Christopher Brannon, IT Coordinator for Coeur D’Alene Public Library and CIN ( the Cooperative Information Network ) presented information about Koha‘s transport cost matrix and how it has made fulfilling holds through CIN much more efficient.
First, Chris showed off the transport cost matrix editor, where each combination of library sending and item and the library receiving the item are assigned a rank. This rank is an arbitrary value where a lower value is preferred over a higher value.
At first, CIN attempted to define the ranks for each library combination by distance between the libraries in miles. Over time changes have applied to the matrix based on factors like libraries sharing the same courier or post office. The fewer hands an item must pass through the cheaper and faster an item will be transferred.
Mr. Brannon showed a spreadsheet he uses to calculate the most accurate rank for each library combination. To do this he starts with the milage. After that he zones libraries into groups by the couriers that handle each library. Some libraries act as a secondary courier for other libraries. In some scenarios this can mean up to 3 couriers being involved in moving an item from one library to another. These multi-courier scenarios heavily influence the final rank for a pair of libraries.
Christopher’s presentation and spreadsheet will be available on the Koha community wiki.