Secondary sorting

Secondary sorting is a process where items that will be shelved at a specific branch are sorted at that branch. It can revolve around items received from another branch (or centrally sorted, if applicable) or may involve items that have been returned locally at the branch. Refer also to the topic “Item transit 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 transit in order to provide an accurate picture, it needs to receive information about these movements between the transport units. To avoid the need to register each individual item transit 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 undergoing the detailed sorting, and IMMS then knows which items have ended up in which transport units. On the mobile client this function is called “Ready for shelving”.

In order for this to work, IMMS must be familiar with the principle used for secondary sorting at the branch. IMMS must be familiar with 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 clearly belongs to a specific item grouping, IMMS can determine which secondary sorting group the item belongs to - and therefore which transport unit it is presently located in.

When tracking which transport unit the item is located in, when the transport unit is later registered as “shelved” by the web client or the web client function, then IMMS knows exactly which items were present in the transport unit. Likewise, if the transport unit is not shelved right away, IMMS has the option of indicating where the item can be located.