The Libraries Consortium
As public services are tasked to reduce costs, London library services have grouped to realise substantial efficiencies. The Libraries Consortium is a group of 18 London library authorities that share the same infrastructure. This allows Londoners with a library card from a listed borough to borrow books and access services in any of the libraries in the consortium – this means accessing a combined catalogue of over 7million titles.
Moving books from borough to borough is a huge task, and one that CitySprint excels in.
The Libraries Consortium needed a courier company with the resources and logistical experience to develop a reliable cost effective solution, to manage the movement and storage of library books between 18 London boroughs.
It was vital that the chosen supplier had the logistical experience to achieve optimal cost efficiency whilst improving delivery reliability.
Excel Couriers (now part of CitySprint) was awarded a contract to provide The Libraries Consortium with a team of DBS checked couriers, ad-hoc and fixed route services and the management of a secure central London sorting hub.
As a result of the Account Managers experience and commitment to the contract, they identified a number of failures within the existing delivery procedures which when corrected, produced significant service improvements and cost savings.
At the start of each new contract the Account Manager would travel with the courier on the route ensuring that any collection and delivery restrictions and/or health and safety requirements associated with the collection and deliveries points were fully documented and given to couriers as part of their training program.
A lack of understanding of these conditions by the previous suppliers had been identified as being responsible for late deliveries, lost items and avoidable excess charges.
The introduction of a centrally managed sorting hub, meant that library books arrived pre-sorted ready for the shelving. This is estimated to have saved each Borough an average of 35 man hours per week.
The use of dedicated trained couriers, familiar with the libraries pick up and drop off procedures, has resulted in a reduction in the amount of time the end user is required to wait for the books they have ordered.
Route planning software and local knowledge have created optimised routes to ensure consignments are delivered within timeframes defined by service level agreements held within each borough.
The Boroughs’ contract managers can quickly and easily switch between the dedicated and ad-hoc service types ensuring that the ‘best value’ is achieved based on their requirements.
This is made possible by the Account Manager monitoring the service usage and informing the Libraries Contract Managers should changes in the delivery volumes result in the ad-hoc service becoming more cost effective than the dedicated service.
The contract has resulted in an average cashable saving of 30%. Since the beginning of the contract four more London boroughs have joined The Libraries Consortium taking the total to nineteen. We have handled in excess of two million book movements since the start of the contract.