RFID PROJECT SUMMARY City of Unley Community of Possibilities - 4 Year Plan 2013-2016 Goal 1 Supporting Initiatives Emerging our path to a future city Implement Radio Frequency Identification in Library Centres to improve service delivery and access (Y2-3) 2. PROJECT OUTCOMES TO BE DELIVERED The following project outcomes to be achieved: Cost Effective Self Service Cost-effective self-service within the library context is determined by a number of factors. It is important to note Unley Libraries’ three locations are open collectively 92 hours per week, putting a higher demand on staffing resources to enable adequate servicing of all branches. In multi-branch library services, staff numbers are influenced by the need to keep branches open to provide an acceptable level of service for an agreed number of opening hours and by requirements for a minimum number of staff to be on duty for safety and security reasons. Staff requirements are also influenced by the degree to which manual handling processes have been automated, the level of customer acceptance of self-serve and automated checkout arrangements, and the degree to which administrative processes and operations are outsourced. Effective use of technology (for example, self-serve resources, Radio Frequency Identification and automated means for check-out/check-in, stock-take and collection management tasks) and outsourcing technical services tasks (such as selection, cataloguing, and shelf-ready processing) can promote staff efficiency and cost-effectiveness. When using an experience-based rule of thumb, it is clear that RFID implementations with a strong productivity emphasis are more viable in libraries with 200,000 loans/renewals or more each year. Table 1 – Loans and renewals Unley branch libraries, 2012/13 financial year Library Branches Loans and Renewals Unley Civic Library 313,590 Goodwood Library 121,363 Fullarton Park Library 6,369 Total 441,322 Average loans and renewals for Unley and Goodwood Libraries 217,476 What this table suggests is that, from a predominantly cost / benefit perspective, RFID selfservice is not likely to be a strong financial proposition for deployment at all Unley Library branches and it is therefore proposed not to include Fullarton Park library in this project.
RFID PROJECT SUMMARY However, between Unley Civic Library and Goodwood Library there is an average circulation that is above the ideal threshold, and return on investment is a viable outcome when considering the self-service potential at both branches. For an optimal cost benefit, 100% self-service target should be set. The number of selfservice assists must be carefully monitored and the targets adjusted if necessary to arrive at the optimum level. Staff Time Savings Assuming that an RFID enabled self-service model is introduced for Goodwood and Unley branches, the following table indicates the quantum of staff time that might be made available at the two fixed service points on a weekly basis. The figures are based on a 100% self-service model and a 30% efficiency gain at the point of staff returns and allow that 40% of circulation is transacted already via self-service. Library Loans desk hours Loans fraction Loans hours saved Returns hours Returns fraction Returns hours saved Potential hours saved Unley 72 0.3 21.6 31 0.3 9.3 30.9 Goodwood 28 0.1 2.8 8.5 0.3 2.5 5.3 Total weekly hours liberated 36.2 Table 2 – Potential staff time savings The following efficiency gains are achievable with implementation of RFID at Unley and Goodwood branches: The loans fraction is a conservative estimate of the proportion of each rostered desk hour which is actually spent on the task of issuing library material to borrowers. It is this proportion of the staff member’s time that will be essentially liberated by the selfservice loans kiosks. In practice, the result will be a significant change to staff rosters for circulation activities. Liberated staff time due to self-service may be redeployed toward improving the quality and range of customer services offered, creating capacity to introduce additional services such as a Reader’s Advisory Service. It is anticipated that further process efficiencies can be made at the point of inter library loans returns or “black boxes” processing. The returns fraction used in most RFID conversions is 0.3 which reflects processes that are 30% more efficient following a migration to RFID. The major contributor to this process improvement factor is that, following a move to RFID, staff no longer needs to deal with individual items but can instead process items in multiples. A total of 36.2 hours per week could potentially be saved through work practice efficiencies from both the circulation desk and inter-library returns rosters.