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Report Summary: IHLS Delivery Projections for FY2025 through FY2034

Illinois Heartland Library System

Published : Mar. 22, 2024
Last Updated: May. 15, 2024 - 9:48 am
Automated Material Handling System project updates.
The data included in this summary is accurate as of March 22, 2024, and is subject to change due to ongoing analysis. Charts and data will be updated here as new
information becomes available.

Illinois Heartland Library System Delivery, in conjunction with IHLS finance staff, has released its projections for item volume and costs for the next ten years. 

Projected Delivery Volume Was Estimated Using IHLS Historical Data.

To determine the historical average change in delivery volume­—the number by which future projections would be made—IHLS began with the known historical data for the last 12 fiscal years, FY2013 to FY2024 (this year). The outlier years of the COVID pandemic, during which interlibrary lending mostly halted, were then removed. The current year, FY2024, has shown unprecedented growth in delivery volume, at 28% (accurate through February 2024 and estimated through June 2024). Working under the assumption that FY2024 is the year that patrons are finally back in libraries at pre-pandemic levels, and thus FY2024 is also a pandemic-related outlier year, the growth data from this year was also excluded.

Using the remaining data, IHLS was able to determine that delivery volume grew a year-over-year average of 7% from FY2013 to FY2024.

Delivery Volume (Item Count) Is Projected to Grow 7% Each Year.

Chart 1. IHLS Estimated Item Counts (Delivery Volume) FY2025-FY2034.

Over the next ten fiscal years, delivery volume is projected to grow 7% year over year, resulting in projected rise in delivery volume from 3.5 million items to around 6.9 million by FY2034.

Alternate Projections. Projections are also provided for more conservative 3% and 5% increases, as well as a larger 10% increase. A 10% increase is the average with the COVID pandemic decreases removed while leaving in the 28% increase in growth in FY2024.

Delivery Sorting Personnel Costs Are Projected to Increase, But an AMHS Greatly Impacts That Increase.

Chart 2. IHLS Estimated 10-Year Sorting Personnel Costs FY2025-FY2034.

IHLS also projected costs for IHLS Delivery sorting personnel for the same period, using the 7% volume growth plus considering factors such as inflation and minimum wage rates. Estimated costs of IHLS Delivery sorting personnel are expected to increase between approximately $1.6 million and $3.4 million over the next ten years, FY2025 to FY2034. (See chart 2.)

Alternate Projections. Again, projections are also provided for more conservative 3% and 5% item volume increases, as well as a 10% increase. Projections were also calculated using a 0% item volume increase, demonstrating the increase in costs not associated with item volume. (See chart 2.)

The AMHS Variable. IHLS is investigating the purchase of an Automated Material Handling System. As of March 25, 2024, the acquisition of the system was yet to be determined. Therefore, comparisons were created accounting for personnel costs both with and without the acquisition of an AMH system.

Projected Savings in Sorting Personnel Costs Under the Condition of an AMHS.

Chart 3. IHLS Estimated 10-Year Sorting Personnel Savings with AMHS FY2025-FY2034.

Finally, IHLS graphed the difference in the IHLS Delivery sorting personnel costs under an assumption that an Automated Material Handling System was to be required—differences that became apparent during the 10-Year Sorting Personnel Costs projections analysis. Again, the 7% historical average delivery item volume increase was used for the projection, as were the additional conservative estimates of 0%, 3%, and 5%, and a high estimate of 10%. The projections were made under the secondary assumption that savings would not be seen during the first year of the installation of the AMHS. (See chart 3.)

Should IHLS acquire an Automated Material Handling System, estimated savings in IHLS Delivery sorting personnel costs are expected to be between approximately $1.3 million and $1.9 million over the next ten years, FY2025 to FY2034. (See chart 3.)