- Can we keep our own cataloguing and coding system?
- Can our system pages be customised for our service?
- Can our data be transfered from the system we use now?
- Can clients make bookings themselves?
- What sort of previews are available in the on-line catalogue?
- How easy is it to view the previews?
- Are there copyright problems with producing the previews?
- How do we get previews made of our items?
- What happens if two clients try to book the same item at the same time?
- How do you know when items need to go out?
- How does it know the required delivery times?
- How does RSO handle overdue items?
- Can RSO provide statistics on use of the service?
- How does RSO save time and money in a resources department?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we keep our own cataloguing and coding system?
Yes. RSO is very flexible and can handle any cataloguing or coding system.
As part of switching over to the system you will need to enter your topics list, as well as your list of resource types and target audiences. The whole database will then work from them.
Can our system pages be customised for our service?
Yes. This is one of the major points about RSO. As part of the Joining Fee the system pages are given the 'look and feel' that you require.
Can our data be transfered from the system we use now?
Yes. Your databases can be transfered from all the main systems commonly used by resource departments as part of the Joining Fee.
Transfer from more unusual systems might incur extra costs.
Can clients make bookings themselves?
Yes. RSO provides an on-line catalogue for clients to search your library of items.
Once they have found an item it will have a booking calendar to click. This then shows when the item is free and all they have to do is click the dates that they want the item for.
They can also order leaflets and posters (supply items) in a similar way, with items having an 'Order copies' link to click.
What sort of previews are available in the on-line catalogue?
Each item can have any number of previews attached to help clients get a better idea of what the items are like. These can be:
- Photographs - Good for most items but particularly for models and posters
- PDF files - For leaflets (low resolution preview)
- Video clips - For videos or packs including a video
How easy is it to view the previews?
RSO has deliberately been designed to be accessible on older equipment and software.
- The photos are no problem as they are standard web content.
- The PDF files do require a PDF reader. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is the original and available free. It is often provided free with other software so most users should have access to it.
- The videos require the Microsoft Windows Media Player. This is included as standard on modern PCs and available as a free download from Microsoft. The previews are suitable for playing over a standard modem connection.
Are there copyright problems with producing the previews?
No. Although providing the previews probably does break the letter of the Copyright law (i.e. 'No copies can be made, of any sort, without the permission of the Copyright holder'), in practice they do not.
The Copyright law is there to stop copies of material being made where the owner will not benefit or have given permission. Our previews are all very low resolution, intended for preview purposes only, and are nowhere near good enough to be used instead of the real thing.
Put another way, if someone wanted to make their own free copies of a particular item, it would be far easier to just borrow the item from a Resource unit and scan or copy it on a computer, which can give almost perfect results these days. Our previews would be of no use whatsoever as they are just not good enough quality for reproduction. No real forger would even consider starting with one of the previews.
In fact providing the previews probably benefits the producers of the items as more people will see them and use them.
How do we get previews made of our items?
Many hundred previews have already been produced for Berkshire Health Promotion Resources (the originators of the RSO system). Many of these are for common items that you may have as well so these can be matched up immediately.
New previews can be produced by Alteray (the providers of the system) included as part of the annual fee, but it is not that difficult to produce them in-house yourself.
What happens if two clients try to book the same item at the same time?
When people are making bookings they initially just go into a booking 'cart' on their computer. This allows them to put together an order of several items, or even remove or change items.
Once they have completed their whole order they click a 'Send' button to send it in, which makes the bookings firm bookings.
If two clients have the same item, for the same dates, in their 'cart' then it's the one who clicks 'Send' first that gets the booking.
How do you know when items need to go out?
There is a function on the Administration screen to list any items that need to be sent out that day.
When clients book items they book them for the day they need the item to arrive. The system automatically calculates the required delivery time (skipping weekends and bank holidays) and brings them up the right number of days in advance.
How does it know the required delivery times?
On the Admin. side you set up a list of all the possible delivery methods/points for your service, and you enter a delivery period for each one.
How does RSO handle overdue items?
There is an Admin. function that lists all items overdue for return. You then have a facility to select clients from the list and send them an automatic reminder with just one click.
You set up the basic email as a template in the system so there's no need to type it, but the system inserts the name of the item/s and return date/s automatically.
Can RSO provide statistics on use of the service?
Yes. RSO has some powerful features to produce genuinely useful statistics. Berkshire HP Resources asked for statistics functions to be included, based on what their PCTs wanted to know.
With just a few clicks you can get full tabulated results. A couple more clicks and you can put it in a spreadsheet and produce graphs.
- Use by clients by work area (all job types of divided by job type)
- Use by clients by job type (all areas or divided by area)
- Clients joining the service, by work area or job type
- List of used items by number of hires - Find you most popular items!
- List of items viewed but not booked - Items you may need more copies of
How does RSO save time and money in a resources department?
RSO takes over most of the more mundane admin. tasks required:
- For clients happy to use the on-line catalogue, RSO acts as a Resources Officer, showing them what's available, checking if items are free, calculating delivery times and booking them out.
- It can work for any number of clients simultaneously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and all for just a few ŁK a year!
- With the previews in the catalogue it is no longer necessary for clients to come in to view items. This gives you more time in the office for other work, and helping those that do need one-to-one help.
- Checks for overdues and sends reminders.
- Registers new clients, taking all their details. All you have to do is check the details and 'activate' their membership.
- Collects statistics and arranges them into a clear usable form.