هزینه یابی مبتنی بر فعالیت زمان محور برای فرآیند اکتساب کتابخانه : یک مطالعه موردی در دانشگاه بلژیک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2639||2010||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services, Volume 34, Issues 2–3, 2010, Pages 83–91
Library managers are continuously urged to provide better library services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, library management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform time-driven activity-based costing for a library acquisition process in a Belgian university and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.
One of the main challenges facing academic libraries is that of providing quality library services at continuously diminishing costs. As many library services are free of charge, academic libraries rely heavily on government funding. However, government funding does not cover increasing library costs (Ellis-Newman & Robinson, 1998). To keep costs under control it is important for library management to gain insight into the relevant cost drivers. Recently, libraries have started to invest in more sophisticated cost-accounting systems, such as activity-based costing (ABC) (see, for example, Ellis-Newman and Robinson, 1998, Ellis-Newman, 2003, Goddard and Ooi, 1998 and Ching et al., 2008). ABC is an advanced cost calculation technique that allocates resource costs to products based on resource consumption. Since ABC may provide greater visibility concerning organizational processes and their cost drivers, researchers have claimed that ABC allows library managers to better control costs, for example by eliminating costs related to non-value adding activities (Ellis-Newman and Robinson, 1998 and Ellis-Newman, 2003). While several articles have advocated the use of ABC by service organizations in general and academic libraries in particular (Ellis-Newman and Robinson, 1998, Ellis-Newman, 2003, Goddard and Ooi, 1998 and Ching et al., 2008), there is, nevertheless, a need for some degree of caution. Kaplan and Anderson, 2004 and Kaplan and Anderson, 2007, for example, note that the procedure for estimating an ABC model has proved to be difficult and costly, especially if the current accounting system does not support the collection of ABC information. It has also been argued that updating the ABC model through a new round of interviews and surveys further increases its time and resource consumption (Kaplan & Anderson, 2007). As a result, Pernot, Roodhooft, & Van den Abbeele (2007) claim that many managers who have tried to implement ABC in their organizations, including library managers, have abandoned the attempt in the face of rising costs and employee irritation. In order to overcome the difficulties of ABC, Kaplan and Anderson, 2004 and Kaplan and Anderson, 2007 developed a new approach to ABC, called time-driven ABC (TDABC). Accordingly, a TDABC model is simpler and faster to implement as it requires estimates of only two parameters: (1) the unit cost of supplying capacity and (2) the time required to perform a transaction or an activity. The breakthrough of TDABC lies in the usage of time equations to estimate the time spent on each activity (Demeere, Stouthuysen, & Roodhooft, 2009). Through the inclusion of multiple time drivers, a time-driven approach to ABC can capture the complexities of organizational processes far more simply than the traditional ABC system. After all, the latter would have to account for varying transaction times by treating each variant in the process as a distinct activity, which significantly increases its complexity (Cooper and Kaplan, 1988, Kaplan and Anderson, 2007 and Everaert et al., 2008). As a result, TDABC seems to offer a way to design useful cost models for academic libraries, where processes are often multi-layered and diverse. This paper describes the development and application of a TDABC system for a small to medium sized academic library in a Belgian University. While TDABC may improve the cost management of several library processes, in this study we only focus on the acquisition process. More specifically, the acquisition process we studied, concerns print formats (books, journals and grey literature) and covers key traditional acquisition concepts (ordering, receiving, paying, and using integrated library systems and online vendor databases in an acquisition's workflow). Though digital libraries began more and more to be developed, we believe that it is still useful to analyze an acquisition process of print formats. Indeed, Dorner (2004) provides empirical evidence that print formats are still important and continue to pour into acquisition activities. In his study on the roles of collection managers in research libraries, he observed that not only the levels of responsibility and time spent on activities related to digital resources but also to nondigital resources have increased compared to 5 years ago. One reason for this is that print and digital formats each have exclusive values, and until those values can be replicated in other media, both formats must be collected, maintained, and supported by libraries. Some authors even argue that print formats have independent value and contain centuries of information not yet available in digital formats (see, for example, Thornton, 2000 and Wu, 2005). According to Wu (2005), the wonders of technology arrive with countervailing questions about preservation, long-term research needs, content quality, document control and authenticity. Technology's nature makes it vulnerable to attack, modification, and disappearance, and its evolution has not yet reached a point where it rivals print in stability, longevity, and ease and comfort of use. A final argument why the acquisition of print materials offers an attractive context for this study, is that previous studies have demonstrated that the collection of print materials often goes together with high staff related costs and many cost saving opportunities (Schmidt, 1999 and King et al., 2004). As TDABC explicitly incorporates resource capacity and highlights unused resource capacity, we therefore believe the TDABC technique is particularly suitable to eliminate costs related to non-value added activities in print acquisition environments and improve process efficiencies. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. In the Theoretical background: from ABC to TDABC section we briefly address the technique of TDABC. In the TDABC in an academic library section we present the TDABC academic library case. In The benefits of TDABC: some managerial implications section we describe how the TDABC information guided library management in streamlining the acquisition process. We end with concluding remarks in the Conclusion section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this article we have described the implementation and the relevance of a TDABC model in an academic library. TDABC is well suited for a library setting, involving many activities with complex time drivers. Library personnel willingly participated in the time measurements. The obtained model structure was clear and understandable and the implementation went smoothly. Eventually, library personnel welcomed the feedback on their performance and the chance to further improve the process. The TDABC model was set up for calculating the cost of the acquisition process of 4 kinds of information carriers: foreign books, local books, journals and the rest category. The model calculates the minimum and maximum cost of the acquisition process of 4 items, depending on the occurrence of a number of optional actions. The TDABC analysis provided library management with a better insight into the cost drivers of the acquisition process and guided decisions concerning process improvements. On the basis of the cost data, library management decided to replace the general purchasing software with a new software program tailored to the needs of the library. Further, library management took actions regarding pooling of activities and re-allocation of tasks to low-wage personnel. Though the TDABC analysis we performed only covers key traditional acquisition concepts, this study makes significant contributions to the literature on the establishment of advanced cost models in the context of library acquisitions. First, as far as we know, this paper is one of the first studies on TDABC in an acquisition environment. While previous acquisition management studies have mainly focused on incorporating new developments into existing acquisition models, research on cost models in an acquisition environment is scarce. A second contribution of this paper is that it provides empirical evidence on how TDABC may assist library managers in creating more visibility to acquisition process efficiencies and capacity utilization, leading to potential cost efficiencies. Moreover, since this study demonstrates that TDABC can be adjusted rapidly and inexpensively to the changes in the operating and external environment (simply by adding terms in the time equations or updating the cost rate or unit estimates), we are convinced that the technique will also prove its usefulness in other—more complex or digitalized—acquisition environments. A potential avenue for future research is then to expand this study to different acquisition activities. For example, new workflows or technology-based processing methods may be incorporated in the TDABC model. This can be achieved easily by applying the principles described in this article. Another interesting avenue is doing similar research for different library processes (e.g. cataloguing activities) in different types of libraries (e.g. public or larger in size).