Library Materials Handling Consultation

Huntington Beach had an old conveyor system for moving books from one part of the Library to another. This system was very old and in disrepair. This consultation involved helping the Library develop a work plan for eliminating the conveyor, adding a new state-of-the-art automated check-in system, implementing an effective self-service environment and changing the ways many of the spaces in the Library to optimize staff and patron workflows.

Leaning Your Library's Material Handling Workflows

Presentation at ALA Conference in Las Vegas (2014). Sponsored by the Public Library Association. I really enjoyed doing this presentation because the crowd was very engaged. Got lots of good ideas from them. Thanks to all who attended!

The presentation introduces Lean and provides some ideas about how to look at library materials handling workflows with a Lean, customer-centric focus where the customer may be internal (co-worker) or external (patron).  Introduced concepts of Visual Management and 5S from Lean and identified where "waste" happens in libraries.

Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean your Workflow

Infopeople webinar to introduce attendees to some key principles of Lean and to provide some tips on how to apply Lean principles to library materials handling workflows.

Focused on some traditional library practices that get in the way including how libraries use bookcarts to define batch size, reliance on staging areas, acquisitions practices, and rigid staff roles.

Hopefully people came away with a new way to think about workflows from the customer perspective and not just from a staff productivity perspective.

Webinar: Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean Your Workflow

I'll be doing another webinar for Infopeople soon. This one is Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean Your Workflow. I hope you'll attend! More info below...

 

Date Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Start Time:          12 Noon Pacific

1PM Mountain

2PM Central

3PM Eastern 

  • Is your backroom overrun with book carts full of in-process material?
  • Does it take more than a couple hours to get your incoming delivery processed?
  • Does it take three days to catch up after a holiday closure?
  • Does it take more than four people to get a new acquisition into circulation?
  • Can you easily determine the age and status of items on every book cart?

 

As much as we love our book carts, they have helped us develop some very bad habits, and Lean will help us reduce or eliminate some of these bad habits. Lean is a management philosophy designed to identify and eliminate “waste” in a workflow. Waste can be any number of things including waiting, unnecessary handling or transport, duplicating steps, processing that doesn’t provide any benefit to the customer, and unnecessary hand-offs. By eliminating these wastes, we can find an optimal workflow that will get items to our customers faster and reduce our costs.

Alameda County Materials Handling Evaluation

Worked with Alameda County Libraries to evaluate the materials handling operations and workflows including staffing, procedures, use of spaces and technology and interlibrary delivery. Preliminary recommendation was to form a Materials Handling Task Force to further tease out materials handling issues and identify suitable solutions for the Library while developing staff engagement in the solutions. Engagement was concluded with the Task Force submitting materials handling recommendations to Executive Team.

Free Consulting Available at ALA Chicago

If you are going to ALA in Chicago, you might want to take advantage of free consulting from one of the 15-20 consultants that will be providing free consulting sessions during the Consultants Give Back session.  

Find the consultant who can help you at /.  If you find someone with the right skills for your project, contact them and make an appointment ahead of time. There are some drop-in options but most of the consultants require appointments.

Salt Lake City RFID and Materials Handling Project

Lori Ayre assisted in the selection of an RFID/AMH vendor and planning for the implementation. The project included vendor selection, RFID conversion, selecting and sizing equipment (self-check-ins, self-check-outs, sorters, staff stations), planning remodels, and working with vendor. Cheryl Gould worked with the Library to help define their service model to support their goal of 100% self-check-out.