Monthly Gizmo Inventory

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Instructions for monthly inventory go here.

  • Inventory must be done after closing on the last business day of the month, before opening on the first business day of every month.
  • The count is up to the last day of the previous month. For example, the January count is done before opening on the first day of February.
  • All data entry of disbursements, recycling, donations, sales, etc., should be caught up before starting this process.
"Run a report"
This means run a gizmo report in the database. Start date is 2000-09-01 and end date is the final day of the last month counted.
"Run a monthly report"
Same as above, but start date is first of the month being counted and end date is the final day of the month being counted.
  1. Run a report to match the previous month's inventory.
    • Look for discrepancies from the report actually run during last month's inventory.
    • Enter adjustments as needed to make the start count correct.
      • These discrepancies are generally data entered after the last inventory for the period before the inventory and are the reason you want all the data entry done before the current inventory is taken, ideally in earlier of the two calendar months.
  2. Run a report up through the month being counted. This is your starting report
  3. Run a monthly report for the month being counted. This is the Adjusted Monthly Activity report.
  4. Count the standard items in the building.
    • Do not count items that have not yet been entered into the database as received or returned.
    • Do not count items that have already been entered into the database as sold, disbursed, or recycled.
  5. Enter your numbers into a spreadsheet to calculate what adjustments must be made.
    • Print a copy of the spreadsheet. This is your adjustment report.
  6. Enter adjustments for the month being counted.
  7. Run a report for the month being counted. This is your ending report.
  8. Run a monthly report for the month being counted. This is the Adjusted Monthly Activity report.
  9. File the beginning and ending report for next month.

Assigning Areas

These can be assigned to people to count at the end of the day. Each assigned counter can be given a form listing the types of items to count. Most areas contain one or only a few types of items on the list, but any countable item in the area must be recorded (including items misplaced in the area).

All areas counted should be counted between closing on the last business day of the month and opening on the first business day of the next month. In areas that are very static it may be acceptable to count early and ensure that no items are added or removed until the count is finished.

What to count

Items on the below list are only types of gizmos that need to be counted. Each item counted should meet the following criteria:

  1. We can reasonably assume the item has been properly received (that is, recorded in the database)
  2. We can reasonably assume the item has 'not been recorded as going out of the stream. That is, we do not count items that have been
    • disbursed (adoption or build)
    • recycled
    • sold (in the thrift store)

For example, we do not need to count systems in the big pile waiting to be processed in the warehouse, since these have been received (rule #1, but they have also been marked in the database as recycled). We do count the systems in System Evaluation, since they have been received, but not marked as recycled.

Counts are recorded on the Inventory Sheet here.

List of areas

The building is split into three rectangular sections of approximately 5,000 sq feet each.

North third (Warehouse)

  • Bulk Sales (Currently between printerland and the TV area)
  • Hardware Grant Storage Shelf (along wall south of monitors)
  • Mac Storage Shelf (north end of first shelf east of Monitors area)
  • Monitors area (to the right when entering the warehouse from System Evaluation up to and including monitor storage shelves. This includes the shelf along the wall separating the warehouse from System Evaluation.)
  • Printerland (to the left when entering the warehouse from System Evaluation, but also the shelf to the right when entering from System Evaluation, and going forward (north) to the TVs area.)
  • Regular system storage (the two main shelves at the eastmost end of the warehouse and part of the next)
  • TVs (in warehouse at post straight ahead when entering from System Evaluation)

Central third

  • Build Lab, excluding server build and excluding LCD testing
  • LCD testing in the Build lab
  • Mac Land (east and west areas)
  • Online Sales Room no longer considered part of the TARDIS
    This does not include any online sales inventory in the main part of the TARDIS
  • A/V Room (with some Online Sales)
  • Receiving (east of System Evaluation up to the front of the building)
  • Server build
  • System Evaluation, including overflow area 1 (near power supply storage) and overflow area 2 (up the hall closer to the front of the building.
  • Treehouse/Mezzanine (upstairs from Hardware ID, Advanced Testing area)

South third

  • Classroom
  • Laptops, including adjacent small and large storage rooms
  • Library There is a shelf of printers here.
  • Meeting Room Usually nothing but may have adoption computers in it.
  • Ready to go systems, between classroom and laptops
  • Thrift Store, including adjacent back storage room
  • Upstairs. Usually nothing but check it anyway.

And finally

  • The Truck, don't forget to check it, but if there is anything in there, make sure of whether or not it has been received before including it in the totals.

Items to be counted

Gizmo types to count in inventory:

  • TV-CRT
  • Monitor-CRT
  • System w/ CRT
  • System w/ CRT (Mac)
  • TV-LCD
  • Monitor-LCD
  • System w/ LCD
  • System w/ LCD (Mac)
  • Laptop
  • Laptop (Mac)
  • System
  • System (Mac)
  • Server
  • Fax Machine
  • Multi-function Printer
  • Printer
  • Scanner


The following should be bundled together as the record of the inventory.

  • error reports (which should show all zeros):
    • obvious past errors (report from 1901-12-14 to 2000-08-31 -- before Free Geek opened)
    • obvious future errors (report from today's date to 2038-01-17 -- in the future)
  • Beginning report (2000-09-01 to date of last inventory)
  • Details of any corrections that needed to be made to reconcile with last inventory
  • Raw gizmo count data sheets
  • printout of spreadsheet combining the raw data
  • Ending report (2000-09-01 to date of this inventory)
  • monthly report of the past month.
  • printout of the calculation of the discrepancies between the actual inventory and the database inventory projection
  • printout of any adjustment entries to the database
  • written report of the inventory, including problems found, and proposed changes in procedure.


  • Make sure the beginning all-time gizmo report for the previous inventory matches what it was at the time of the previous inventory.
  • Make sure none of the entries made during the month fall outside of the month.
    • Especially look for entries in the future.
    • Any entry for a donation made this month for a previous month must be matched by an adjustment to make the numbers match the actual inventory.