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Academic Library’s Radio Frequency Identification Case Study


Abstract

The proposed Business Case is aimed at discussing the implementation of RFID in the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Libraries. The Case elucidates the main goal of the project and provides a brief overview of potential alternatives. Hence, the recommended alternative suggests extending the implementation of RFID to other libraries. The Business Case discusses the key strategic aspects from different perspectives: customers, finance, learning, and growth (L&G) and internal performance. Also, it provides the evaluation of this IT project that comprises all the relevant calculations: PP, ROI, and risk assessment.

Executive Summary

The case study under analysis is devoted to the implementation of RFID technology in HKU Libraries. The core goal of this implementation resides in optimizing the library’s operation and making the service more effective. The strategy is aimed at ensuring long-term benefits for all the shareholders.

The proposed Business Case analyzes two alternatives. Thus, the project has been currently implemented in only one department – the Main Library. As a result, the first alternative resides in postponing further implementations until the projects’ outcomes might be analyzed in terms of the long-term effect. In the meantime, it is recommended to choose the second alternative that suggests the expansion of the implementation in other libraries. According to the performed evaluations, the current results show sufficient evidence of the project’s efficacy for it to be further extended.

Introduction

HKU Libraries were initially established to assist researchers and other members of the scientific community. The Main Library is situated at the Main Campus and manages the other six departments such as Dental, Music, Education, etc.

The key problem that the library has faced is the excessive amount of materials they have to handle. Thus, the operation would gradually become more complicated – the waiting time for check-ins increased, the staff was incapable of tracking all the resources, and a significant part of them was either stolen or lost. Moreover, the library had a critical staff disproportion with a considerable prevalence of support employees over professionals with the relevant degrees.

As a result, it was suggested that RFID was implemented to optimize the library’s functioning and raise the general satisfaction with the service in customers. The implementation of the technology has already brought some positive results; therefore, at the current point, it is presumed that the implementation of RFID in other libraries will assist in completing the initially targeted aim. Thus, the strategy is mainly aimed at ensuring long-term shareholder value. The table below shows the impact that the implementation is likely to have at different levels.

Strategic Map
Table 1 “Strategic Map”

The table above shows the key strategic aspects that are likely to contribute to long-term shareholder value. Thus, from a financial perspective, it is expected that the implementation of RFID will help to minimize the risk of book losses.

The library currently loses a large scope of books due to thefts and those cases when customers, either intentionally or not, place books at wrong locations. The salary savings will be determined by the fact that the number of workers on counters will be reduced with the implementation of the new technology. Lastly, the upgraded service might encourage more clients to buy subscriptions. Customers, in their turn, will receive an entire series of benefits: an extended choice of book and other printed materials, a more convenient access options and, most importantly, a simplified registration procedure. The latter is one of the most critical concerns at the current point.

From the internal perspectives, all the regular operations are expected to be significantly simplified. Thus, it will take personnel less time to perform inventory activities, order books, carry out check-ins and check-outs, etc. Finally, the implementation of RFID opens up new prospects – the electronic database allows tracking customers’ preferences and performing more efficient procurements. More tasks will potentially be completed without manual work, and the general cost of operations will fall.

Therefore, the desired value of the project resides in the general optimization of the service that will imply minimizing the time spent on operations, allow serving more clients, and will increase the revenues in such a manner. The increase of the clients’ number is not the strategic pivot of the proposed implementation. Thus, for instance, the first year of RFID’s functioning is not expected to bring new clients. However, the time spent on the completion of the relevant tasks will reduce substantially, so that insignificant revenue is expected within the first year already. Later on, in the course of the second and the third years, it is presumed that the quality of service will improve, and more clients will purchase the subscription – this will have a positive impact on the revenues’ growth.

Year MOV
1 5% return on investment, the number of customers remains stable
2 10% return on investment, 200 new customers
3 15% return on investment, 500 new customers

Table 2 “MOV”

As a result, the proposed Business Case is aimed at pointing out the core benefits of the alternative solution that resides in extending the implementation of RFID in other libraries.

Alternatives

Alternative 1

At the current point, the implementation of the project is not fully accomplished; thus, some of the outcomes cannot be accurately assessed. As a result, the first alternative resides in postponing further implementations until the relevant statistics are gathered.

Alternative 2

As long as the project has already completed the initial stages of the implementation project, this experience might be transmitted to other libraries. Thus, the second alternative resides in implementing RDIF in all the HKU Libraries.

Analysis of Alternatives

The analysis of alternatives is performed with due consideration of the following criteria: financial, organizational, project, and external. The data collection was performed based on the information provided in the HKU Libraries Case Study.

The analysis of the comparative analysis of the two alternatives is represented below.

Criterion Weight Alternative 1 Alternative 2
Financial ROI 35% 3 10
Payback 20% 4 10
NPV 35% 4 9
Risk 10% 6 2
Total Score 100% 4.25 7.74

Table 3 “Comparative Analysis of the Alternatives”.

The ROI was calculated relying on the following formula: total expected benefits – total expected costs/total expected costs.

The payback was calculated relying on the following formula: initial investment/net cash flow.

It is essential to note that the payback metrics were converted into years.

The NPV was found by calculating the correlation between the inflows and outflows cash. The potential risks’ score was logically retrieved from the general findings.

As a result, the comparative analysis of the two alternatives shows that the second alternative is more beneficial from the financial standpoint, even though it implies higher risks.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 2). Academic Library's Radio Frequency Identification. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/academic-librarys-radio-frequency-identification/

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"Academic Library's Radio Frequency Identification." IvyPanda, 2 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/academic-librarys-radio-frequency-identification/.

1. IvyPanda. "Academic Library's Radio Frequency Identification." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/academic-librarys-radio-frequency-identification/.


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IvyPanda. "Academic Library's Radio Frequency Identification." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/academic-librarys-radio-frequency-identification/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Academic Library's Radio Frequency Identification." September 2, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/academic-librarys-radio-frequency-identification/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Academic Library's Radio Frequency Identification'. 2 September.

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