Case Study

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is one of Australia’s leading University level music institutions. It has been established for more than 100 years and is highly regarded internationally.

Resources Inventory

The inventory consisted of Some 900+ instruments, some of which were highly specialised and unique from many parts of the world and which could not be easily replaced, plus 500+ pieces of equipment. The condition of items that made up the inventory varied considerably.

The value of the inventory is significant and was in need of a higher standard of management.


No administration program was available to those responsible for the control of instruments and equipment involving large numbers of students and staff plus a huge inventory of other resources. Those responsible saw no need for such a program until the management of it was assessed as being out of control.

This impacted the organisation because staff members were frustrated because they couldn’t find instruments and were wasting their time chasing up the students instead of teaching and carrying out other staff responsibilities.


The problems being experienced at the time by the Sydney Con were due to instruments disappearing and being unaccounted for due to them being handed out for use with no record kept and no control in relation to who they were made available to. Location of both instruments and equipment, apart from those that could not be moved, was problematical as there was no method of indicating where instruments were located either permanently or whilst on temporary or long-term loan.

Temporary or short-term loans were often required due to the immediate demands of rehearsals

No records were maintained in relation to the condition of either instruments or equipment and repairs and maintenance was only carried out on an ‘immediate needs’ basis with no paperwork indicating the source of or the cost of repairs being maintained.

Maintenance and repairs were done ad-hock and were un-coordinated with items sometimes lost or incorrect items were returned from repairers.

Financial planning for repairs and/or replacement of instruments and equipment was impossible due to the lack of reporting capabilities and this proved to be most challenging for the staff.

Maintenance and repairs were done ad-hock with the no particular person in charge of supervising what was repaired, whether it was worth repairing, when it went to the repairer, when it was due back and without knowledge of the costs, the repair budget or the accumulated repair costs over any period of time.


Performance group information was difficult to work with and maintain due to the above.

The issues have now been resolved and the performance group situation has now been rectified to the satisfaction of the staff.

How they solved it

The Optimo Resource Management Program had the capabilities to solve all of the problems so OptimoPlus was installed to fix the problems now, and take them into the future with additional capabilities including student management.

The SCM adopted the main components of OptimoPlus allowing them to take control using the ‘Standard Package’ which means taking existing data supplied by the organisation and processing it through the Optimo Data Cleansing Program.

Optimo staff then went on site to conduct a stocktake, identification and labelling of instruments and equipment using the Optimo Integrated printer package.

The SCM adopted the Express Checkout installation which uses a receipt system for short-term loans

The SCM also located and used a dedicated and secure office area to manage the daily, quick turnover of instrument loans


As a result of the implementation of OptimoPlus, the SCM now has complete control of their inventory. Instruments and equipment are now fully accounted for; loans are under control and a Preventative Maintenance Program ensures that instruments are all kept in good condition. The need for reporting of student attendance, ensemble experiences/rotation, results and scholarships are now achieved.

Scott Ryan Syd Conservatorium of Music Optimo Systems

WE HAVE FINALLY DONE IT! We have merged ALL of our ensembles from OPAS to OPTIMO! To say life is easier would be an understatement! The beginning of our academic year has never gone more smoothly in the time I’ve been at the Con, and, reportedly it was the smoothest start to rehearsals in living memory.

I put this down to two things; Better administrative practice, and OPTIMO. Monitoring student attendance has never been easier the instant automated attendance email has seen a huge improvement in student accountability.

Reporting of ensemble data is a dream! I am regularly called upon to report to the administration on student participation, retention and degree path. In the short time that I have had this information in OPTIMO, it has literally saved me hours of work compiling meaningful reports I don’t want you to say “I told you so”, but OPTIMO is a life saver!!! Scott Ryan | Artistic Planning Manager Sydney Conservatorium of Music

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