An introduction to the British Library
21st November 2013
Head – Document Supply and Customer Services
The British Library Locations
The British Library – The World’s Knowledge
The largest document supply
service in the world. Secure
e-delivery and ‘just in time’
digitisation enables desktop
delivery within 2 hours.
Collection includes over 2m
sound recordings, 5m reports,
theses and conference
papers, the world’s largest
On-line services allow remote access to the BL catalogue, a range of
learning resources, ‘virtual’ editions of well-known treasures, and
3 (2) main sites in
London and Yorkshire.
Circa 1,800 staff.
2 major exhibitions each year, and a
number of permanent and small displays.
A range of events support these.
Business and IP Centre, providing
inspiration, and enabling
protection of creative capital and
The national library of the UK.
Serves researchers, business,
libraries, education & the
Barriers to (CI) change
How the deployment of Continuous Improvement (CI) has supported the
breaking down of barriers & acceptance of change
New Approach Required
No “burning platform”
Command and control style
Inclusive leadership with
Silo view of the world (vertical)
Process based, cross
functional view (horizontal)
“The consultant says ….”
“We suggest & can do….”
The Lean approach made simple
• Focus on the voice of the customer and seek to delight.
• Eliminate non added value and all forms of waste.
• Release the latent talents of all staff and involve/empower them.
Provide products or services to the customer on time, at best quality.
Pull the product / service through the process with synchronous flow.
Go and see - employ the techniques of 5s and Visual control.
….. 4 x P’s
Performance – Visual Control
•Rationalised metrics (vital few).
•Set achievable targets.
•Charted key metrics.
•Displayed in the workplace.
•Review & analyse result.
How the BL (used to) register a new customer
Registration Form and sends
to Customer Services.
Hard copy printed.
Check if more than 150 reqs
per month then credit
classification and check
VAT number on internet to
Customer Registration (2)
Assign customer code (obtained
from a hard copy register) &
annotate front sheet.
Update UIS database with
customer details etc.
4 x screens to update
Update Relais database with
customer details etc.
2 x screens to update.
Update CRM database with
customer details (8 screens)
Phone ITO back up (Eddie Langs)
team for a password, add to form.
Mail handbook & compliment
slip to customer.
Customer Registration (3)
Print a label (2 screens) from
printer (often illegible so may
need to Google to re-check details.
Line Manager picks up & checks
Send a welcome letter
Form placed in tray.
Copy registration Form,
place original in pigeon hole.
Form then picked up & filed.
The “Quick Kaizen”
If the answer is obvious we “just do it”, but document the Before and
After – visualise!
Projects requiring significant investment
and corporate strategic considerations;
Top Down Corporate Project
Cross functional impact, idea not fully
formed and requiring some investigation,
analysis and cross departmental
Bottom Up CI Project
Obvious, just do it;
Date: 03/ 02/ 2011
Responsible Person (s):
Description of problem:
Increasing parcel costs
Historically Delivery split the UK courier
parcels on a roughly 50/ 50 split between
FedEx and UPS
As a UPS parcel now
costs £5.65, compared to
£4.45 sending the same
with FedEx, it would
reduce our costs to send
as a many as is
practicable with FedEx.
Effect/ Benefit: Saving £100/ week
Team based kaizen approach
Complex, process based or cross functional work based problems
I Hear and I forget,
I See and I remember,
I DO and I UNDERSTAND
Case Study 1 – Work flow improvement
Redesign of work flows & layout in order to release space & improve productivity.
•Staffing reduced 3 fte
•Space saving 500² m
Case Study 2 – Packaging Kanban
Procuring packaging materials by “pull” systems and storing by kanban (line
side fixed locations with top up system)
Previously bespoke boxes purchased
from an overseas supplier.
Long lead times, high stock levels & high
•Space saving 500² m
•Safety & environmental
Standard designs created.
Local supplier sourced.
Shortened lead time.
Stocked line side (kanban)
Case Study 3 – Space Saving & Efficiency
Closure of outlying building and integration of two departments improving
efficiency, communication & reducing energy costs
Analyse functions by “affinities” (process)
Design layout based on process
B25 closure - annual
energy savings of £56k.
Optimal use of space.
Case Study 5 – Inter-Site Trolley
Conveyance of items to/from BSP Store to STP Basements
Previously items removed
from shelf and
and re-packed 6 times
before arriving at
Multiple decanting and handling
•Transport spend reduced
Cages being loaded in store
Cage being delivered to Reading Room
•Cross site teamwork
Summary - BL Lean Steps
• Rationalised measures to “vital few”
• Charted key metrics and displayed in workplace
People development and Leadership
• Appoint (senior) champion
• Training & awareness
Team improvement activities
• Early success & “quick wins”
• Self empowered workplace team improvement
Team based kaizen
• Layouts, procedures and work instructions
Resource planning & efficiency improvement
• Capacity planning – see 1 & 3
• Showcasing best practice and celebrate success
• Senior support
Tea & Bun events