Process optimisation in data collection

When it comes to library services, the ekz not only offers its customers the medium itself (book, CD, DVD…), but it also provides indispensable editorial and catalogue data with comprehensive information on the medium.

Products for customers take the form of standing orders, tailored to the needs of both small and large libraries in various ways. A large number of ekz employees focus on data management and collecting structured catalogue information of the media. The annual throughput of more than 20,000 individual titles necessitates process-driven collection and processing of these media. This software system – the “electronic routing slip” – was realised in cooperation with the bitbase group and integrated into the ekz’s existing editorial management system, which was independently developed.

Conception and implementation

As a central object of the project, the “electronic routing slip” is connected to a specific medium. This takes place when the item is first received. The copy’s ISBN is scanned, equipped with a medium label, and can then finally be identified through a barcode. After this, the copy is not only visible in the “process manager”, but also in every user’s personalised list, which is automatically compiled based on the processor’s specialty field. The management hereby receives a precise picture of which medium has been processed where and by whom, and where under- or overcapacities lead to non-optimal utilisation.

Customer benefits

The electronic routing slip has become a crucial component for everyday work in library services. Initial fears regarding potential extra work for employees have not prevailed. On the contrary: Thanks to the structured collection of process-controlled data, employees receive direct access to the fields necessary to process the respective medium after scanning the barcode.

With the introduction of the electronic routing slip, the management benefits from a tool for planning and controlling the data flow, which makes it possible to detect current vulnerabilities in time and optimally respond to arising problems early on.

Technologies used

The “electronic routing slip” project was implemented with the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 in C# in a multi-layered architecture. Persistent data storage takes place in IBM's DB2 Universal Database for iSeries. An additional necessity is communication via various ORPG programmes.

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I will gladly advise you and look forward to receiving your questions.

Director Technical Solutions

Nicolas Fahr