FAQ: What system do you use for tracking broken equipment?

Due to the size of Willow and the various venues and production equipment that is installed on our campus, one of our production department’s divisions is a Production Systems team designated to the installation, maintenance, upkeep, and troubleshooting of all production related audio/video/lighting systems throughout Willow Creek.  With all of the usage that our gear receives among various volunteers and personnel, stuff breaks.  It’s inevitable.

However, in order to stay organized in the outstanding issues and tasks that our systems team has on their plate, a web based helpdesk ticketing system was implemented in November 2009.  As of this writing 10 months later, over 1500 tickets have passed through the system.

The helpdesk system implemented is Kayako SupportSuite self hosted at Willow Creek on a Virtual Machine running Ubuntu, Apache, MySQL, etc.  Kayako offers a community program offering the helpdesk system to non-profit organizations.  Within the helpdesk system, there are departments for Audio/Comm, Lighting, Video, CAD, Equipment Requests, and a general department for everything else.  As tickets are submitted to the system by our production personnel, either via email or a web form, they are assigned to individual systems personnel for tasking, message threads posted back and forth between the users updating the progress of the issue, and then assigned a status accordingly (Open, On Hold, Closed, etc.).

The helpdesk system is the compass and primary organization tool for our systems department as all issues, projects, tasks, new installations, etc. are created and updated in the ticket system.

Furthermore, a custom coded status board was created for the team to have an “At-a-Glance” overview of the status of the department.