Monday, October 30, 2006

Cost Savings Are Customer Benefits

How do customers react to cost saving initiatives?

My library (yes library) has introduced radio frequency tagging, self-check out, automatic check-in, email and phone alerts, and a few other technical goodies. Now, the original purpose of this initiative was to improve the efficiency of material handling -- something like 7% annual growth with over 12 million items in circulation. Classic problem: How do we do more with same resources?

This may be another example of Jevon's Paradox --- increase in efficiency is supposed to reduce consumption but actually creates a greater demand. I know my use is up: I can log on to the library, search, and have the book, CD, or DVD shipped to my local branch. When its there, they leave me a voice mail.

According to Jim Cooper, Director of the county library system ....
According to the Public Library Data Services Statistical Report, we are one of the busiest and most efficient library systems in North America; I think our staff does an outstanding job considering the volume of materials we move and the number of patrons who visit our facilities. Nevertheless, we constantly look for ways to improve our service.

Haven't tried the library's books to download; that's next.

No comments: