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IMMS™ gives public libraries control of collection, space, and float management. IMMS™ complements your existing ILS and creates an unprecedented level of transparency in your material flow. Utilizing new tools for data collection, items can be tracked to the shelf, shelving cart, transport bin, or storage location.
IMMS™ ease the workflow for staff throughout the library. Branch staff benefits from direct shelving of holds with no handling of individual items, as well as never risking depletion of stock. The smart phone app ensures that IMMS™ continuously keep track of item location.
“The introduction of the sorter and self-service returns led to extensive change of workflows throughout the library, simplifying material handling leading to a drastic fall in work related injuries from afflicting almost 100% of the circulation desk staff to 0%.”
Susanne Hansen, Aarhus Public Libraries
Real-time distribution of materials makes sure that titles go where there is space and where they are in short supply – leading to higher circulation and less staff time spent on rebalancing.
SUSTAINABILITY AND IMPROVED WORKFLOWS
The entirely paperless work processes, not only save staff time, align with green policies, and eases workflows, but also prevent disease to spread through hold slips and shared picklists.
LESS ROUTINE MORE SERVICE
Batch handling and intelligent distribution lead to staff spending less time on material handling like holds management and shelving leaving hands free for mission-critical alignment with broader community goals.
When an item is received, the ILS sends a query to IMMS™ concerning which branch the item should be distributed to. In real-time, the IMMS™ calculates the receiving branch based on knowledge of all items’ locations, the rules set up by staff for the branch inventories, and the properties of each specific item. No more overflowing or depleted shelves.
If the item is on hold, this is handled in the ILS – thanks to IMMS™ in a paperless picking and pick-up process. Master data for bibliographic records, items, and holds, etc. are exchanged automatically between ILS and IMMS. In addition to this online requests for the optimal location for items during check-in are handled without notifiable delay, very fast.
Having an intelligently floating collection ensures attractive collections in all branches and caters to increased circulation.
Read more about float here.
More and more public libraries are adopting the practice of displaying books as bookstores do. Studies show that a well-placed display can increase fiction circulation by over 90% while non-fiction goes up by 25%.
But staff also face challenges in maintaining attractive and well-used displays. The more successful a display is the more time has to be spent replenishing it and keeping it fresh. IMMS automates this, it registers which items are circulated and send requests to fill the empty space.
Fill-up can happen from the local branch, from the Media hotel, or from wherever the most suitable items are located. The display is structured in IMMS, from ILS exports or .csv files, and can be set up well in advance and be re-used again and again in different places.
Read more about the way Naestved Library are using displays to increase circulation here.
Stock on the open shelves fluctuates according to seasonal requirements. One library has a heavy use of their mysteries over the summer, but non-fiction does well when the students are in town. Although mysteries belong on the shelf throughout the year, having all copies available at all times is not the best use of open shelf space.
So where does the overflow go when IMMS determines that the set maximum shelf space has been achieved? It goes to the Media “hotel” – an easily reachable central storage area where the items are ordered according to the modern warehouse management principles and can be picked and sent back in circulation at the high speed of up to 285/items/hr.
The Media hotel is organized according to a proven warehouse management system of “Chaotic storage”. Rather than following an arrangement, such as by topic or call numbers, IMMS™ manages the items based on optimal shelving capacity, tracking each item to retrieve as needed.
Items in a storage location are organized according to a standard warehouse management technique called “chaotic storage,” where materials are placed within a bin or shelf unit without regard to call numbers or other conventional shelf ordering.
The inventory management system, however, tracks the exact location of each item so that it can be efficiently retrieved when requested. An example of Chaotic Storage management use is Amazon, where it is the secret behind Amazon’s astonishing fast order fulfillment, delivery capabilities, and accuracy.
Read more in the paper on storage.
One of the first benefits the Helsinki libraries noticed after implementing IMMS™, was how fast it is to shelve holds. Holds are paperless and as IMMS™ batch tracks each item in the transport box it is possible to shelve directly without handling each item.
No more putting in order and managing printed paper slips. Items on holds shelves are also placed according to the chaotic storage, and when the title has been (batch) checked onto the RFID coded holds shelf, the patron is informed of title, author, and shelf number as well as hold expiry date through email or SMS/text message. The system does not allow a patron to check out a title reserved for someone else.
Taking down holds not being picked up before the expiry date is equally simple and paperless.
Batch management using the smartphone makes it possible to scan the content of a transport box directly to a storage or reservations shelf without scanning the individual items. IMMS knows exactly what is in each box or on each cart at all times.
Not only does this save precious time for staff, but also preempts the, for library workers, all too common repetitive stress injuries in shoulders and back. The only time a shelver handles an individual item is when finally shelving it and even then precious energy is spared on always knowing there is space for the books on your cart and never having to relocate entire shelving units just because a certain subject has grown organically.
The daily logistics work of the library is managed through the IMMS™ app, which connects real-time through to the cloud-based IMMS™ system.
Digital, continuously updated picklists in correct walking order, saves lots of time retracing your steps or looking for items already picked by a colleague.
The RFID/Barcode reader ensures that all item movements are tracked to the location, so staff, at all times, know where each item is located, that be on the shelf, trolley, transport tote, or in movement between branches.
One week before the introduction of IMMS Aarhus and Copenhagen City libraries recorded 560 inquiries from disappointed users not being able to find material on the expected shelf.
After introducing IMMS™, this figure went down by over 60%. This is due to the granularity of IMMS™ tracking system and its industry-standard logistics management powered by Lyngsoe Systems knowledge.
Both patrons and staff will appreciate books being in their right place and being able to engage in positive dialogues, instead of looking for books in vain.
Automated lifecycle management is a built-in function in IMMS™. Using historical lending trends of the current material stock. It helps to manage an item’s life cycle from purchase to end-of-life. IMMS™ informs you of the current lending trends of each title, creating actionable reporting. Popular titles bought in multiple copies go out of fashion after a while, and fewer copies are needed.
Electronic resources have strong and detailed reporting, giving staff actionable evidence of use and non-use of titles and collections. However, this is not as clear with the library’s print collections.
Which books are circulated through holds and which are browsed from shelves? Which titles have been bought just-in-case and never been checked out at all? Which shelving units are groaning under far too much material and which have space for a little more?
Despite the growth of full-text downloads, academic libraries still have hundreds of thousands of physical books and only the traditional integrated library system (ILS) to optimize their collection. IMMS™ informs you in detail of all aspects of the physical collection, and industry strength automation will put you in control.
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