Secondary sorting

Secondary sorting is a process where items that are to be shelved at a branch are sorted at that branch. It can be performed on items received from another branch or on items that have been returned locally. Refer also to the topic “Item movements and sorting”.

The items that will be shelved are typically not sorted ahead of time according to where they belong at the branch. The objective of secondary sorting is to divide the items into a number of smaller “piles” (secondary sorting groups) in order to simplify the tasks of physically shelving the items. The number of these secondary sorting groups typically varies according to the size of the branch, but an example could be “Children”, “Adult”, and “Music”.

From a purely practical standpoint, secondary sorting is implemented by first preparing a new transport unit (often a book cart) for each of the secondary sorting groups, then removing the items individually from their current transport units and placing them in one of the new transport units. After secondary sorting has been carried out, the new transport units are rolled out to the shelves and the items are shelved.

Since IMMS needs to be informed about all item movements in order to provide an accurate picture, it needs to receive information about these movements between the transport units. To avoid the need to scan each moved item with the mobile client, you can take advantage of the fact that item sorting is done based on where the items are to be shelved at the branch. In this case, it is sufficient to scan the new transport units as well as the ones containing the items to be sorted, and IMMS then knows which items have ended up in which transport units. On the mobile client this function is called “Secondary sorting”.

In order for this to work, IMMS must know the principle used for secondary sorting at the branch. IMMS must know the secondary sorting groups you have chosen to use and must know which secondary sorting group the item grouping belongs to for each of the branch’s item groupings. This is configured using the web client as a part of the branch’s configuration.

Since each individual item that will be shelved at the branch belongs to one specific item grouping, IMMS can determine which secondary sorting group the item belongs to - and therefore which transport unit it is in after secondary sorting.

When the transport unit is later registered as “shelved” by the web client or the mobile client function, then IMMS knows exactly which items were present in the transport unit, and thus which items have been “shelved”. Likewise, if the transport unit is not shelved right away, IMMS can give information about the location of the items in the transport unit.