Automation with Direct Request and the Automated Request Manager

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With the release of the new OCLC smart fulfillment options and the Automated Request Manager (ARM), we've had a lot of questions about how ILLiad libraries could leverage these new features. Smart fulfillment allows sites to configure automation based on match criteria you define along with actions you want the system to perform. If you've used Direct Requests in the past, a lot of this should look familiar along with some newly added features. 

Benefits | What are the ARM Automated Actions? | Is Smart Fulfillment for you? | Getting Started with Smart Fulfillment | Duplicate Request Detection | WorkFormMapping Table


To see statistics and examples of the benefits from sites that have implemented these features, check out the ILLiad Power Up ARM & Direct Request and Maximize the delivery speed of your resource-sharing service recordings. 


  • Actions to automate sending. 
  • Bibliographic record matching to locate the best fit.
  • WorldCat holdings, Knowledge base holdings, and Custom holdings group checks.
  • Gets the request to the right lender quicker through smart lender strings based on your custom holdings paths.


  • Requests are run through load balancers so one site isn't always bombarded with requests.
  • Saves you time by not assigning loan requests to your library for items that are checked out or otherwise unavailable to lend.

What are the ARM Automated Actions?

Patron data is not passed to OCLC. As a result, patron information can't be used as a match criterion in ARM.
  • Applying a specified constant data record.
  • Building a lender string from a custom holdings path.
  • Routing the request for staff review or automatically sending the request to the lenders.

    Note: The "Route Request to Review" option in the OCLC "Actions" dropdown is unsupported at this time.


Exceptions & Priorities

  • Setting automation exceptions - These are similar to ILLiad routing rules. For example, performing a different action if you own the material. Or if an item is available through your consortia, you may want to send it through a different method instead of OCLC direct request. 
  • Setting priorities - If you have multiple options that match, this determines which automation to use. For example, if you have a match criteria for all requests published in the last 10 years that are sent to a specific custom holdings group and all requests in Polish need to be reviewed, the automation with priority will be used. 



Is Smart Fulfillment for you?

If you're already using unmediated OCLC direct requests, this just adds a few new features on the OCLC side.

— and/or — 

If one of your top 5 reasons for no is InUseOnLoan, then smart fulfillment will help reduce the number of requests canceled by staff for lending requests. 

To check your top reasons for no:

  1. Log into the Client and select the System tab.
  2. Click Web Reports.
  3. Click Lending Reports and then Requests Filled and Unfilled.
  4. Export results to Excel.
  5. On the Home tab in Excel, highlight the reasons for no column, then click the Analyze Data button on the navigation bar.


  6. If InUseOnLoan is one of the top 5 reasons, you could benefit from using smart fulfillment. 

Getting Started with Smart Fulfillment

To configure smart fulfillment, there are two parts; the ILLiad side and the OCLC side.

  1. Enable manual routing to ARM or configure routing rules for direct requests
    1. Open the Customization Manager.
    2. Set DirectRequestEnabled to Yes under Borrowing | Direct Request.
    3. Add a record for Awaiting Direct Request Sending with the process type of Borrowing under System | Custom Queues | CustomQueues.
  2. Enable unmediated direct request sending in ILLiad. 
    • If you are already using direct requests, any profiles were moved over to the new Automated Request Manager. 
  3. Contact OCLC to set up ARM, real-time availability, and smart lender strings.

Duplicate Request Detection 

While we are talking about reducing staff time processing requests that are typically canceled, there are additional workflows that allow ILLiad to reduce duplicate requests. These types of requests can occur for several reasons such as a patron accidentally sending the request more than once.

ILLiad routing rules can be configured to detect duplicate requests of the same article or loan title by the same patron. This catches duplicate requests early on and prevents additional charges, processing time, etc. For routing rule examples, see this community post:

WorkFormMapping Table

ILLiad will use entries in the WorkFormMapping table configured with the WorkFormTypes OCLC Article and OCLC Loan for requests sent to ARM. However, the WorkFormMapping table cannot be used to perform overwrites on bibliographic data for these direct requests as once the request is sent to OCLC, it will be matched with a record in the OCLC database and all bibliographic data for the request will be overwritten with the information in the OCLC record. 



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