Saturday, 1 May 2010

LMS musings

I'm working up a functional specification for a new LMS, to replace Dynix. I'll miss Dynix when the time comes: what it does it does nicely, unfortunately what it doesn't do is telling on us badly. But time moves on and we need to plan ahead for a system that'll meet our emerging business needs as much as the established ones.

We've got a copy of the UK Core Specification to act as a backbone to our own. The UKCS is precisely what it says on the tin and necessarily a bit basic. Even so, I think there are a couple of omissions in key areas that need tackling:
  • Customer management sort of runs through the UKCS but entirely from the point of view of library processes rather than customer focus. We need to be able to use the LMS proactively as a market-research tool just as much as a gateway for delivering services. We also need to be able to provide a personalised service, aggregating an appropriate mix of services, not necessarily all provided by us. Customers in this sense shouldn't only mean individuals, we also need to think about how we provide an appropriate suite of services for groups and communities within the borough.
  • Enquiry management doesn't appear at all. Coming from the advice centre and one-stop-shop services as I did it came as a shock to find that dealing with enquiries weren't a key metric. We still don't know, for instance, what proportion of our enquiry desk workload is generated by factors entirely under our control such as signage and display of materials. We also don't have a systematic mechanism for keeping track of FAQs and fugitive facts (we have the tools for the doing of, but that's not the same thing).

I'm currently picking the brains of front-line staff on these and a couple of other areas. I'll also be having a chat with RMBC's Contact Centre to see what their requirements are. We'd want the LMS to be able to work seamlessly with the corporate CRM but the much more important question is: what would they need the LMS to deliver so that they can provide a better service to our customers?

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