Outgoing Loans Tracking System

Solveda developed the Outgoing Loans Tracking System (OLAS) for the Registrar’s Office at MMA. OLAS’s versatile interface enables Museum staff to track and complete the many tasks that comprise the lending process, from initial loan requests, to approvals, to crating and shipping, through to the final return and billing. Where previously they had used everything from card catalogs to Excel spreadsheets in order to manage each aspect of the loan process, OLAS establishes a single workflow that prompts users for action and tracks items throughout the entire loan process.

We lend our expensive and rare art objects to other institutions around the world. Being able to track the movement of these is critical. Solveda helped us replace a manual system by developing a computer application that tracks our loans from the initial request of the artwork to the loan’s return. They worked closely with us and met every specification we defined. We are very happy with the results.

Douglas Hegley,CTO, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Loan Setup

  • OLAS helps drive the loan setup by allowing users to create work lists and complete necessary tasks
  • The completion of all tasks, such as obtaining necessary approvals, documents or correspondence, is monitored via checklist items that the user assigns to each loan record
  • If required, approvals are secured, the OLAS user can then move on to other loan tasks, such as establishing a detailed schedule – especially important for exhibits that will travel to multiple locations
  • Other items recorded in OLAS include verification that insurance is in place for each piece, and facilities reports for each site the loan will visit to ensure that pieces will be kept in the appropriate conditions

Tracking

  • Once setup tasks have been completed, OLAS moves on to managing in-progress loans
  • Museum staff pull and package pieces, and shipping schedules and courier assignments are established
  • OLAS can manage which objects go into which crates for which shipments, and will provide the courier assigned to that shipment a full list of objects broken down by crates for their reference
  • Shipping costs – from the couriers’ hotel rooms to freight charges to insurance – are recorded at every step
  • OLAS tracks knows where the loans are at all times, and most important, it knows when they are due back
  • Returned pieces are logged in the system and marked as a completed loan

Accounting

  • Besides simply tracking loan costs, OLAS can generate ledger entry reports so that loan expenses can be processed by the Museum&rqsuo;s Finance Department
  • Specific details-packing, insurance, shipping, courier fees-are managed in OLAS, invoiced, and then can be integrated into the General Ledger

Letter Generation

  • Art loans require a large amount of written communication, from requests for information to insurance details to courier arrangements
  • OLAS pulls all of the required information into a user-specified library of templated letters
  • As a result, letters that once took 20 minutes to produce manually can now be generated in seconds

Reporting

  • OLAS includes a sophisticated search tool that allows users to query the database and generate reports
  • Management-driven ad hoc queries-for example, all open loans, pending loans, art due back within a specific date range-can be produced immediately
  • This wide range of on-demand data provides a previously unavailable level of analysis of the loan processes, and it gives management a powerful way to continue to enhance and improve the overall system