We’ve mentioned the use of kits previously as a method to streamline transactions carried out by your quartermaster. This is particularly helpful when it comes to assigning multiple pieces of equipment to personnel, where a defined group of personnel receives the same equipment over and over. This also helps with removing unwanted, or expired equipment in an efficient manner, eliminating extra labor to process bulk items of the same kind. Kits are a quartermaster’s best assistant, short of another person helping them.
What is a Kit?
By simple definition, a kit is a grouping of multiple items in storage that commonly assigned to personnel. This could be used when your agency has a new hire, or when someone has a specialty assignment. Basically, for any defined role in your agency, if there’s a specific set of equipment related to that function, kits give your quartermaster the ability to group all of those items together into a defined group, and with one scan, assign all those items to the person needing them. It frees up a lot of time, and allows your personnel to quickly receive the items they need, so both the quartermaster and agency personnel can focus on their respective tasks outside of equipment accountability.
There are some other ways to use the kit feature, and we will discuss that in future articles. For now, we’ll focus on the basic use of kits in asset management.
Creating & Assigning Kits
As we mentioned in the definition, building kits with equipment issued to new personnel is the most essential function when it comes to kit building. The most common issuance activity is providing equipment to new officers in any agency, and when you have an agency of over 100 sworn personnel, you could easily be hiring five to ten new officers at any one time. Having to issue individual items to each new officer would take the better part of the day, and that’s unacceptable. Especially when we know that all new officers receive the same amount of equipment, in the same quantities, within the same items. It only makes sense to have asset management software that allows your quartermaster to use a pre-determined list of said equipment, organize the appropriate quantities into their own boxes within your storage area, and mark them for issuance as a “New Hire” kit.
What makes your asset management software truly stand out, is when it recognizes these items in the future during purchasing, and when you quartermaster inputs them upon receiving them, asks your quartermaster if they are wanting to make a New Hire kit as they enter items into your agency storage. With two mouse clicks, the software displays the kits that can be made, your quartermaster completes both entering and kit making in one transaction, and they are left to focus their time and energy on bigger tasks concerning equipment.
This same process should catch on when officers transfer to full-time assignments, like K-9, Traffic, Narcotics, and any other special assignments your agency has that entail issuance of certain equipment.
Updating Personnel Kits
Of course, what we issue officers today is not the same five years from now, ten years from now, and so on. When a new piece of equipment is purchased and needs to be assigned to all officers, that task can be easy enough on its own. But what if it’s an item that replaces something in say, our New Hire kit? Sure, your quartermaster can go back and swap items out in existing kits, and even issue them to new officers as they come in. But what if your asset management software gave you the ability to see on a list who needed that new item, based on the definitions assigned in your system? Then your quartermaster to contact these officers quickly, have them bring in the old item, and swap out for the new one. That makes life easy, right? Not all asset management software does that, and it’s these types of scenarios your quartermaster deals with daily. These tasks are necessary, but they absorb more time than you can afford, and you need software that makes their job easier, so that your agency productivity is maximized.
The more your asset management software can do for your agency, the more time you can spend on critical missions, and not on administrative tasks. And we all know that’s only a matter of time before the next incident that requires all hands-on deck. Better they have all the equipment they need rapidly, then to be stuck waiting on them to sign for it, one item at a time.
Be safe out there!