expiry and the owners username added so we can pull this down and then pass it back to the JSS as an EA.

An alternative method might be to have Self Service policies that your asset team run on check in and check out of hardware that writes back to an EA on JSS showing the status.

You are always at some point reliant on people for these things unfortunately :)

Valued Contributor

To whomever receives the returned assets, I provide the following process:

  1. Boot to OS X Recovery
  2. Find the hardware serial number
  3. Locate the hardware record in the JSS
  4. Note whether the asset is fully depreciated/EOL using purchase/warranty dates & the org's policy
  5. Erase internal storage and install latest OS X
  6. If asset is EOL, inform IT that the computer record can be deleted and then recycle/donate/sell/etc.
  7. If asset is not EOL, return to inventory for redeployment

This process assumes best-practice out-of-box (no imaging) deployments.

New Contributor

I really like the idea of having another DB manage stock for checks and balances. Adding the new extension to our JSS looks to me like the next step I will take. Then investigate the JSS APIs and see if it could attach to the Big Brother solution (HAM).

Possibly this will help us balance the incorrect listings in our larger asset management system that seems to always fall behind. Or, at least be able to provide an easier way to have support staff apply current status to devices that does not rely on the slow scan-upload technology to get information in the HAMS.