Film Equipment Rental Company Uses RFID to Save Money
On Sunset Boulevard, in Hollywood, California, film producers need video, sound, lighting, and production equipment. They rent it from Indie Rentals. The company’s tagline is “Dream it, Shoot it,” and they are experts at providing the highest quality production equipment for filmmakers. Everyone at Indie Rentals has worked on set in the film industry, so they know the rigors and requirements faced by their customers. To ensure that the right equipment left the store with the right customer, Indie Rentals installed a NOX Vault Surveillance system from SimplyRFID.
With the NOX system, Indie Rentals placed ThingMagic Astra RFID readers at strategic locations throughout the warehouse. Additionally, IndieRentals purchased a NOX Vault handheld reader for check in and check out inventory operations. Now, when a customer checks out equipment, the handheld reader allows Indie Rental’s customer database to be immediately updated. This “unlocks” the equipment, allowing it to go through the ThingMagic readers installed above the doors without setting off alarms.
Using SimplyRFID’s NOX Core server software, and ThingMagic’s Astra reader, IndieRentals now has a constantly correct inventory control database. It is no longer necessary to shut down operations for a physical count. The NOX handheld and the ThingMagic readers survey the entire shop in seconds. Sitting at a desk, IndieRentals employees are able to survey the entire operation.
Eric Maciver, President of IndieRentals, says the RFID system has prevented accidental loss of a number of $10,000 plus cameras this year. “Before we installed the NOX system, it was possible for our high value equipment to accidentally be over-issued. Now, our system automatically notes what equipment is going out the door. Discrepancies set off immediate alerts, and we can fix the problem right away.”
As equipment is returned, the ThingMagic readers capture their presence as they walk through the door. The staff is able to see what has come back in, and make it available for the next customer. Carl Brown, President of SimplyRFID, says the Indie Rentals application is an example of the synergy added to inventory systems through RFID. “Once the high-value equipment is tagged with RFID, it is immediately traceable throughout the supply chain process. The cameras and sound equipment are both tracked and inventoried by the same mechanisms. Indie Rentals now knows not only what is on its shelves, but what has come into the warehouse through customer returns. Even if the returned equipment has not yet been placed back into inventory, the staff is aware that it is in the building. This makes it possible to rent that equipment out again, even more quickly.”
ThingMagic, a division of Trimble, is a leading provider of UHF RFID reader engines, development platforms and design services for a wide range of applications. ThingMagic develops products for demanding high-volume applications and provides consulting and design services to create solutions for challenging applications. ThingMagic’s customers include some of the world’s largest industrial automation firms, manufacturers, automotive companies, retailers, and consumer companies. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the ThingMagic business was founded in 2000 by a group of visionary PhD graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. ThingMagic is “The Engine in RFID™”.
SimplyRFiD pioneered the RFID market with its Pro-Tags and On-Demand products becoming the #1 supplier for the DoD RFID logistics and RFID asset tracking systems. SimplyRFiD is committed to making the best, most innovative RFID solutions that work right, every time. More than 2,000 companies use SimplyRFiD tools and services.