Deployment Infra (incl DEMO of Inventory Mgmt for 1000s of XOs)
Presented by Daniel Drake
Reasons for managing inventory
- Government requirements
- Necessary for the anti-theft system
- Useful to manage stock deployment
- Enables laptops found on the street to be returned to their owners
- Ability to track repairs
Inventario – an inventory management application for use in deployments
- Paraguay developed a web application specifically to manage their laptop deployment
- The Peruvian deployment said their biggest problem was inventory management; they had tried using excel but ended up hitting the limit of what excel could store
- The Paraguay system was taken and updated to work in Peru; this was then developed further over another 2 months and is now working in Nicaragua
- The back end is Ruby on Rails on Apache using MySql
- Locations can be created in a hierarchy; a school can belong to a city which can belong to a country. This scales to different sizes of country as it allows you to structure the locations as you like
- People can be categorised, e.g.
- Receptors – e.g. others that have received a laptop such as office admin staff
- Each person is given a role, which defines the level of access they have to the system if we are creating a user account, e.g. you can allocate an administrator for laptops in a particular school and they will be limited to only being able to manage laptops assigned to that school
- Data can be loaded into the system via a spreadsheet with the following columns
- First name
- Last name
- Doc Id
- Name of the school
- If they study in the morning or the afternoon
- In Peru and Nicaragua they already had this information in spreadsheets, so it was easy to load into the system.
- Laptops can be added to the system also with a spreadsheet or directly, supporting the following columns, which is almost exactly the same as the spreadsheet Quanta send
- shipment id
- serial number
- Additional fields can be added
- Who distributed to
- OS version
- Laptop version
- Status, e.g. activated
- The UUID is a second serial number that is used for the anti-theft system. There is a separate interface to import that
- The system supports various reports including ‘’’List of barcodes’’’ for students in the school as a PDF file containing labels for the boxes for shipping the XOs to the right school and labels for each laptop including the student name and where they study. This can be printed onto sticky paper that can be peeled off and attached to the laptops. The suggest location is inside the battery department rather than outside the laptop where it would be destroyed very quickly. This label is used initially to distribute the laptop to the correct child. It does not matter if it is later damaged as the database contains a cross reference between the laptop serial number and the child.
- There is a screen for allocating laptops to children. This can be filled in manually or by using a barcode scanner on the laptop serial number and the barcode label printed with the child’s details. There is basic checking included in the interface.
- This activity can be part of a production line type arrangement where one person unpacks the laptop, another attaches the label inside the battery department, another scans the label for the laptop serial number and the child, another packs them for shipping.
- Its best to ship the batteries separately, uninstalled. Shipping the XO with the battery inside will cause the battery to run down and could potentially damage the battery life if it runs critically low and is left that way for a long time.
- The location hierarchy supports drill down by double clicking on locations until you get to the school you are interested. You can then run reports that show the status of the assignments for each laptop destined for that school. This provides a way to do a quick evaluation of the situation of a given school.
- Movements allows assignment of where the laptop physically is, e.g. “in hands of main office”. Each movement records the old owner and the new owner. Selecting a school as a new owner provides a list of all the students. By default these are ticked so that when save is hit, it records the new movement per laptop. If any of the children were not present on the day of handout they can be unticked and save will only apply to the other children. It is then possible to later run a report to see what laptops have not yet been handed over
- Laptops can be returned to the office for repair by entering another movement with a reason code of ‘laptop maintenance’. Movements can be performed without changing the assignment of the laptop, so the system still knows who owns the laptop even if it is not with them right now.
- The ‘’’Where are these laptops?’’’ function allows entry of a serial number which returns the current location of the laptop. In the case of laptops being repaired the report will show the location as main office but also note the ownership by the student and provide the reason the location is different – in this case, that the laptop is under repair