How does Alma route requests to a succession of potential lending partners?
Managing the potential suppliers for a request is done in three tiers:
- Each institution defines profiles of target institution rotas. Each such rota is an ordered or non-ordered list of potential suppliers.
- The rota will be used as a list of targets to request from, one at a time.
- Different rotas may be used for different purposes. For example, an institution may set up a ‘quick to respond’ rota, an ‘expensive but likely to fulfill’ rota or an ‘ematerial experts’ rota.
- Institutional rules as well as manual operations may be used to attach a specific rota to a specific request.
- The suppliers on a rota are checked to see whether they own relevant holdings. Potential suppliers will be contacted only if they appear to own relevant holdings.
- Within a collaborative network, a supplier that is an Alma institution will be ranked lower in the rota if the number of requests from a network partner has exceeded a defined threshold. This way, an overloaded partner will get less new requests directed at it. Calculating an overloaded target is based on Alma being able to collect information from each alliance member with regard to how many requests that institution has open with any target supplier.
- In addition, every Alma network partner can automatically reject new incoming requests based on how many open incoming requests are currently managed at that institution. If the number is past a defined threshold, requests may be automatically turned down.
Manual intervention in the process is possible, allowing staff to manually select a specific supplier if needed.