Customers First: Using Process Improvement to Improve Service Quality and Efficiency

Catherine A. Larson (Associate librarian at the University of Arizona Library, Tucson, Arizona. <cal@bird.library.Arizona.edu>.)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 1 April 1998

Abstract

In this article, Larson introduces the basic components of process improvement, through the framework of a specific library‐related project. Process improvement is a defined and systematic methodology for understanding and improving work taks and systems (processes). When properly implemented, it will streamline work processes, improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction. In 1995, because of customer complaints, the University of Arizona Library undertook a process improvement project to improve its manual reserve book services. Success would be measured based on the library’s ability to meet customer requirements at the same or lower cost. Staff initially identified two general goals: place materials on reserve in a time frame that met the needs of faculty and students, and improve the quality of service overall. Process improvement methodologies supported a more specific and valid measurement of success than is normally possible, and helped establish a means of continuous data collection and monitoring of the improvements.

Citation

Larson, C. (1998), "Customers First: Using Process Improvement to Improve Service Quality and Efficiency", Reference Services Review, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 51-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/00907329810307443

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.