With the end of the year quickly approaching, it is time to make planning and budgeting decisions for next year. What are your store goals and priorities? How can your college store system help support those goals? We spoke with MBS Store Technology Solutions Sales Consultants, Heather Gillespie and Jeremy Hawkins, to find out what they suggest stores consider for 2024.
System Upgrades to Consider for 2024
If your store needs to update or upgrade its system hardware, make sure it is included in your budget for next year. Keeping your system hardware current ensures speed, operability and security. Check your registers, PIN pads, handheld scanners, etc. to ensure everything is current and doesn’t need to be updated.
“You can have confidence in your hardware when you’ve prepared and planned for necessary upgrades. For example, if your current PIN pads are set to go end-of-life in three years, make plans now for budget, understand the downtime required and anticipate supply chain issues,” said Heather Gillespie, MBS System Sales Consultant.
Reporting is vital for college stores. It helps you analyze sales trends, make informed decisions and share information with on-campus stakeholders. Make sure your college store system has the scope of reporting you need to run as efficiently as possible. MBS Dashboard, for example, is a fantastic business intelligence tool that gives stores access to key performance indicators (KPIs) with reports, graphs, and other visuals with drill-down and filtering capabilities that make it easy to review, analyze and share the metrics that matter most to your store.
“Now, I love Dashboard. I can still do my own reports, but I can also pull so much information. I have had three to four custom reports built within the tool to address specific things our store does. For example, one of the reports has to do with shipping. It’s something that might seem minimal, but it is really important for me to see how many online orders are being picked up versus shipped and to be able to track the difference between that. I look at the report every month and it is so easy now,” Erin McGonigle, Director of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Bookstore, said.
Automation can help save your store staff so much time. With the MBS system, stores have a myriad of campus integrations and resources available to help automate and streamline processes, including course import which imports the class master from the campus system, registrar link which connects students directly with their course materials, SFA batch or real-time interface which facilitates SFA payments for course materials in-store and online, and sales audit which enables mapping information to appropriate accounts on the G/L system for tracking.
“Probably the number one benefit of partnering with MBS Store Technology Solutions has been the array and number of applications that are housed in Arc. It has really allowed our purchasing and accounting teams to work in tandem with one another and achieve a high level of accuracy and control over our inventory,” Craig Bauer, Course Materials Manager, University of Manitoba BookStore, said. “Honestly, we have such a ridiculously low level of inventory shrinkage, by industry standards. We have our processes outlined and they work time and again. Those processes are possible because of the breadth of applications in Arc — the different accounting-related functions, point-of-sale functions, purchasing functions and the ability to run everything through stock ledger. It's just a powerful set of applications that positions us to perform with a high level of accuracy in our receiving, sales and purchasing. That translates into a really low level of shrinkage, which is terrific for our bottom line.”
While it might seem like a small thing, now is a good time to confirm your store has everything it needs. Do you have stands for your Datalogic barcode scanners and/or security stands for your PIN pads? Maybe you are looking for a way to save staff time for web order fulfillment, inventory and price checking — take a look at the Joya Touch A6 for ultraportable functionality.
“The wireless credit card reader has taken a lot of bulk out of our book bag — we put that mobile solution in a backpack. To have that little bity credit card reader with a Bluetooth connection that works like a dream, speeds up the process and reduces employee anxiety when they are setting up in those remote locations. It has helped us a lot,” Charlie Rutt, Director, University Store, University of Central Missouri, said.
If you would like to discuss the options MBS Store Technology Solutions recommends for your college store, please contact your MBS System Sales Consultant today.