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glaze chemical inventory control


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#1 jbird

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:44 PM

HI,

This is my first post to a CAD forum. It may be in the archives but I have not been able to find an answer to my question there. I am interested in a software program (database, spreadsheet, whatever) that I can control the glaze chemical inventory of a pottery coop in Tucson based on the production of batches of glaze. Free would be great but inexpensive if fine. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
Thanks Jerry

#2 perkolator

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:28 PM

Welcome to CAD!

I would just make a simple Excel spreadsheet and try to make it work as well as you can get it to. If you find a template or program please let me know, as this is something i've also been looking for and I NEED one!

How does you lab deal with glazes? Do you guys stock "communal glazes" in large buckets, or does everything get mixed on a per-piece basis? If you have all communal buckets, I'd say you have it fairly easy since you are making large quantities and can easily write them down in a log of some type. If everyone has access and freely mixes at their leisure then it's not so simple.


In my lab, we have no communal glazes and everything is mixed on a per-batch/piece basis, by students. Getting students to write down what they use is near impossible - for clay, I can manage to record what they make and when, but glaze is impossible (especially when you have people making washes, etc without weighing material). To make it even more difficult, about a year ago, admin changed things up and now I have to designate exactly which classes are using what material and how much since they all have individual budget accounts -- whereas before I just had a bulk "student materials" account for all the year's classes, and we just kept everything fully stocked, then split it evenly. With the new system, it's a freaking pain in the rear to figure out how much glaze material each class consumed -- oh yeah, and this all has to be figured out at the beginning of the quarter/when I buy materials throughout the year, so I can tell the instructor how much money they will have for clay/everything else! how the heck am I supposed to predict what glaze materials are going to be used in the future?!?!?!


I really haven't figured out an accurate way of doing so, but my current method is with 2 logs of glaze materials - the first one is a listing of everything in the glaze room, letting me know how much was in each bin at the beginning/end of the quarter - this way I have a general idea of what got used during the quarter, but this needs to be divided between the classes and I have to guess who used what...Sure this seems like it would work out quite fine, but no....I have to tell the accountants which classes to charge when I BUY the materials -- so I have a 2nd spreadsheet showing all of my materials purchases over the past few years - this sheet helps me determine which classes to charge it to since I can see a log of how quickly something tends to disappear ON AVERAGE.....by no means is this method accurate, but at least I can now guess how many classes say 50lbs of Frit #3134 will last -- still doesn't solve the problem of having one class decide they want all cobalt blue glaze and the other only wants to use slip.


So, if you figure out a better method for figuring all this stuff out, I'm all ears. I wast thinking there's gotta be some spreadsheet templates floating around for some type of warehouse or something similar that might work, since I've constantly got materials going out, being purchased, and restocking, etc.

#3 jbird

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:15 PM

Welcome to CAD!

I would just make a simple Excel spreadsheet and try to make it work as well as you can get it to. If you find a template or program please let me know, as this is something i've also been looking for and I NEED one!

How does you lab deal with glazes? Do you guys stock "communal glazes" in large buckets, or does everything get mixed on a per-piece basis? If you have all communal buckets, I'd say you have it fairly easy since you are making large quantities and can easily write them down in a log of some type. If everyone has access and freely mixes at their leisure then it's not so simple.


In my lab, we have no communal glazes and everything is mixed on a per-batch/piece basis, by students. Getting students to write down what they use is near impossible - for clay, I can manage to record what they make and when, but glaze is impossible (especially when you have people making washes, etc without weighing material). To make it even more difficult, about a year ago, admin changed things up and now I have to designate exactly which classes are using what material and how much since they all have individual budget accounts -- whereas before I just had a bulk "student materials" account for all the year's classes, and we just kept everything fully stocked, then split it evenly. With the new system, it's a freaking pain in the rear to figure out how much glaze material each class consumed -- oh yeah, and this all has to be figured out at the beginning of the quarter/when I buy materials throughout the year, so I can tell the instructor how much money they will have for clay/everything else! how the heck am I supposed to predict what glaze materials are going to be used in the future?!?!?!


I really haven't figured out an accurate way of doing so, but my current method is with 2 logs of glaze materials - the first one is a listing of everything in the glaze room, letting me know how much was in each bin at the beginning/end of the quarter - this way I have a general idea of what got used during the quarter, but this needs to be divided between the classes and I have to guess who used what...Sure this seems like it would work out quite fine, but no....I have to tell the accountants which classes to charge when I BUY the materials -- so I have a 2nd spreadsheet showing all of my materials purchases over the past few years - this sheet helps me determine which classes to charge it to since I can see a log of how quickly something tends to disappear ON AVERAGE.....by no means is this method accurate, but at least I can now guess how many classes say 50lbs of Frit #3134 will last -- still doesn't solve the problem of having one class decide they want all cobalt blue glaze and the other only wants to use slip.


So, if you figure out a better method for figuring all this stuff out, I'm all ears. I wast thinking there's gotta be some spreadsheet templates floating around for some type of warehouse or something similar that might work, since I've constantly got materials going out, being purchased, and restocking, etc.



#4 jbird

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:18 PM

HI and thanks for your answer. I have it a little easier since I do most of the glaze mixing and I do it in regular sized batches. I also have a about 3 years history of our glaze use. I can do it in excel but I was hoping that there was already a program that would let me skip the coding which I haven't done since I retired about 7 years ago.

Thanks

#5 SmartsyArtsy

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:09 AM

I do this is a FileMakker system I wrote. inventories from purchase through batch and a notice when I need to reorder. father FileAmaker Go App runs on Mac or Windows. If you have a smartphone or tablet and are inclined to purchase the App, I would make my system available to you.

#6 jbird

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:41 AM

I do this is a FileMakker system I wrote. inventories from purchase through batch and a notice when I need to reorder. father FileAmaker Go App runs on Mac or Windows. If you have a smartphone or tablet and are inclined to purchase the App, I would make my system available to you.



Thanks, I am not familiar with FileMaker and will look into this. I appreciate the offer. It sounds exactly like what I need.




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