Personalized Routing for Reserves Liaison Staff

Recently, a Concierge customer came to me with this workflow issue:

  • Each staff member is assigned a list of instructors to serve as liaison. Would it be possible to route incoming reserve requests to a particular staff member's queue based which instructor submitted the request?

Because instructors can teach in different departments, they did not want to create routing based on the department or other information assigned in a Course record. We needed to design a workflow that would be based on the Instructor's User Record.

Our first step was indicate which library staff member is the assigned liaison on the instructor records. We elected to use one of the User Info fields and add the designated reserve staff member's name to that field. Ares has 5 generic fields in the user record (User Info 1, User Info 2, etc.) that you can use for any purpose that you need. These fields can be added on the user registration forms in the web for patrons to update. In this case, patrons do not select a liaison, so it only needed to be available to staff in the Client. Because the User Info fields do not display by default on User record form, we needed to customize each staff member's client layout to display the new field. Staff then manually added their name to their Instructors' user records.

Once we had the information available in the User Record, though, we encountered another issue. The instructor information is not directly tied to an Item record. (This is why--when you are looking for an instructor on the Item record--you have to open the Course record from the Item record and and then the User record from the Course record.) This realization made it look as though we could not use the newly added liaison information for the routing rules. However, the Concierge customer program provides access to the sharp minds of our Atlas consultation staff members! One of my colleagues was able to construct a complex match string to access the desired field in the user record. We put the rules in place and after some testing and a couple of tweaks, new requests are now routed to a staff-specific queue just as they had hoped.

Routing rules are one of the most powerful tools in the Ares Customization Manger toolbox and can be adapted to all sorts of local configuration needs. Make sure you are taking advantage of this tool to expedite your reserves processing. 

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