Print without the cloud and reduce failure points for printing Pull Slips
The process for printing Pull Slips has multiple failure points. Suggestion: Use the Print Slip Report as the data source for a mail merged Word document Pull Slip.
Creating email pull slips is too reliant on multiple systems working at all times. All of the required systems (servers, printers, scripts…) are potential failure points. These failure points often require staff from other departments to resolve. When there is a failure at any of the many points, the result is an inability to process Pull Slips through the normal workflows.
Suggestion: (1) Execute Print Slip Report, (2) Open Word document Pull Slip, (3) Insert Merge Fields to the Word documents from the Excel report, (4) Print.
The NERS Enhancement (ID #5746) in the September 2019 release provides an option to print to a printer directly versus sending an email to a computer that has a rule to print to a printer. However, in Fulfillment, each request needs to be selected for print individually. Functionality for batch printing to a printer would improve efficiency.
m schwendener commented
Sounds like some overlap with NERS requirement 5746 - "Allow desktop printing directly from Alma", which has been voted for development during 2019 and is in development.
Parker Fruehan commented
I'm not 100% on board with using Word and Excel as the solution, but I think something needs to be improved. There are too many points of failure in the current setup.
Relying on a third-party such as the printer manufacturer or other software developer seems to be a way that Ex Libris can sidestepping the issue. When something goes wrong they can pass the buck when it comes to support and blame it on the third-party solution. This other software is not foolproof and sometimes takes even more time to investigate which part of the process has failed and where to find the correct support contact.
Joi Sorensen commented
Resolving this is issue will allow us to better serve our patrons and work together effectively and efficiently.
It stands to reason that it is desirable to use the enhancement request mentioned because it will address the problems we now have using the cloud printing enabled HP ePrinters.
This issue needs to be addressed because it directly affects patron satisfaction and quality/timely service. Additionally, front line staff are confronted by this system failure which inhibits their efficiency. Clearly this is an Alma problem that the company must fix!
This issue with printing from Alma continues to be a thorn in our side at Western Connecticut State University. It's very inconsistent and it happens on everything that is printed from Alma including request slips, in-transit slips, and slips for fines paid by a patron. It creates an inefficient work flow as well as a lot of frustration. Printing without the cloud seems to be a better choice, in my opinion.
Christina DiCarro commented
Our institution is using cloud printing enabled HP ePrinters and is finding that we have to frequently restart the printer to force it to contact the cloud when jobs fail. The problem is not limited to pick from shelf slips as we have had fine receipts get "stuck" too - often with a patron waiting for their printout. Regardless of the method of enhancement, Alma needs a way to print directly to a networked printer rather than via an email address.