Operations Plan

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Free Geek need to act like department managers. All their titles have coordinator in it yet some of them do the actual work themselves. Operationally speaking, the tasks that should be delegated by staff to volunteers are done by staff, ie: taking out the garbage. I believe that with a proper operations plan we may be able to hibernate Free Geek for a very short period of time and then boot it back up again while hiring very minimal staff. We have 2,500 volunteers, we need to use them!

Layout Changes

(We should create a layout diagram. Does anyone have a floorplan of FG?)

At the top of back alley entrance stairs will be receiving, as it currently is. Immediately behind the receiving station on the east wall will be cable sort. (Cable sorting will be on the east wall immediately behind the receiving station.) The eval/dismantle station will be moved to run along the east wall and also use this area for build. We'll have to move drive wipe down there. Ram testing station will remain where it is.

To the west of receiving immediately in front of the warehouse door will be a reserved area for garbage. Any gear that we cannot gain value from will be dismantled if needed and moved here. To the North of the large receiving door will be two rows of double backed skids / gaylords for motherboard storage and cache.

Our grant that we received last year was to help with the build program. However that money is gone and yet build still exists. Build in the mezzanine is going to be completely dismantled and replaced with a store and more public computers. I would like to see it turned into a community space. The store and cave can then be used for office space as well as an employee only area.

Hardware Workflow

When gear comes into receiving it will be placed on top of table and the immediately sorted. If the person running receiving knows hardware that can categorize it as well at this point. If not it will be placed into a section of the warehouse reserved for that type of gear. These specifics can be decided on the fly.

(Not fond of stickers myself. Planing and documenting work training and flow should be able to keep things clear as to what needs to be done and where things go. Minimal use of signs is appropriate.) --ChrisH

Every so often a support volunteer or staff member will come into the warehouse and sticker sort all the gear.

Red - recycle (dismantle) Green - reuse Other colours - reservations for wholesales

Volunteers will be organized once or twice a week to process all the sticker sorted gear in the warehouse and move to the appropriate bin.

Human Resources

Have three staff members, two full time, one part time as well as two interns. Any two of the three staff members should have the necessary skills to cover all responsibilities of the day to day ops of Free Geek. All staff members will be responsible for making sure that there are enough volunteers booked. Currently we have two interns paid for by the government until the end of August.

Staff should all be trained in first aid, and continue to be the ones responsible for Health & Safety for everyone on site.

Store / Mezz

I was thinking that the mezz could become the store as well as a community area. The public stations can stay where they are and maybe have some more on the adjacent wall. This would leave the cave and current existing store to be used as an employee only / office area. I think it would be really cool to turn the mezz into a community area where the store, open meetings, public computers could all happen in the same sort of space. It's definitely big enough for it.

A store in the mezzanine could be less secure, especially with public terminal access and open meetings, and with the number of doors that need to be breached to break into it. --ChrisH

I want the new store (mezz) to have an open airy feel to it. With (one day) glass cases, and (always) demo systems available. Ordering computers should be simplified to menu items. Lowend, Midend, Highend. Each box has a spec that is associated to it. Each type of computer should on display and running at all times. Given the size of the new store within the mezz they should be able to stock pile a vast amount of each type of system.

This seems to be a compromise of making the store bigger and hopefully well stocked versus small and less cluttered. Access and security issues. Not sure how simplified stock in the store will be or remain considering the variety of donations received.

We could probably leave the sign in sheets up in the mezz as well. Having the volunteers leave their personal belongings in an isolated area such as the cave is not a good idea as it will probably lead to theft. I think it should stay as it is in the lunch room. (Perhaps the lunch room could be spruced up at some point)


The store and receiving will be able to communicate via IM from an inhouse jabber server. The store can make requests to the warehouse for items that can then brought to store by a volunteer, only if they have been properly tested of course.

Migration Strategy

2. Store, this is the big one. I propose that we make this a weekend project where we organize everyone we need so that it can be executed quickly and effectively.

3. Volunteer orientations- three times a week, currently approx 40 people per week attend, we can change the message on the answering machine and on the website but this is on every piece of literature that we produce. My suggestion would be to stop doing them from wednesday 7th july onwards. Sadly I know there are people calling everyday to confirm that we do this EVERY week so we will still have people show. Jessica is willing to be around at the usual times we do orientations and "charm the fuck out of the public" who show for a few weeks after we cancel them. I'm a little concerned about cutting off tours altogether; it would be nice to continue the educational outreach portion of it. I do not see why we cannot give the usual tours, even in skeleton mode. Maybe if we have enough volunteers already we can let them know we won't have anything for them to do for the time being, but still take info/educate. The reason is room. The warehouse will be FULL to the tits pretty soon and having people wander around will not be a good idea.

4. Adoption, there are approx 25 volunteers currently volunteering specifically for a computer after doing 24 hours of work. This is a problem because some of them only come in saturdays or whatever and only have a few hours to go and some are mentally ill. My advice would be to offer these people a 40% discount in the store to buy a system as goodwill for their time. Jessica is willing to call these folks and make sure they are happy and still love us. Volunteers already get a 40% discount after 12 hours of service at Free Geek. I think we should honor our agreement and release a geek box to all current volunteers who are working towards one. --Jordan

5. There is an adoption class - where volunteers pick up their machines and get taught how to use them- next thursday. Luckily we are only booked one week ahead so after next week we can stop this and only do wednesday night tech support. Jessica is willing to do Wednesday nights.

6. Store rebuild. We're going to need people, volunteers, and us to help with this transition. It's going to be HUGE! We'll probably need all weekend to accomplish it. I'm willing to dedicate a lot of my time to this but I want help from all of you. (crickets) -- jordan