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3 Key Takeaways From MBS Forums

Posted by Guest Contributor on 4/29/24 6:30 AM
Topics: training, college retail system, benefits of online retail

At the beginning of April, MBS Store Technology Solutions held its biannual training event for system partners. Forums is always a great week of learning and networking for campus stores. MBS System Sales Consultant Jeremy Hawkins joins us today to share three takeaways he learned through the weeklong event.3 Key Takeaways From MBS Forums

My Reflections on MBS Forums

For me, the Forums training events are an invaluable resource. It’s the perfect time to recharge batteries and focus thoughts on enhancing campus store operations and outcomes to better serve the community and customers. Before the sessions begin for the week, I challenge myself to identify three primary takeaways. This may be a bit simplistic, as we all gain so much more by the time the week comes to an end, but I like to keep it simple — something I am certain I heard from my high school basketball coach on more than one occasion.

My first takeaway from 2024 Spring Forums is a very important singular reminder: our store partners drive us as a company and system provider to continue to evolve.

Year after year the challenges grow in our industry. Our partners demand the best. The goal isn’t just to remain competitive but to be leaders in our space. On the course materials side alone, the breadth of options (rental, inclusive access, equitable access, OER, just to name a few) have led to countless changes in Arc and inSite.

We learned during the session, Best Practices for Managing Textbooks IA to Print, about MBS’ expanded integrations from Verba | VitalSource® and RedShelf®. VitalSource and RedShelf titles are included in the MBS database in addition to all of our print titles, ensuring a simple, streamlined adoption process for textbook managers and professors when sending in web adoptions via inSite Faculty Adoptions or Verba Collect. During the session we discussed how course mapping can be a true time saver when working with courses containing the same adopted titles. We also heard how Madison Area Technical College manages its equitable access program. Be sure to check out their YouTube video if you have not had the chance.

My second takeaway from the week is the importance of enhanced analytics provided by our business intelligence tools and the eCommerce Google Analytics integration. Analytics are incredibly important. They provide insight into customers’ perceptions of us and give us the information we need to provide the services customers want. I know personally from having smart home technology in nearly every room of my house that when I have a conversation with a friend or family member about a product or service my social media feeds will be filled with on-topic information.

MBS Store Technology Solutions’ Arc CRM, Loyalty, and inSite’s cart abandonment tracking emails and texts help further strengthen stores’ ability to evaluate shoppers’ behaviors. If you didn’t watch this session, will you do me a favor? Visit the message center in Arc and watch this session.

My third takeaway is the wealth of knowledge our systems partners provide. We saw this throughout the week during multiple sessions. Each time a store partner contributed how they conduct a certain task or use an application for their unique use case, all of us benefited. Each time one of our partners participates with a question, we all grow.

I will never forget University of Manitoba Tech Support Services Supervisor Ted Dueck saying during the Strategies for Accuracy session, “Inventory prep starts the day after you post inventory.” Simple statement and so true. If we use Arc to order, receive, report and track sales as intended, inventory is a final extension of everything we do every day.

Sarah Kwiecien with the University of Pittsburgh Store shared her expertise with Arc Report Builder for tracking her Apple sales. Mike Herrick, Director, University of Minnesota Duluth Stores, shared his expertise as well during the Maximizing Reporting Potential session. Take a few minutes out of your day to listen to Sarah and Mike share their valuable reporting tips.

My sincere thanks to all our partners who were able to attend the sessions, share their input, and all our MBS presenters. It was a terrific week. I look forward to seeing you at the next Forums session this fall.


Find out how MBS can help you reduce overhead, save students money and  streamline operations with a tailored retail management system. Learn More


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