Does a department in your company lend items internally? Perhaps you have a library in your school that lends books to students. Or an IT department that lends computer equipment to employees.
Maybe you run a hire business where you rent items to customers, such as bikes, tools or clothing?
Whatever type of business, college or organization you work in, tracking lent items is an essential task—but it’s often done manually or using cumbersome IT systems.
Keeping tabs on exactly what stock you currently have in your inventory, what has been lent out (and to whom) helps you to calculate if you have enough equipment for your business, to recognize if certain items are going unused and to help you trace missing or overdue items that have not been returned.
You could purchase specialist lending software, or ask your IT team (if you have one!) to build you a tracking system, but you can actually do it yourself using the tool you already know and use: spreadsheets. It’s possible to create an easy-to-use and reliable lending system at your desk, right now. To help you get started, we have created a free inventory lending template for you, in Google Sheets.
Why use an inventory lending template?
With our ready-to-use template you can:
- Register all items lent and returned
- Keep track of how many items each borrower has
- See what items you have available— in a visual dashboard
All in one spreadsheet.
The dashboard and visual analysis tabs give you an at-a-glance view of your inventory.
See which items have been borrowed by which user:
What do I need?
We’ve created the template for you in Google Sheets so all you need is a Google account. It’s completely free.
You’ll see sample data in the template: this is provided as an example, so you can simply delete or overwrite this with your own data. The dashboard works automatically—we’ve already written the formulas for you.
Just click on the green button to get a copy of the template:
How to use the template
The template is a Google Sheets file named Inventory lending template and it saves automatically to your Google Drive. Check out the first tab: this gives you full instructions.
Begin by filling out the red Item Database tab. This is where you list all of the items that you currently have in your inventory. When you acquire more items, just add them to this list.
When someone borrows an item, enter the date, borrower name, item and quantity in the Check-out tab.
When someone returns an item, register it in the Check-in tab.
That’s it! Easy.
Your inventory lending system is up-and-running.
Check out your the Dashboard tab for an automated overview of what items are available for lending and how many items have been borrowed.
You have two further analysis tabs: Current Inventory List and Item Matrix. These are generated automatically—don’t try to edit the red or grey cells.
The Current Inventory List shows you a breakdown of data on each item:
Managing a large library or inventory? Lending items from multiple locations?
If you lend a lot of items, managing everything in one spreadsheet might become messy. Perhaps items are borrowed from one location, but returned to another.
Spreadsheets are the perfect tool for tracking lent items but when you have multiple users working on the same spreadsheet, the chance of manual mistakes increases.
If you’re responsible for managing inventory, it might make sense to give colleagues or departments their own individual spreadsheets.
With the use of Sheetgo’s inventory lending workflow template, you can create an automated inventory lending tracker.
Colleagues or other departments register items lent or borrowed in their own spreadsheets—and you view the data in your dashboard.
And the best part? The data flows automatically.
Automate your inventory lending system
Sheetgo is a platform to send data from one spreadsheet to another.
If you are familiar with using spreadsheets, you can use Sheetgo to manage your school or company’s inventory in an automated system. This means
- A clear and easy-to-use system for staff
- Reduced chance of errors—more accurate inventory data
- You get an automated overview of items lent and borrowed
Want to automate other processes in your school? Check out our post on how to make life easier for your teachers by automating student attendance tracking in spreadsheets.