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Attending: Dominic Morrow, Lionel Goodwin, Michelle Strickland, Andrew Armstrong.




Previewed scope:

WHAT? The Consumables Group (CG) is a volunteer-run team of Nottingham Hackspace (HSNotts) members, currently led by X, tasked with replenishment of essential and non-essential items for the Hackspace (known as consumables). They veto and maintain a list of consumables that will be available in the space for any member to use, funded by HSNotts. This list can be found here (link) and any member may request an item be considered for addition.

HOW? The Consumables Group will maintain a core list of items published on the Wiki (link) and agreed quarterly at the members meeting. It will maintain an appropriate method of contact (currently by email to "") and a published method of requesting consumables. The CG will hold meetings at least quarterly.

BUDGET? The Consumables Group Budget will not exceed £200 monthly unless otherwise agreed by 3 trustees in special circumstances.The Budget is to be evaluated and agreed annually at the Nottinghack AGM (note: may be better to make this the first members meeting after).

OUT-OF-SCOPE - The Consumables Group will not be responsible for the purchase of capital equipment, spare parts for the maintenance of tools, shelving, fixtures or fittings, general use tools etc.

Additional notes:

  • List of what we don't want? Perhaps too big but broad terms could be used.
  • Deliveries would be easier - Dominic volunteered to be a point of delivery at the moment
  • When do we get more? System to know what we get monthly, or if stock is low.



"It would be worth going through the spreadsheet started by David Hayward, the one started by Lionel and Dominic's spreadsheet and collate them into one list. It may also be worth contacting members who use certain areas of the space often and asking them what they would consider are consumables in each area, rather than trying to go through the entire space ourselves. For example, the electronics area (James F), machining/welding area (Matt L), woodworking/general workshop (David C), craft space (Kate), kitchen, blue room. This is the biggest task and I don't think can be done in one night - we would be better placed to publish a list later on, I think.

We also need to know what information we need to store on file with regards to purchasing stuff."

See 3 for notes.


It would be sensible to agree on what information is required for us to purchase an item, and how often we order stuff (by which I mean, make an order from a supplier, not ordering individual items). How do we advertise this information?

I also think we need to discuss whether we perform a regular stock-take (which is very time consuming) or order reactively - only when we run out of something, or whether we should do a combination of the two and if so, how.

Where are consumables delivered to when we order online? I don't have a car so am not really in a position to take goods to the space, although I'm happy to receive stuff at home/work (I'm currently working Mon-Weds at Nottingham University).

How do we arrange for items that need to be purchased in person from a shop? (I realise this may be obvious, but I think we should agree it formally nonetheless)

  • What constitutes core consumables?
    • Long list is long!
    • Needs to be edited and agreed on initially
    • Have input from the experts
  • What about new things?
    • EG: Orange Cordial Juice to complement Tea and Coffee - a contentious example (from a non-tea/coffee drinker!)
  • Process of requests via email for requests
    • Vote on the item between team, and possibly suggest it to the mailing list if expensive
  • What about consumables we might get in but are charged
    • Possibly vending machine at cost, or lower cost (or things like laser cutters)

List should be made read only by everyone publicly for people to review themselves as needed.

Requests from members:

  • What kind of information they need to provide for an item to be considered
    • What it is used for
    • How much it costs roughly
    • How many we need

Determining need, "flow chart"

  • How many members use it
  • Would it help make awesome things happen in the space
  • Cost of the item over time

System does say we "pay for what you use".

Some items can cover themselves:

  • Milk - can be brought out of the kitty in the kitchen - sign can be made for it
  • Some items people bring in themselves to share


"We finally have a charge card. It was formally agreed at a meeting yonks ago that this would be credited with up to £200 monthly. We can discuss how to best utilise it."

  • Michelle has one currently
  • Dominic suggests one per member of team
    • Need to check to see if they are different - ie; numbers, CRC codes - if not, no need to
    • Need to see if just easier to get multiple ones with "Consumables group" on them (How do you cancel them though?)
  • Can set a standard of work of purchasing for sharing with other teams
    • Auditing and so forth:
      • Scan or photograph in receipts into Dropbox folders using naming format (eg: 2014-01-20 - AA - Tea.jpg)
      • Report spends into somewhere (maybe shared spreadsheet or wiki)
        • Best would be for a form with an upload part which can automatically upload the image and related information as well as who uploaded it - HMS would be perfect for this. Possibly develop in future?


"I guess we should discuss what information needs to be divulged and what can just be put on the wiki. I don't think we need to present a complete purchase list, but monthly expenditure and a general overview of purchases would be a start."

What do we say:

  • Spending amount out of £200
    • Requests come in, requests fulfilled
    • Core/regular numbers versus special/one off numbers

Our own meetings:

  • Meet before the members meeting possibly
  • Can make it less onerous using online tools (Skype, Google Hangouts etc)
  • See when to meet via. email - meet a bit before next members meeting


  • People joining this group might need things to do?
    • Core need to do tasks versus can do anytime really tasks.
  • Kiosk or tablet in the space for direct reporting to various teams - consumables would be a link and form to fill in (that emails us)* Whiteboards will not be used for consumables
  • Cards for boxes to note what is running out (eg; business cards)