Is anyone managing stock or inventory with Asana?


#1

Hello to the community,

Awesome tool, need to wrap my head around it still, but surely need to add inventory/stock to cover my needs.

We are using Asana as a project management tool and loving it.
We are an online publisher and we need to also add some basic (ad) inventory management to the mix.
We’d love to build something around Asana since we are comfortable with it, maybe via Zapier or the API, or anything really.

Any ideas?

Best,
Jon


#2

Hi @Jon - Welcome to the Community! I’m the Community Manager at Asana. I’ll be happy to help and I know other people will, too.

For starters, I recommend that you visit these Asana use-case examples:

For integrations, @Sara and @Todd_Cavanaugh might have helpful things to add. Perhaps @Bastien_Siebman can recommend a template for you.

I suspect that you’d be able to do some (if not all) of this inventory management without an integration, simply by setting up a unique Asana workflow that matches your needs. Custom fields would be great for this. However, if you’re looking to sync up with an integration, this Zapier article is a great place to start. The article recommends custom fields for tracking things like inventory. You could also use a Google Forms integration if that applies to your work.

How do these things sound so far? What kid of processes are you looking for specifically that you think Asana doesn’t address on its own? Let’s see what we can come up with. :slight_smile:


#3

Woah! Thanks for the elaborate reply Alexis. I’ll share with my team so we can consider these swiftly.

The process we need to manage is so:

There is some ad stock/inventory we can use at any given time
Example:
We can accommodate up to 12 sponsors in our monthly newsletter, one each month, so stock quantity in the beginning of the year will be 12.
As sales manage to sell some (lets say 3) sponsorship slots, each time a contract gets commissioned in Asana 2 things need to happen:

  1. he who enters project tasks into Asana should be able to reserve 3 out of the 12 available slots, leaving 9 for the next contracts.
  2. sales should now see 9 instead of 12 available, so they know what they can sell
  3. First salesperson that grabs another 2 slots, reduces the stock to 7 (from 9) and so on…

Does this make sense?


#4

That makes sense to me - I would suggest doing something pretty simple:

  1. Create a ‘Monthly Newsletter Sponsor Slot’ project (or whatever your naming convention should be for this) - you could do a project for each ad spot, or just have an ‘Ad Inventory’ project, etc.
  2. Create 12 tasks in it that represent the stock, with a title like ‘Newsletter Sponsor #1’ (they should all have the same name with just a small differentiation)
  3. When a sales person (or anyone) wants to reserve a slot - or has sold it - have them go in and assign it to themselves. That task then becomes theirs and the workflow to create an ad goes into gear. When the ad has been delivered/completed, the task can be marked complete.
  4. You can change the project’s view settings to show only incomplete tasks, if you want.

If you wanted to get fancy with integrations you could have a counter for each project on incomplete or unassigned (unsold) inventory slots, depending on your convention.

This also can count as a reporting function - how many ads did X sell? See how many tasks are assigned to them in the ad project(s) for a given period, etc.


It depends on how much inventory/items you have, but if you don’t have a ton you could put all the ads into one project that the sales people could just check periodically. And you could use sections for each ad type, with the # of ads for it under each section.

You could get more in depth with custom fields, but you might want to start with the basics at first!


If you want a very simplistic workflow with the ad process -

  1. An ad slot sells, assign it to the sales person.
  2. Sales person adds all the information on the ad (request, contact info, w/e) in the description/task.
  3. Whomever takes it from there (design, digital, copy, whatever) is assigned to it, they own it now and (depending on workflow) add to other projects, create subtasks for the ad lifecycle, etc.
  4. Then when the last subtask is done (ad deployed/tracked/reported whatever), the task is completed.

#5

Happy to help with Templana.com if needed!


#6

Hi @Alexis, the functionality we need is pretty extensive, but if any of these functions could be handled by Asana, it would be of a great benefit to our operation. We already use Asana to manage the workflow of our inventory that has been assigned to our staff, however logging and tracking our inventory is handled by a separate application.

Logging incoming inventory

Assigning incoming inventory to different categories and teams

Assigning unique codes and designations to incoming inventory

Generating labels to tag incoming inventory

Assigning / Checking out / Checking in Inventory to staff

Tracking returns of inventory to vendors

Maintaining a database of past inventory


#7

Hey @Alice_Newcome-Beill, I’m going to suggest a few things, but not knowing HOW this information is being received is a challenge so hopefully it’s useful:

Logging incoming inventory
Depending on how you’re receiving the notifications, you could set up an automation with Zapier. For instance, if you get notified about incoming inventory via…email, then you could set up something to auto forward those emails to a specific project. Certain people get notified of when tasks are added to that project, and then process/assign from there.

Alternatively if you get incoming inventory via say forms you could set up an integration with Zapier for the same thing, but also have it assign/categorize/tag automatically based on form fields.

You could also write something simple, but custom, if you got the data via CSV, where it goes to a server/database and then creates the tasks from there.

Assigning incoming inventory to different categories and teams
Categories/teams could be designated using custom fields, say it’s XYZ category and team, you’d select them from the dropdown (or enter it into the field) and then assign it to the designee for that team/category. If you used custom fields, you could run reports/searches that way.

Assigning unique codes and designations to incoming inventory
I don’t know of any way to do this without a custom script, but if you use an inventory system already that should generate this and then you can add it to a custom text field for the task.

Generating labels to tag incoming inventory
Same thing as custom fields/tags.

Assigning / Checking out / Checking in Inventory to staff
We do this for our production department, but if someone on Asana checks out gear, they have a task assigned and in our inventory/etc. project. The due date/range is for when they’re using it. Once it’s checked in, we complete it.

Tracking returns of inventory to vendors
You would probably use a tag for this within whatever task was created for the return workflow.

Maintaining a database of past inventory