We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deadline of Doom

Like most everyone else we're all agog at the forthcoming Harry Potter book. The pressure on all libraries will be to make sure that we have copies available on the day of publication and for special events. So we've all been sent notifications of the suppliers' processes. In essence it's no different to last time: orders will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis; orders for delivery before publication date need to be in by the deadline accompanied by a signed form agreeing to the embargo conditions; and the stock will be supplied a couple of days early so that we have time to distribute to our libraries.

From our perspective there are a couple of logistical issues which are easy to deal with and a technical issue which needs a bit of thinking about: ordinarily we encourage customers' reserving titles on order but the combination of pre-publication hype and long lead-in means that there'd be so many pre-publication reservations as to play hob with our performance targets so we need to close the window a bit. Had anyone asked me my solution would have been to create a non-reservable item loan type for these books and then, at the given moment, I could switch them to the ordinary loan type ready for business as usual. Pretty easy really.

Mary's solution is to lose the order form that Frog filled in a couple of months ago. She'd originally hung onto it because she wanted to modify the distribution (sigh...) Every time that Noreen asks if they send out the order Mary says that she needs to find the form and amend the distribution (about ten minutes' work on the system).

So rather than making sure that the order's in and we're OK for stock and then deciding where they're going we're risking missing the deadline.

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