Ingram Blog

Ordering Options with Ingram Library Services

By Lory Koch, Manager ILS Systems, Ingram Library Services

Librarians wear a hundred hats, and Ingram Library Services is here to help lighten the load. Ordering items for a collection is a vital part of a library’s workflow, and Ingram offers a large range of ordering options and EDI interfaces with 3rd party ILS System Vendors. Ingram can take orders via traditional methods, but more and more, libraries are moving to EDI ordering.

Ingram has a group of specialists dedicated to EDI functionality who work with automation system vendors to ensure ILS systems communicate effectively with our systems . Ingram works collaboratively with these vendors to make EDI ordering efficient and to work through the “kinks” of new upgrades or system developments.

Ingram supports basic and enriched ordering via EDI. Basic ordering allows the ILS system to create an order and send it to Ingram. Enriched capabilities depend upon the automation system vendor and typically include sending line item specific information such as location, fund, and collection type along with the quantity. This information is used in the processing of materials and creation of holdings in MARC records purchased by the library.

When a library wants to implement EDI, Ingram specialists provide them with the information needed to configure their local system, assist with ipagerecord setup and downloading, and run a test order through our system for the library to verify the results.

There are several reasons to consider setting up EDI ordering with Ingram:

  • Ordering is easier. The selector can import records directly from ipage into the ILS system to create an order.
  • Benefits are not exclusive to selectors. The major time-saver actually comes in the receiving process. Receivers no longer have to enter information from vendor invoices into their system. It’s already there!
  • Workflow can be standardized.
  • Ingram processes EDI orders more quickly, often within the hour.
  • Invoice processes are automated, so staff no longer needs to generate files based on a daily schedule.
  • With EDI, order confirmations and invoices are processed automatically and sent directly to the ILS system. No more digging through email inboxes to find order information.

We know that standing orders are a vital part of collection development, and Ingram has made it easy to use standing orders with EDI ordering. Selectors create profiles and receive a regularly scheduled list for all titles that match the profile. From there it’s easy to download and send that list to the ILS system. We call this type of enrollment profile setup “report only”, and we’re happy to send more information on how Ingram’s complimentary standing orders can be beneficial to any library. By using report only lists, the library can also easily apply grid information to the list, which allows holdings data to be attached to order records. When selection lists are downloaded and loaded into the ILS system, a brief bibliographic and order record is created that allows orders to be submitted via EDI.

Grid ordering can be used without EDI ordering, but used in tandem, it can save an immeasurable amount of time. Once a list is made, a grid template can be applied to the entire list, and users can edit items one by one, or edit an entire list in one fell swoop. Training from Ingram takes less than an hour, and we are happy to lend our expertise and experience about best practices and options for creating grid templates.

The EDI specialists can also help a library create a more efficient workflow. They have worked with small single branch libraries, urban multi-branch libraries, and everything in between. They have also helped libraries that belong to consortia and required special items and working with multiple organizations to get EDI ordering up and running.

No need to flip back and forth between the library’s OPAC and ipage. Contact Ingram and we can set up any account to link directly to the library’s OPAC.

Ingram’s iMatch is a collection matching service designed for library customers. iMatch is a tool that matches your school or library’s collection against titles placed in an Ingram selection list on ipage. Using Z39.50, iMatch shows if an item or something similar is already owned. No more accidental duplicate ordering!

The EDI specialists at Ingram have decades of experience and can assist a library to choose the best ordering workflow and guide the library through set up. There are many options to choose from when ordering and setting up grids, but they ready and willing to help!

Want more information about these and other services Ingram Library Services has to offer? Contact us.