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Setup of Inventory: Manufacturers, Categories, and Assignees

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

This article deals with creating and updating of inventory manufacturers, categories, and assignees. For creating new inventory models, or adding new inventory, check out our other inventory articles from Getting Started with Inventory Table of Contents.

Inventory Model Categories

Sonar users can categorize their inventory in whichever way makes sense based on their business model. In the below example, the customer has categorized items according to their high volume hardware, and have included a category for miscellaneous items called Other.

To add a category follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings, Inventory and then Categories.
  2. Click Create and enter the name of the Category you are trying to add (i.e. Non-CPE)
It is important to select an icon to represent the category of equipment you are adding into Sonar. This icon will appear in Pulse when monitoring your network. Pick an icon that will best depict each category of equipment.

Inventory Model Manufacturers

The Manufacturer section allows the configuration of device manufacturers, further increasing the precision of categorization for hardware devices. Similar to Inventory Model Categories, the Manufacturers category is freeform, however, it should represent the hardware manufacturers for the equipment being used.

To add manufacturers into Sonar, click on Settings, Inventory and then Manufacturers:

Click "Create" and enter the name of the manufacturer (in the example below, Netgear was added as a manufacturer)

Assignees

An Assignee in Sonar is an entity that may have inventory items assigned to it. An assignee can be a person, a place, a vehicle or a generic placeholder. Contrary to specific Assignees, generic assignees need only be given a name prior to creation and would be best used when the assignee does not fit into one of the other specific Inventory Assignees - such as itemized buckets, contractors who don't have access to the instance as users, and non-addressed locations.

Generic Inventory Assignees

To create an Assignee, go to Settings, Inventory and then click on Generic Inventory Assignees:

  1. On the top right hand corner, click "Create"
  2. Enter the name of the Assignee your company would like to have (repeat the same steps to enter more Assignees)
  3. Click "Create"

In this example, an Installer Assignee was created to assign equipment to Installers.

Inventory Locations

Inventory locations cover address specific locations, used primarily for Network Sites or Storage sites. The inventory locations require the same address validation as any other proper address within Sonar. Provide the street address and hit validate and the maps integration will add the latitude and longitude for you.

Additionally, you can create internal locations within each Inventory location allowing further precision when adding locations and tracking inventory.

To create inventory locations click on Settings, Inventory and then Inventory Locations:

  1. Click "Create" and fill out the Inventory Locations form including:
    1. Name of location
    2. Address Line
    3. Country, City, State/Province, and Zip/Postal Code
  2. Click Validate Address
The drop pin feature on the map can be used in special circumstances when a particular address cannot be found (i.e. rural areas)

Vehicles

The Vehicles section allows the creation of tracked vehicles for use with mapping as well as inventory assignment. Vehicles can optionally have their make, model, year, and VIN added.

To add a vehicle as an Assignee follow the steps below:

  1. Click on Settings, Inventory, Vehicles and fill out the information including:
  • Name - enter a generic name such as Installation Truck or Company Truck
  • Manufacturer (in the example below we are using a Ford
  • Model - F150
  • Year
  • VIN

  1. Click "Create"
Assignee Best Practices

Below are some best practices around utilizing the various assignee types. These tips will help enable users to take advantage of the power behind the inventory control module.

  1. Custom assignee is a catch-all assignee that can be used when the assignee does not fit into one of the other five options.
An example of a custom assignee may be a contractor - if you don't have each contracted employee as a user within Sonar, you can create a custom assignee and move all of the equipment into this category.
  1. If you have installers or service technicians that share work vehicles, then assigning inventory to a Vehicle is a better option than assigning it to a user, as the inventory in the vehicle probably does not change depending on who is driving it. If your field technicians have specific vehicles, you may be better off assigning the inventory directly to a User, but it is mostly a matter of preference.
When creating a vehicle, you must input a descriptive name for the vehicle. This could be something like Jeff's Ford F150 or an identification number you assign internally. You will also have the option to track specific details on the vehicle, such as the make, model, year, license plate and VIN. These fields are not required, and are for your reference only.

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