LEANING YOUR
LIBRARY’S MATERIAL
HANDLING
WORKFLOWS
Lori Bowen Ayre
June 30, 2014
Sponsored by Public Library Association
A...
Leaning the Library is to…
“…utilize the minimum
resources necessary to deliver
the greatest customer value,
while bringin...
Lean focuses on effectively
delivering “value to the customer”
“External customers” aka patrons
“Internal customers” aka co-workers
Lean Looks at the Value Stream
All the activities, materials, people, and information that
must flow and come together to ...
Ask Yourself: What is happening that
doesn’t contribute to the value stream?
It’s not about
working faster.
But it is abou...
Lean focuses on the elimination of “waste”
(C) 2013 Jens R. Woinowski, leanself.org; Created with Wordle and GIMP
How Waste Happens
• Defects
• Inventory
• Transportation
• Extra Processing
• Waiting
• Motion
• Bureaucracy
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Defects:
Misshelved
items
Inventory:
Unshelved
material
T
Unc
hav
to t
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Defects:
Misshelved
items
Inventory:
Unshelved
material
Transportation:
Unclaimed holds tha...
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Inventory:
Unshelved
material
Transportation:
Unclaimed holds that
have to be returned
to t...
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Transportation:
Unclaimed holds that
have to be returned
to the loaning library
Extra Proce...
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Extra Processing:
More than
necessary
cataloging or
labeling of items
Waiting: Items sittin...
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Waiting: Items sitting
around waiting for
volunteers or pages
to re-shelve
Motion: Handling...
How Waste Happens in Libraries
Motion: Handling
material to check-in
and resensitize
Bureaucracy: strict
rules about who c...
PDCA Improvement Cycle
Process of “leaning your workflow”
• Plan: determine goals and needed
changes to achieve them
• Do:...
Lean is an Organizational Effort
• The people who do the work are the experts –
they must be involved
• Management
support...
Analyze the Value Streams
Workflow: processing
bookdrop
Value Stream: shorten
return to shelf time
(RTS) for bookdrop
retu...
Help Analyzing the Value Stream
Huber’s book provides
step-by-step instructions
that can be used as a
template for your pr...
Use Value Stream and Process Maps
Value Stream Map – high level view
• designed for leadership
• people who can authorize ...
LEAN TOOL: VISUAL
MANAGEMENT
Goal: status of system can be understood at a glance
for everyone
Display Boards Showing Goals and Key
Metrics
Teachers are Naturals at Visual
Management!
Labeling Work-in-Progress
“Sorting” Shelves are NOT Visual
Management
• Don’t know how
bad backlog is
• Don’t know which
items have sat
there longer...
LEAN TOOL: FIVE SS OF
EFFICIENCY
#1 Sort: Clearly distinguish needed items
from unneeded items and eliminate the latter
#2 Set in Order: Keep needed items in the
correct place
#3 Shine: Clean work areas make
everyone feel better, are safer, and reveal
problems
# 4 Standardize: Make this the new way of
doing things - “standardized work”
#5 Sustain: Make a habit of maintaining
established procedures
WHERE LIBRARIES
OFTEN GO WRONG
Problem: Bookcart Defines Batch Size
"Large batches are the result of placing too much
emphasis on labor efficiency and no...
Solution: Think Differently About
Bookcarts
• Use the top shelf only
• Use small, lightweight
bookcarts that are easy to
m...
Problem: Reliance on Staging Areas
Libraries use lots of different things for staging:
• Sorting carts
• Ready to shelve c...
Solution: Eliminate Staging Areas
Wherever Possible
"Staging areas hide inefficiencies and
imbalances between workstations...
Problem: Acquisitions Surges
Solution: Implement
Master Purchasing
Schedule
• Acquisitions not always seen as part of the materials
handling workflow b...
Problem: Exceptions!
Very difficult to design a workflow with lots of exceptions,
such as…
• How new media is processed
• ...
Solution: Make a Single
Workflow That Works for
Everything
• Sometimes exceptions are just one aspect of the
flow to addre...
Problem: Rigid Staff Roles
Seeing the bottlenecks and clogs in the flow isn’t
useful if you can’t put resources to the tas...
Solution: Implement flexible job
descriptions
• Cross train staff
• Expect everyone to be
flexible about handling
routine ...
“If the current organizational structure
cannot change, then the processes
behind this organizational structure cannot
cha...
Bonus Tip of the Day!
Procedure
1. Check in all bookdrop
returns
2. Check in all interlibrary
deliveries
3. THEN, run your...
Getting Started with Lean
• Excellent (and free!) webinars from Lean consultant,
Karen Martin at http://www.ksmartin.com/w...
QUESTIONS?
COMMENTS?
Contact info:
lori.ayre@galecia.com
(707) 763-6869
www.galecia.com
Leaning Your Library's Material Handling Workflows
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Leaning Your Library's Material Handling Workflows

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Presentation at ALA Conference in Las Vegas (2014). Sponsored by the Public Library Association. I really enjoyed doing this presentation because the crowd was very engaged. Got lots of good ideas from them. Thanks to all who attended!

The presentation introduces Lean and provides some ideas about how to look at library materials handling workflows with a Lean, customer-centric focus where the customer may be internal (co-worker) or external (patron). Introduced concepts of Visual Management and 5S from Lean and identified where "waste" happens in libraries.

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  • Workflow improvement methodology
    Six Sigma
    TQM (Total Quality Management)
    BPR (Business Process Reengineering)


    What I like about it:
    Practical
    Customer focused
    Empowers staff



  • Focus on “value to the customer” but let’s first define “customer”

  • Example: library staff doing check-in are customers of library couriers and technical services
  • Value Stream – all the linked activities, information, and people that go into delivering the product or service to the customer

  • If not value added activity it is either waste or “incidental”

    Incidental work – requirements that don’t necessarily contribute to the end product

    Waste is the arch enemy of Lean.

    Waste is anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, technology, space, and worker’s time that are essential to add value to the product, service or information required by the customer.

    Waste is a symptom of underlying problems with the system which need to be corrected.



  • Lean Categories of Waste
    Defects – things that have to be fixed or redone
    Excessive Inventory – having more than you need or not the right inventory
    Transportation – moving things from place to place unnecessarily
    Processing – adding processing steps that don’t do anything for customers
    Waiting – staging and staging material
    Motion – unnecessary handling, hand-offs, and touches
    Bureaucracy

    Lean comes out of manufacturing industry…so let’s apply to library industry



  • Defects:
    Misshelved items
    Mislabeld items
    Inaccurate cataloging
    False alarms at security gates
  • Excess Inventory
    Too many copies of a title
    More book carts than you need
    Too many copies of something “float” to one location
    Friends donations

  • Transportation
    Unclaimed holds
    Taking carts of books from one desk to another
    Placing things in inconvenient locations (e.g. the milk in the back of the store)

  • Extra Processing
    Too many stickers and labels
    Cataloging beyond what is useful
    Mending things that should be tossed


  • Waiting
    Leaving book carts for pages or special volunteers to reshelve
    Bookdrop
    ILL
    Lines at service desk
    For more copies of a title or new titles to arrive
  • Motion
    Check-in and resensitizing in two steps instead of one
    Opening media cases
    Unshelving and reshelving multiple times between bookcarts and sorting shelves


  • Bureaucracy
    Dealing with “working out of class” issues
    Disconnect between Admin and line staff
    Idiotic procurement policies
  • Note that it is a cycle. It never ends.
  • The people who do the work are the experts – they must be involved
    People who really know the workflow and why certain things are done
    Point is to empower and engage everyone at every level

    Management support critical too
    Process takes time and Lean Team needs to be released to do the work
    Process results in change – Management needs to support those changes
  • The planning part requires analysis of the Value Stream. Important to define the Value Stream properly….keep the focus on the customer.
  • Lean environments convey critical information with a glimpse of an eye.
    A Lean environment should enable everyone — even an outsider — to understand the status and state of affairs. How are you doing? All at a glance

    Use simple techniques like floor tape and labels to show when something is out of place or has spilled over.

    performance trend charts for key metrics
    everyday so you start to see the patterns and how well you are handling peaks
    e.g. to see if you are hitting your metric for getting bookdrop returns shelved – track each bookcart (capture when it was loaded, number books, number media, time shelved)

    Visual Management
    Communications Board
    Why U shaped work areas matter
    Importance of FIFO to “flow”
    Examples of posters to document performance
    How to defining and arrange work areas
  • Blue card – reading a book from home
    Red card – reading a library book
    White card – reading book owned by teacher
  • Sort
    Set in Order / Stabilize
    Shine
    Standardize
    Sustain




  • Sort. Sort, the first S, focuses on eliminating unnecessary items from the workplace that are not needed for current production operations. An effective visual method to identify these unneeded items is called "red tagging", which involves evaluating the necessity of each item in a work area and dealing with it appropriately. A red tag is placed on all items that are not important for operations or that are not in the proper location or quantity. Once the red tag items are identified, these items are then moved to a central holding area for subsequent disposal, recycling, or reassignment. Organizations often find that sorting enables them to reclaim valuable floor space and eliminate such things as broken tools, scrap, and excess raw material.

  • Sustain. Sustain, making a habit of properly maintaining correct procedures, is often the most difficult S to implement and achieve. Changing entrenched behaviors can be difficult, and the tendency is often to return to the status quo and the comfort zone of the "old way" of doing things. Sustain focuses on defining a new status quo and standard of work place organization. Without the Sustain pillar the achievements of the other pillars will not last long.

    Tools for sustaining 5S include signs and posters, newsletters, pocket manuals, team and management check-ins, performance reviews, and department tours. Organizations typically seek to reinforce 5S messages in multiple formats until it becomes "the way things are done."
  • Specific and common practices in libraryland that should be examined…and some recommendations
  • Bookcarts are just staging areas on wheels

    Use top shelf only – SJPL Lean process determined this worked better than fully loaded, multi-shelved carts
    Don’t wait for bookcart to be full – get it back on the shelf as part of one flow – don’t park it!
  • Grant money, end of year money – creates huge surges of new material.
  • Keep the flow of material coming into the library as even as possible so you can staff for a predictable flow of work.
    Surges of new material creating peaks that disrupt every step of the materials handling workflow.

    Suggestion (from someone attending this presentation): create deadlines for some percentage of funds to be expended by certain dates.
  • Exceptions make spaghetti

    Think about whether you really need to set something down that’s in your hands right now to do something else or can we make the process work without doing that?
  • Leaning Your Library's Material Handling Workflows

    1. 1. LEANING YOUR LIBRARY’S MATERIAL HANDLING WORKFLOWS Lori Bowen Ayre June 30, 2014 Sponsored by Public Library Association ALA Conference – Las Vegas All content © 2014, Lori Bowen Ayre. Unless otherwise stated, this document and its content is the original work of Lori Bowen Ayre and is licensed under a Creative Commons "BY-NC-SA 3.0" License.
    2. 2. Leaning the Library is to… “…utilize the minimum resources necessary to deliver the greatest customer value, while bringing out the full potential of every employee.” Karen Martin (www.ksmartin.com)
    3. 3. Lean focuses on effectively delivering “value to the customer”
    4. 4. “External customers” aka patrons
    5. 5. “Internal customers” aka co-workers
    6. 6. Lean Looks at the Value Stream All the activities, materials, people, and information that must flow and come together to provide your customer the value they want, when they want it and how they want it
    7. 7. Ask Yourself: What is happening that doesn’t contribute to the value stream? It’s not about working faster. But it is about eliminating work that doesn’t improve the outcome.
    8. 8. Lean focuses on the elimination of “waste” (C) 2013 Jens R. Woinowski, leanself.org; Created with Wordle and GIMP
    9. 9. How Waste Happens • Defects • Inventory • Transportation • Extra Processing • Waiting • Motion • Bureaucracy
    10. 10. How Waste Happens in Libraries Defects: Misshelved items Inventory: Unshelved material T Unc hav to t
    11. 11. How Waste Happens in Libraries Defects: Misshelved items Inventory: Unshelved material Transportation: Unclaimed holds tha have to be returned to the loaning library
    12. 12. How Waste Happens in Libraries Inventory: Unshelved material Transportation: Unclaimed holds that have to be returned to the loaning library Extra Processing: More than necessary cataloging or labeling of items
    13. 13. How Waste Happens in Libraries Transportation: Unclaimed holds that have to be returned to the loaning library Extra Processing: More than necessary cataloging or labeling of items Waiting: Items sitt around waiting f volunteers or pag to re-shelve
    14. 14. How Waste Happens in Libraries Extra Processing: More than necessary cataloging or labeling of items Waiting: Items sitting around waiting for volunteers or pages to re-shelve Motion: Handling material to check-in and resensitize
    15. 15. How Waste Happens in Libraries Waiting: Items sitting around waiting for volunteers or pages to re-shelve Motion: Handling material to check-in and resensitize Bureaucracy: strict rules about who can do what part of the materials handling workflow
    16. 16. How Waste Happens in Libraries Motion: Handling material to check-in and resensitize Bureaucracy: strict rules about who can do what part of the materials handling workflow
    17. 17. PDCA Improvement Cycle Process of “leaning your workflow” • Plan: determine goals and needed changes to achieve them • Do: implement the changes • Check: evaluate the results • Act: standardize and stabilize the change or begin the cycle again
    18. 18. Lean is an Organizational Effort • The people who do the work are the experts – they must be involved • Management support critical • Top Down and Bottom Up
    19. 19. Analyze the Value Streams Workflow: processing bookdrop Value Stream: shorten return to shelf time (RTS) for bookdrop returns
    20. 20. Help Analyzing the Value Stream Huber’s book provides step-by-step instructions that can be used as a template for your process
    21. 21. Use Value Stream and Process Maps Value Stream Map – high level view • designed for leadership • people who can authorize changes Process Maps – micro view of each step • Created by people doing the work • Includes much more detail including wait times
    22. 22. LEAN TOOL: VISUAL MANAGEMENT Goal: status of system can be understood at a glance for everyone
    23. 23. Display Boards Showing Goals and Key Metrics
    24. 24. Teachers are Naturals at Visual Management!
    25. 25. Labeling Work-in-Progress
    26. 26. “Sorting” Shelves are NOT Visual Management • Don’t know how bad backlog is • Don’t know which items have sat there longer and for how long • Plus….wasted steps of shelving and unshelving
    27. 27. LEAN TOOL: FIVE SS OF EFFICIENCY
    28. 28. #1 Sort: Clearly distinguish needed items from unneeded items and eliminate the latter
    29. 29. #2 Set in Order: Keep needed items in the correct place
    30. 30. #3 Shine: Clean work areas make everyone feel better, are safer, and reveal problems
    31. 31. # 4 Standardize: Make this the new way of doing things - “standardized work”
    32. 32. #5 Sustain: Make a habit of maintaining established procedures
    33. 33. WHERE LIBRARIES OFTEN GO WRONG
    34. 34. Problem: Bookcart Defines Batch Size "Large batches are the result of placing too much emphasis on labor efficiency and not enough on delivery lead times or the performance of the service chain as a whole." (Huber)
    35. 35. Solution: Think Differently About Bookcarts • Use the top shelf only • Use small, lightweight bookcarts that are easy to move around • Smaller batches mean they get on the shelves faster • Consider “ergo”carts or trolleys
    36. 36. Problem: Reliance on Staging Areas Libraries use lots of different things for staging: • Sorting carts • Ready to shelve carts • Sorting shelves • Stacks • Corrals • All of the above!
    37. 37. Solution: Eliminate Staging Areas Wherever Possible "Staging areas hide inefficiencies and imbalances between workstations and staff, and they are an open admission by management that they have designed into the service flow imbalances and delays.“ - John Huber
    38. 38. Problem: Acquisitions Surges
    39. 39. Solution: Implement Master Purchasing Schedule • Acquisitions not always seen as part of the materials handling workflow but this is where it all begins! • Develop a purchasing schedule that takes into account ramifications throughout system • Flatten the flow of materials to reduce peaks and valleys
    40. 40. Problem: Exceptions! Very difficult to design a workflow with lots of exceptions, such as… • How new media is processed • Giving priority to triggered holds • Giving priority to returned media • That one patron who needs something special….
    41. 41. Solution: Make a Single Workflow That Works for Everything • Sometimes exceptions are just one aspect of the flow to address – so address them as part of your primary workflow – it maybe improve the workflow for everything! • Would it be so bad if ALL material was handled as expeditiously as Holds?
    42. 42. Problem: Rigid Staff Roles Seeing the bottlenecks and clogs in the flow isn’t useful if you can’t put resources to the task of unclogging
    43. 43. Solution: Implement flexible job descriptions • Cross train staff • Expect everyone to be flexible about handling routine surges (e.g. after closures) • Isn’t it everyone’s job to get library resources on the shelves?
    44. 44. “If the current organizational structure cannot change, then the processes behind this organizational structure cannot change either.” -John Huber
    45. 45. Bonus Tip of the Day! Procedure 1. Check in all bookdrop returns 2. Check in all interlibrary deliveries 3. THEN, run your Pull List Why This is Important 1. Reduces size of Pull List 2. Reduces handling 3. Reduces motion/transport 4. Gets items onto shelf for patron faster
    46. 46. Getting Started with Lean • Excellent (and free!) webinars from Lean consultant, Karen Martin at http://www.ksmartin.com/webinars/ • Value-Stream Mapping by Karen Martin and Mike Osterling • Metrics-Based Process Mapping by Karen Martin and Mike Osterling • Lean Library Management: Eleven Strategies for Reducing Costs and Improving Customer Services by John J. Huber • Your Two Eyeballs. Look around! What little changes can you make right away?
    47. 47. QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Contact info: lori.ayre@galecia.com (707) 763-6869 www.galecia.com
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