Compared costs and benefits of materials handling operations between two library branches that differed only in how they used automated systems to get the work done. Demonstrated a significant savings for library using automated materials return system.
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Attached is the result of a study I did for King County Library System comparing materials handling operations at two very similar libraries: one with automated self check-in and library sorter, and the other using manual materials handling. The report (PDF) demonstrates significant savings at the library with automated check-in. It's short and sweet. Give it a read!
I recently undertook an analysis of the cost savings (if any) of a client's use of automated checkin. This was an interesting project for me because I wasn't sure how it would turn out. Although I'm a big fan of automated checkin for many reasons, I wasn't sure that it would result in clear cost savings for this particular client because they were already using automation in their central sort operation. The automated central sort system included a tote checkin feature -- this means the receiving library only had to scan a tote (or bin) to checkin all the items in the tote.
I've been a very very bad girl. No postings for over a month. Turns out when I'm trying to get a report of some kind written, I can't post a blog entry. It feels like an adulterous act - like I'm cheating on my client. Writing....but not for them.
As always, in writing the report, I learned something. I learned that I could make a very conservative ROI estimate of 9-12 years for not just a a central sortation system for a medium sized library system but also for two or three individual library sorters. That's a lot of automation with a pretty good payback.