News and Blog
Hello to all.
We are hoping this finds you and your family healthy. This past few months has been difficult and a bit scary but I am hopeful that things will get better for everyone - especially the theatre and educational communities. While I have spent a lot of time making masks and scrub hats, I have also worked to improve all the inventory databases - and even finished the Jewelry Inventory Database!
Great time to Inventory your Theatre ! We have heard from several of our customers that they are taking this time to have one or two staffers work on their inventory of costumes, props/sets, equipment and uniforms. We think that is a great idea! We are always here to help you with anything regarding your inventory - we can help move the database from a server to your laptop so you can work at home and we will print more inventory tags and labels and ship them to you - where ever you might be.
To help with that we have a few announcements --
Discounts !! Until July 31st, we are offering a 10% discount for everything (except the Stage in a Box and Ultimate Ditty Bags (finished bags) - the kits will be available for the discount.) If you call to place your order I will include the discount. If you are ordering through the website - enter the code FRESHSTART2020. We hope this will help a little since we know everyone's budget is really limited at this time. Please let us know if you have any questions.
New features for the Theatre and Equipment Inventory Databases ! Version 10-5 See notes in the User Guide.
1) Rotate JPG Photos and get file size information. You can rotate those photos that are sideways right from the data entry screen.
2) Jewelry Inventory Database ready - Available as an Add-on to the Theatre Inv DB or Stand-alone database
3) Asset Management Reports - to print summary reports of all your costumes, props, wigs, lighting and sound equipment, etc.
4) Print Preview popup - to make viewing and printing reports easier
5) Improved Performance
Free Upgrades to new versions - During this summer we are waiving the upgrade fee for all customers to upgrade from their current versions of the databases to the new one (10-5). If you would like to upgrade - please contact us so we can discuss how to add the new tables and fields your existing data and install the latest version. Please don't download and install the newest version as it can over-write you data - which would be awful!
USITT - Forum at Four webinar. As everyone knows USITT was canceled this year but I was asked to do my presentation "If you can't find it, what will you use on stage??" as a webinar for USITT. Here is a link to the YouTube version: It isn't very exciting but there is a lot of information on starting the process of inventorying your theatre.
Thanks again and please contact us with any questions. We really appreciate your business.
ps. Don't forget that discount !
I will be presenting a webinar on the USITT - Forum @ Four series:
Tuesday - April 7th - 4 pm Eastern (1 pm Pacific)
Topic: If you can't find it, you can't use it.
The webinar will cover how to plan and implement an inventory system for your theatre.
For Zoom advanced registration link: Click here
Here is a brief handout for the webinar: <link>
"Query is Corrupt" issue:
On Nov 12th Microsoft released an Office Security update that has impacted MS Access. If you are getting a "Query is Corrupt " message on the Rentals or any other form don't worry - your data is secure and the issue is with MS Office. Microsoft has released 2 fixes /patches for 2016 and Office 365. Other updates will be released during the week of Nov 25th. I will be sending out an email to all the Inventory Database customers to give them more information on how to install the updates/patches. This patch may need to be installed by your IT Staff if you don't have administrative privileges on your workstation. Here is a link to more information: http://fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/Errors/query_is_corrupt/index.htm .
For Office 365 - No download is needed. Within MS Access (or any Office program) go to File / Account / Update Options (Office Updates) / - click on Update Now - the update only takes a few minutes and fixes the issue.
For Office 2016 - here is the link to download and install the patch: November 18, 2019, update for Office 2016 (KB4484198)
Office 2013 - check back after Nov 28th for a link
Office 2010 - check back after Nov 28th for a link
School has started! What a great time to get your costumes, props, uniforms and equipment organized. Please contact us if you have any questions on how to get started!
Fall Conferences: Peter will be attending the EdTA National Conference in Brooklyn, NY on Sept 20-21. Margaret will be at TETA TheatreFest in Dallas, TX on Sept 26 - 29. Please stop by to say "Hi" if you will be at either of these conferences.
The Jewelry Inventory Database is almost here. Please contact us to get a version to test.
We just received our new shipment of Ditty Bags. Order yours now!
Price Increases/Decreases: Good news - The Small 1.25" x 0.5" and the Tiny 7/8" x 3/8" INDUSTRIAL labels have decreased in price by a few cents each. Unfortunately, the costs of many of my other materials and products have gone up. I was planning to release a new price list July 1 but one of my barcode scanners was recently discontinued by the manufacturer and I am trying to get new pricing for it. The new price schedule is now published on the Price List page. There are small increases for almost everything - sorry ! If you received a quote recently, the prices on the quote will be honored for 6 months. If you order after that period you will see the new prices on the invoice.
The Ultimate Ditty Bags ! Currently we are very low on stock (9) but more are on the way and will be here by Sept 6th. Please call us if you are interested in a large quantity. We have plenty of Ultimate Ditty Bag Kits (all fabric and notions) and the Ultimate Ditty Bag Pattern.
New versions of databases: The Theatre Inventory Database and the Equipment Inventory Database (32 bit and 64 bit) have been updated. I will be listing the new features in the User Guide soon but here is a quick list:
1) Costumes and Props: The Checkouts for multiples (many identical items with the same Tag ID) has been updated so you can enter the number of the multiple item checked out (i.e. 4 Bow Ties). When you check that item back in - you have to do it from the Checkout / Rental screen (not the Quick Check-in) and you have to enter the quantity that was returned. If the quantity returned is less than the quantity checked out the item will not be marked as checked in. The Checkout and Rental reports have been updated to reflect the quantity checked out and checked in.
2) Costume Pieces: Three new fields, Hem Length, Sleeves and Location Notes, have been added to the Costume Pieces form. The Hem and Sleeve fields let you select from a drop-down with choices for different hem lengths and types of sleeves. You can do searches on these two fields as well. The Location Notes field is a text field to enter anything you might need to help describe the storage location.
3) New Reports - Available Costumes. A new report which lists the costumes and those that are 'available' (i.e. not checked out). The report is in two places - the Costume Pieces Reports menu (you can select by Costume Type or All Costumes) and as a report from the Search Results screen. You can do a search on the Costume Pieces, see the Results and print a report with the costumes listed with the size and the number of pieces available.
4) Props/Sets: There is now a feature for Rental Packages. If you have an item - like a table and matching chairs that need to be rented all together, you can create a "Package" and list all the items. When you rent an item from the package the program will ask if you want to rent all the parts of the package and if yes, it will check out all the parts of the package. Additional reports on the Packages are also available.
5) New Module: Scene Shop Tools. The Scene Shop Tools module lets you inventory your tools from the scene shop. This module includes the data entry form, searches and reports. Since most organizations don't loan out tools there is no Checkout or Rental feature. The add-on is $50.
1) Two new modules have been added: Stage Properties and Consoles/Computers. These are add-on (extra fee) modules that will track your stage properties (curtains, scrims, orchestra chairs, podiums, etc) and consoles (Lighting, Sound, Rigging) and computers.
2) For all equipment there is a new field - Receipt Document. This is a link to a PDF for the original receipt for the item. Often when you are making a claim to an insurance company they will want to see documentation on the original purchase. If you scan the document and put it on your computer in a folder just for PDF documents, then you can link that receipt to the item.
If you would like to upgrade your current version to the 9-7 version, please contact me so that I can schedule a time to do the update. If you have purchased the database or an upgrade in the last 12 months, the upgrade is no charge. If it is longer than 12 months, the cost is $75 (plus the cost of any add-on modules you want).
The Uniform Inventory Database was updated a few months ago. If you have not upgraded to the new version yet, please contact me.
Price Increases: Unfortunately, the costs of many of my materials and products have gone up. I was planning to release a new price list July 1 but one of my barcode scanners was recently discontinued by the manufacturer and I am trying to get new pricing for it. The new price schedule will be released August 1st. There are small increases for almost everything - sorry ! If you received a quote recently, the prices on the quote will be honored for 6 months. If you order after that period you will see the new prices on the invoice.
Office 365 - The current version of Office 365 that you download and install from the Microsoft.com website is the 64 Bit version. The default version of the Inventory Databases is the 32 bit version. The Inventory Database version (32 vs 64) has to match the Office/Access version (32 vs 64). The 64 bit version is available by clicking on the 64Bit version button. Please contact us for help with your installation if you have any questions.
New versions of Theatre and Equipment Inventory Databases are coming soon. Check back to see when they will be ready.
Scene Shop Tools has been added to the Theatre Inventory Database as an Add-on to version 9-5. Many of my Props Masters wanted a way to track their tools and other equipment so this module has been added. It is just an inventory module and does not have the option to check/rent the tools. The Add-on is $50.
Stage Properties has been added to Equipment Inventory Database. Need a place to inventory your Drapery, Scrims, Grand Pianos?? The Stage Properties module allows you to inventory, do searches and run reports. The Add-on is $50.
Price Increases July 1st. I'm sorry to say that the prices on several things is going up. The Wireless Barcode Scanners I have used for the last 5 years has been discontinued and the replacement is $20 more (ouch !). The Petite Presses are going up $5 in price and the tag prices plus postage have all gone up. The new price list is here. Any quotes that were given prior to July 1st will still have the same pricing - up to 6 months from the date of the quote. Any new orders after July 1st will reflect the new pricing. You will see a price increase of 1 cent on several (but not all) of the tags and labels. The cost of the Packages (Complete and Startup) will go up to reflect the increase in the prices of the components. The Inventory Databases are also going up a bit. New features and modules are being added all the time and the prices reflect this.
USITT 2019 was Great !
We want to thank all the USITT Attendees for stopping by our booth to view the Inventory Databases, Tags and Labels, The Ultimate Ditty Bag and Hoopwire ! If you missed us and would like to get some of our brochures - just drop us an email at and we will send them to you right away. If you would like a PDF copy of the Presentation slides from my Presentation "If you can't find it what will you use on stage???", click here to download it.
Here are the new Tag & Label Sample boards. (Click on them to enlarge.) If you would like to receive some free, customized tags or labels - just request them here.
USITT - Louisville here we come !
Please join us at USITT in Louisville, March 21-23rd. You can still get a free pass to the Stage Expo and stop by our booth - # 624. Just click here to go to the USITT Registration page. If you have any questions or issues - please let me know.
We will be showing the Theatre Inventory Database with the Add-ons Patterns, Wigs, Scene Shop Tools (New) and Jewelry (still not finished but we will be showing a demo), plus the Equipment - Lighting , Sound and Tools Inventory Databases. We will have lots of handouts, some free samples of tags and labels. We have set up a small 'stage set' so you can see the items on stage and a Production Catalog with all the items used on the set in an easy-to-read book.
We will also have a mini network set up so you can see how you can share the databases.
Of course we will have the Ultimate Ditty Bag plus an exhibit of HoopWire - to help you with your costumes and tutus.
Stop by and get a coupon to use on your first order !
Spring 2019 - Out of Office Dates
March 19 - 22nd Tuesday - Friday USITT
We will be available by email during these dates. Please contact us:
Theatre Inventory Database: The Theatre Inventory Database version 8-12 (32 and 64 Bit) has been updated to include:
The Costume Pieces, Props and Wigs screens have be updated to allow you to 'Find' an item by the Tag ID without having to go to the Search dialog box.
Fitting Fees - For the Organizational Rentals (not simple Checkouts) customers can return items after a few days and only be charged a percentage of the Rental Fee or a fixed amount (you choose). The Receipts have been updated to print a logo, show the Fee Summary more clearly and to give you the choice of what to call the receipt (invoice, contract or anything else.)
Reports - Some of the reports have been updated to calculate the correct number of items in the collection if there are 'Multiples' of some Costume pieces.
Wigs - Wigs can now be assigned to a Production like the Costumes Pieces and Props/Sets.
Props have the Multiples option and the Qty Field and Qty Available. When checking out Props you can enter the Quantity checked out.
See the New Feature Notes in the User Guide: Click Here
If you are ready to upgrade to the latest version, please call us so we can help update your data tables to work with the new version.
Theatre Inventory Database - International English - This database has been updated with all the current features and has all reports designed for the A4 paper size and is available for 32 and 64 bit versions of MS Access.
Wigs Inventory Database: The Wigs Inventory Database is now available as a Stand-alone database. It can still be used in the Theatre Inventory Database but if you only want to track you Wigs Collection - you can do that now.
Uniform Inventory Database : The Uniform and Music Dept databases have been updated to make them more user friendly. The Uniform Inventory Database has become quite popular with schools (to track school uniforms), security firms and casinos to track employee uniforms. The database module names can be updated to reflect the types of uniforms or people (students or employees) you have.
New sizes of Inventory Labels: The 'Industrial or Extra Sticky' labels have been very popular with our customers. We now have 2 new sizes for this label: the 'Small' 1.25" x 0.5" and the 'Tiny' 7/8" x 3/8". Call or email us if you would like to receive samples. We will be adding them to the store very soon but you can order them over the phone if you want.
The Ultimate Ditty Bag Pattern is now available in the store. If you want to make a lot of Ditty Bags and buy your own fabric and notions - you can just buy the Ditty Bag Pattern. Look here in the store for the Pattern.
We are looking forward to the USITT Conference in March in Louisville, Kentucky on March 20th, 2019. We will have an expanded booth to show off all the different software products. In January we will be able to give you a free pass the Expo if you live in the area and are wanting to come see all vendors. Contact us if you would like a free pass.
Our prices will be going up a few percent in 2019 due to rising costs. It will not be much but I have to keep up with my costs. Tag and Label prices will be going up a 2 or 3 percent. The Complete and Startup packages and the Ultimate Ditty Bag will go up a few dollars. Order before the end of the year to avoid these prices increases.
Hoopwire: We now have a link to the Hoopwire website - on our website. If you need any wire or boning to help create the right shape for a skirt, dress or tutu - this is the place to get it.
Two New Sizes of Tags and Labels are now available!
Tiny Iron-on tags: For those costumers who want a very small, inconspicuous iron-on tag we now have a tag that is 7/8" x 1/4" that you can iron-on with the Petite Press. Click here for instructions on how to do it. These are the same types of tags that you see Dry Cleaners use. The price for the tags are 12 cents each and no minimum order. There is room for the barcode, number and 2 very small lines of text or your company/theatre's initials.
Small Industrial Labels - for small equipment or shoes:
Several customers have asked for smaller industrial labels. They like the way they stick to a lot of different surfaces but wanted a smaller size. We now have a 1.25" X 0.5" Industrial Label for $0.30 each. They are more expensive than the standard adhesive label but are more durable and sticky.
Theatre Inventory Database: The Theatre Inventory Database version 8-9 (32 and 64 Bit) has been updated to include:
1) Dry Cleaner module - to send clothes out to the Dry Cleaner and check them back in when they return. You can also add a Dry Cleaner Fee to each costume piece that will be added to a Rental/Checkout Record.
2) New Rental Reports - you can get a list of all things Still Checked Out - by Tag ID and Return Due date. These are condensed reports and easier to find things. There are also a new "Brief Receipt-Current" to show only the items that are still checked out on a rental/checkout. So it a customer brings back 10 things you can print a list of only the items they still have. You can also print your logo on the top left corner of the receipts and even change the name of the receipt to "Contract", "Invoice" or anything you want.
If you would like to upgrade to the new version, please contact us at email@example.com.
Equipment Inventory Database: The Equipment Inventory Database version 8-9 (32 and 64 Bit) have many new fields, features and reports. The list is very long so it is best to checkout the User Guide New Features List here. If you would like to upgrade to the new version, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USITT in Ft. Lauderdale is this month. Over 5,000 tech theatre professionals and students all come to the convention center to learn new things, meet old friends and make new ones. If you are in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area - contact me so I can give you a free pass the Stage Expo!
The Equipment Inventory Database has been updated and the User Guide finally written !! See the User Guide at www.theatreinventory.info. Download the latest version, 8-3, and see the all the features and reports. If you currently have the Equipment database (or any of the modules - Lighting, Sound/Multi-Media, or Tools) contact me so I can get you up to speed with the newest version.
New Resource Guides - I have created 4 new Storage Box Labeling Resource Guides - They will help you print Lists of Contents, Box Titles, Individual Tag ID Labels for Boxes (like Hat/Helmet boxes), and Box Numbers. All can be printed from the Theatre Inventory Database.
Tag and Label price increases on the way ! I was just informed that my tag and label material costs are going up. My supplier has told me that their costs have risen and any orders after March 1st will have a 10% price increase. So - my tag and label prices will go up about 5% (as the materials and ribbons are only part of the cost of the finished tags). So place any orders you might be thinking about very soon. All quote will be honored until the expiration date but not beyond. Thanks.
USITT - Ft. Lauderdale is right around the corner - March 14-17th. We hope to see you at our booth # 2624 .
Theatre Inventory Database 8-1 is now available. The new features include: the "Multiples" and "Disposable" options which allow you to put one Tag ID on multiple items - such as a box of belts, gloves, bow ties, etc. The Disposable option allows you to checkout an item - such as stockings or a box of eyelashes - that you don't want returned. See the User Guide - New Features section for more information.
The Uniform Inventory Database has be changed to the Music Dept Inventory Database. The Music Dept Inventory Database catalogs Uniforms (Band Uniforms, Choir and Orchestra formals, etc), Instruments, Sheet Music and Equipment/Props/Flags. You can download the 30-day free trial. *** Special Note - if you are a Theatre Teacher and you refer your Band/Orchestra teacher - and they contact us - you both get a 10% off Coupon !
The Work Uniform Inventory Database is almost ready. This is a smaller database application to track Uniforms and Equipment (like radios, tool belts, etc). It is great for security companies, landscaping, medical offices, etc that only need to track uniforms and equipment and who has checked those items out.
In 2017 we passed the 1 million mark for numbers of tags and labels printed !! Our inventory tags are now in 12 countries around the world.
The office will be closed January 24-27th as I will be attending the Texas Educational Theatre Association Conference in Galveston, TX. I will be checking email but unable to answer calls.
New releases of the Theatre Inventory Database, Music Dept. Inventory Database and a new Work Uniform Inventory Database will be coming soon. Watch for an email in early January.
December 15th we will be closed as our power will be out all day for the power company to do repairs in our neighborhood. If you need to contact me, please send an email and I will contact you as soon as I can. Thanks.
I have added a Calendar of open/closed/conference dates to the Home Page. Please check there to see what days are open during the December holidays.
The Techie Green Room - https://www.techiegreenroom.com/ Here is a new site to help school theatre production people with ideas and resources. The site hopes (In their words) "To be a place for middle and high school drama teachers and technical directors to come to be inspired, to help others, and to share successes and failures to be used as learning tools." Check it out for new ideas and connect to other techies.
Good News ! The prices of most of our products will remain the same for 2018 as there are no significant price increases for postage or our materials (tags and labels). We are waiting to see if there are any increases in Barcode Scanners and Rack Dividers - but they are not expected to be more than a dollar or two.
Best wishes for the holidays and New Year. See you in 2018.
Theatre Inventory Database - Version 7-10 has just been released. The new features include - keeping a Costume Piece Repair history - now you can keep track of many repairs and alterations for a garment, the Performer / Student record now has 2 new fields - School Year (to track when students graduate) and Outseam - for help measuring pants. It is also easy to update the lookups for the Performer data on the Performer Utility form (Eye Color, Hair Color, Gender, Student Type). Contact us if you want to upgrade.
We are getting ready for the NAfME (National Assoc. for Music Educators) conference in Dallas (Grapevine), Tx in November. I hope to see lots of music teachers and band directors there.
We have a lot of Ultimate Ditty Bags in stock now - please place your orders before Dec 15th if you need them in January.
The Store (www.costumeinventorystore.com) now accepts reviews of products. If you have purchased a product and want to leave us a review - we would really appreciate it. All reviews (good and bad) help our customers make choices of what is best for them to buy.
New Resource Guide - Printing Your Own Tags. Several customers have asked about printing their own tags and labels with barcodes. I have prepared a Resource Guide to explain what you need to set up and start printing. Take a look if you are interested.
Look for our ad in Stage Directions Theatre Resources Directory
If you can tell us what page # our ad is on - I will send you a 10% Discount coupon to use on your next order !
EdTA National Conference - Sept 14 - 16, 2017 Nashville, TN - check back soon for our booth number.
NAfME - November 12-14, 2017 - Dallas, TX
TETA - January 24 - 27, 2018 Galveston, TX
USITT - March 14-17, 2018 Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Booth # 2624
New Product: Clear Laminate labels!
Several customers liked our Extra Durable 2 part label but like the ultra strong adhesive of the Industrial labels. They asked for a clear laminate to go over the Industrial Label to protect if from abrasion when moving equipment and equipment cases. So now we offer a large, clear laminate label to go over the Industrial (and the Large Adhesive) labels. They are sold in packages of 100 labels.
Equipment Inventory Database - Updated
The Equipment Inventory Database which we released in June has already had one update. We added a field for Cable Type in the Accessories and found a few items we missed and fixed. Contact us to get a free upgrade.
Uniform Inventory Database - Updated
The Uniform Inventory Database has been updated to fix a few small bugs and add a few new features. The Uniform Inventory Database is designed to help schools with marching bands, orchestras, and choirs keep track of their uniforms, musical instruments and equipment. It can easily be adapted for a company (security, fire department, landscaping, etc.) keeping track of uniforms and equipment.
Pattern Inventory Database - Updated to 7-7
The Pattern Inventory Database has had a small update. We have added 3 fields - Pattern Type (Sewing, Knitting, Craft, etc), Pattern Year (to help you inventory those patterns where the Pattern Company has used the same # twice) and Condition. The stand-alone version of the database is designed for both standard paper sizes and A4.
The Pattern Module in the Theatre Inventory Database also has a new Photo Gallery feature for all linked costumes. The Pattern Module reports follow the paper size for the database (either the Theatre Inventory Database or Theatre Inventory Database -International English).
Contact us to get your database upgraded today!
New Resource Guide - Creating Organized Storage Boxes
Click here to read/download the newest Resource Guide - Creating Organized Storage Boxes. This Resource Guide will give you all the steps and list of materials you need to create stacks of organized boxes and bins.
Equipment Inventory Database is here !!!!! (finally!) June 2017
The Equipment Inventory Database with the Lighting, Sound, and Tools modules is finally finished and ready to download. It has the following features:
1) Lighting Inventory Database - to track Fixtures, Accessories, Gobos, and Gels. You can rent all lighting items to other organizations. You can assign Fixtures with their Accessories, Gobos and Gels to a Fixture In Use record for a Production so you can track all lighting equipment used in a Production. New fields have been added to the Fixture record to make it more complete. The Gobos now has a Photo Gallery screen to view all the images of the Gobos you have entered.
2) Sound Inventory Database - to track all Sound and A/V Equipment. Sound Equipment can be rented to other organizations. Sound Equipment - such as Mic Packs - can also be assigned to performers in a Production. Hopefully this will make it easier to keep track of them all !
3) Tools Inventory Database - to track Tools and other Equipment from the Scene Shop or back stage. Tools can be checked out to other organizations.
4) All databases have extensive search functions and reports to print to your printer or a PDF to email or post on a website.
Check out the screen shots here to see the new features.
You can download the 30-day trial here. If you already have the Lighting or Sound Database and would like to upgrade - give me a call or email and we will get the new version to you.
The User Guide is not quite ready but check back for updates and links from the Equipment Inventory page.
Theatre Inventory Database - 7-5 Now on the Website:
The latest version of the Theatre Inventory Database is now available for download. The new features include:
Inventory Owner Module has been improved with new features, reports and rental receipts.
Props - Has a Repair History to show all repairs. New fields for "Is Functional?", "Can it be Painted ? " etc.
Wigs Module - a few updates to the wig rental modules
Add Props to Ensembles
New Performer Audition fields including 3 places for videos and 1 pdf/doc file
New Reports - List of Costumes for Performance sorted by Cleaning Codes, List of Ensembles by Date Updated, New Box report
If you currently have an earlier version of the Theatre Inventory Database and would like to upgrade to 7-5, please contact me so that I can help you. Upgrades to the newest verisons are available for free for the first year then $75 after that.
A List of New Features is in the User Guide here.
EdTA National Conference - Nashville, TN
Costume Inventory Resources will be at the EdTA (Educational Theatre Association) National Conference in Nashville, TN on Sept 14th - 16th. I hope to see you there !
Look here (in the Support/Tutorials section) for help on getting your wireless scanner to talk to you computer.