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

Willow’s Production Systems Team’s job is to maintain all of the audio, video, and lighting gear throughout the building. The scope of this is pretty massive. With all of the usage that our gear receives among various volunteers and personnel, stuff breaks. It’s inevitable. The good news is that we’ve got a web-based helpdesk ticketing system that helps us keep track of reported issues across the campus.

We are currently running Kayako Classic, which we have self-hosted at Willow Creek on a Virtual Machine running Ubuntu, Apache, MySQL, etc. Within the helpdesk system, we have created department categories for Audio/Comm, Lighting, Video, CAD, Equipment Requests, Media 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, Out for Repair, Waiting for User, etc.). As of the April 2018 publishing of this article, we’ve closed almost 13,000 tickets!

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.