If your inventory management needs are simple, you can keep track of stock levels in the “Available” column in My effects and in effects files saved in the FDB format. While scripting your show, you can filter the effects window to display only the effects you have remaining available, or you can filter to show when remaining available goes negative if you want to see overuse (effects window gear menu > “Select layout template > Available positive” for example. After scripting the show, you can do the menu item “Effects > Subtract used quantities from available,” which does just that. Then you can synch to network to save you updated available quantities to My Fireworks, or you can save the updated effects file from the blue selector “Effects files > Save (FDB format)”. When you go to script your next show, your available quantities will take into account the items you used up.
The “Quota” column is also useful for basic inventory management. The Quota column shows the quantities that you have decided to allocated to the show before scripting it. Display companies sometimes decide what product they want to use in the show before scripting it, so the Quota column would be the place to record that information. In other circumstances, display operators need to script a show using the pack list of products that have been shipped to him. The Quota column is exactly the place to import the pack list quantities (“Effects > Import quotas…”). With the Quota column showing your allocation, you can filter the effects window to show “All effects having quota” or “All effects used or having quota” or three other options that take into account what you’ve used in the show so far are “Quota negative” and “Quota not-zero” and “Quota positive” (effects window gear menu > “Select layout template”).
The quotas are saved with the show. Even though they are shown in whatever collection you are displaying in the effects window — My effects, Generic effects, Finale Inventory, your own effects file, etc. — they are stored in the Per-show effects collection that is saved with the show. Thus your show can have quotas for effects in any collection.
The “On Hand” column (meaning “Quantity on hand”) is an inventory quantity that is used in more comprehensive inventory management applications available through integration with Finale Inventory. If you integrate with Finale Inventory, the Finale Inventory application will keep track of your open sales orders (shows that you’ve sold but haven’t shipped yet) and your purchase orders (for products that you’ve purchased and haven’t received yet). The available count in Finale Inventory takes into account “reservations” from unshipped shows and “on order” quantities from purchase orders, whereas the “quantity on hand” quantities reflect only what is physically present at your warehouse or facility. In some circumstances, it can be useful to know while scripting a show what “available” and also what is “on hand”. These features are only available with Finale Inventory, though. Basic inventory management in Finale 3D just uses the Available column to record your quantities; you need to take into account reservations or or shipments manually. Thus for basic inventory management, please leave the On Hand column blank.
When you use the Available or Quota column, the quantities displayed in the effects window will change color to green or red, depending on whether you have more remaining to use or whether you’ve used too many!