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Tales of Inventory Control: Baby Ducks Die Easy

Posted by Rob Heller on 4/17/14 11:00 PM
Topics: college store stories, inventory management

The following article was written by MBS Representative, Rob Heller. Check out more industry insight from Rob on his blog!

boys-easter-animalsTheir outfits were selected well in advance: pastels with bibs and buttons, and polished white buckled shoes. These were to be the photographs that would grace our mantel in future years. We’d reminisce about spring gone by, and smell the fresh daffodils, in the vase beside the frame. These would be the Easter pictures with the young boys and baby animals.

Our Saturday morning session arrived. The studio was more of a barnyard with bright lighting. We were greeted with clucks and “baaa.” The baby animals roamed freely. Think of a cute animal; it was probably there somewhere.

We were called to the back and soon realized a problem. Taylor was sitting almost in tears. As we encouraged him to smile he broke down, and finally described the bunny was hurting him. Apparently the rabbit had sharp claws digging into his bare legs.

So now the bunny moved to a side wagon and of course neither of the boys would go anywhere near the rabbit. Taylor treated it like a deranged prop from Monty Python. (Thank you for anyone who understands that reference).

The lamb defecated on the white sheet wrapped about the floor. “Tripp, Don’t step there! We need a tissue.” Great, now they’re afraid of the lamb too. What could be worse?

From the next room we heard a little girl shrill, and then, “Oh, honey,” said the photographer, “Be careful. Baby ducks die easy.”

Wait, what was that? How do you acquire that knowledge, “baby ducks die easy?” My focus was now 100% on the activities in the adjacent room. How many baby ducks do you keep in the back room? Do other animals die easy too, or just the ducks?

I never knew children’s photography studios worried about inventory control. Their stock was expiring faster than a new edition college textbook. Of course we have better disposal methods.

College bookstores have found much success partnering with MBS. Textbook Trader is a distribution option based on specific demand, and stores can use it at any time. There is even a feature to list the recently used titles on your campus. Prices are competitive and include a commission to the store as well as free shipping.

If Textbook Trader isn’t an option, One Planet Books focuses on saving the environment. This recycling option can be used in coordination with back room stock and student buyback. MBS will provide the materials, shipping, and even basic advertising, plus $10 a carton

Baby ducks and college textbooks have a shelf life. It’s unfortunate when inventory expires, but how you handle the situation tells much about who you are and the business you run.

About Rob Heller

Rob Heller began work with MBS in the Wholesale Division in 2012, but his bookstore experiences stretch several decades. He began his career in the early 1990s with College Bookstores of America at their off-campus location serving Clemson University. Rob is also an accomplished sports broadcaster having announced nearly 2,500 games including the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. He has served as the home stadium announcer for Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, and several professional baseball and soccer teams. He and his wife currently reside in Elgin, South Carolina, (near Columbia) along with their three boys.

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