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 bicycles, tools, or clothing?
Whatever type of business, institute, 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 to build you a tracking system, but you can actually do it yourself using the tool you already know and use: spreadsheets. Here I’ll show you how to create a reliable inventory lending system in Google Sheets, using an automated template.
Why choose Google Sheets to manage inventory lending?
- Flexible: Google Sheets lets you build a tailor-made inventory lending system that you can adapt yourself. There’s no coding or expensive software required.
- Accessible: Because they’re online, Google Sheets files can be accessed by everyone in the team anywhere, at any time.
- Compatible with everything: If you use other software packages in your company, you can easily integrate them with Google Sheets. This enables you to merge data from other departments.
- Easy to use: There’s no training required as you’re probably already familiar with spreadsheets. The system is simple to maintain without specialist IT support.
How to get started
Sheetgo’s Inventory lending template is a pre-built spreadsheet for inventory lending that can be used by businesses or schools renting or loaning equipment of any kind. The template gives managers a reliable way to track inventory levels while providing library or shop staff with a simple way to check items in and out.
Get an at-a-glance overview of items currently on loan in the dashboard:
What you get with this template:
The spreadsheet template consists of 7 separate Google Sheets tabs:
- An Instructions tab that gives you the step by step on how to get started with the template
- An Items Database (Input) tab where you log all current items and any items you receive in the future.
- A Check-in tab where the person(s) responsible records which items have been returned.
- A Check-out tab where the person(s) responsible registers the items which have been lent, rented or borrowed.
- A Current inventory list tab that automatically calculates the items you have lent out, and which are still in stock. You also see the percentage of items out.
- An Item out matrix that allows you to visually see how much of each item is currently lent out.
- A Dashboard tab providing an overview of current stock levels. See how many items are being lent out, how many actual available items you have, how many items each borrower has lent out, and the actual items out.
How to get the Inventory lending template
How to use the inventory lending workflow template
Step 1: Remove sample data
In both the Check-in and Check-out tab, you will find sample data. Simply remove this data from all white cells before filling out your own.
Step 2: Fill out the items database
In the Item Database (Input) tab, list all items you have in stock. Simply fill out the Item name in column A and the Total inventory (amount) in column B.
Step 3: Start checking items out
Use the Check-out tab to note down any item that you lend out, and the amount.
The template automatically calculates your stock in the Current inventory list.
Step 4: Monitor stock levels in automated dashboard
Finally, visually monitor stock levels in the automated dashboard. You’ll see how many items are out, which items exactly, and how many by each borrower.
Looking for an expertly tailored inventory solution using your existing tools?
Spreadsheet templates like the above are great to start organizing a new process. However, when the process scales, you might start to struggle using only 1 spreadsheet to manage a more complex inventory process. Because of that, Sheetgo offers you the best of two worlds: the ease of use of spreadsheets together with the robustness of a specialized software.
The Inventory solution by Sheetgo transforms your spreadsheets into a custom, automated system and takes your inventory operations to the next level. Sheetgo’s automation experts help to build the perfect workflow using your existing tools to drive efficiency and ultimately fulfill your control system objectives.
Sheetgo guarantees an easy to adapt solution to cover any type of inventory management. Integrating all aspects of inventory tasks, including shipping, purchasing, receiving, warehouse storage, turnover, tracking, and reordering.
The following features are included into the solution:
- Forms to automatically check items in and out
- Barcode scanner for mobile (for scan gun use)
- Smart automation schedule
- Custom built dashboard to monitor stock levels
- Dedicated support by automation experts
- Custom-built project for a long-term solution
- Unique service package for each client
Lend out items automatically in Google Sheets
Because the template is based in Google Sheets, it’s pretty flexible. You can add data inputs from Google Forms, connect to a barcode scanner, or link to workflows from other departments, such as sales or finance.
That’s how you use the Inventory lending template in Google Sheets. Take a look at the expertly tailored inventory solution by Sheetgo here.
Alternatively, take a look at the related blog posts below.
Editor’s note: This is a revised version of a previous post that has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.