College stores work hard to offer the best service to students and the campus community, especially the campus store at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC). Wanting to ensure students get the best prices on textbooks, the store has worked to continuously evolve with changing industry demands. We recently spoke with Rita Smith, Campus Store Manager/Food Services, Anoka-Ramsey Community College to learn the steps her store has taken to ensure students save money and how the MBS system has helped streamline vital store processes to make it possible.
Over the last few years, the ARCC Campus Store has built a robust inclusive access program to serve their diverse student population. Through the program, students can access digital course materials for the participating courses.
“MBS works with VitalSource to ensure the two systems work together which streamlines components of inclusive access management for stores. The integrations have definitely worked great. Having those two systems work so well together has allowed us to continually grow our inclusive access program, which has saved a lot of money for our students. The two systems really work seamlessly together,” Smith said. “Our inclusive access program has grown tremendously over the past couple years. We use Collect for adoptions and easily copy them over into Arc — it’s very simple, which is really nice.
“The features MBS has added to Arc have been great, too. You can select the courses that are inclusive access and/or your inclusive access materials. Then you can sort your courses by their inclusive access status. It’s been really helpful. We've also used Arc Report Builder to create IA reports. It has helped save a tremendous amount of time,” Smith said.
Streamlining store functionality for the future
Smith manages more than just the campus store. She has recently taken over management of the food services department and worked on a campus store consolidation that streamlines management and helps reduce expenses.
“We still have two physical stores, but use Arc to manage them as one store, instead of two separate stores. I've worked with our dedicated representative, Sarah, and the whole team to bring these two stores together. We're excited to just have one system for everything. That definitely helps us evolve for the future. Now we are able to just transfer merchandise and don’t have to worry about going back and forth from store to store,” Smith said. “When we did inventory, we just did one inventory and transferred all of our merchandise over into one store. That has definitely helped us evolve.”
As an MBS Store Technology Solutions partner, Smith appreciates the unrivalled support her store receives.
“A big benefit of partnering with MBS is the support of the MBS team. It's a seamless operation. I started as the campus store manager more than three years ago. Not long after, my position grew to encompass our food services department. With MBS store technology, I was able to transition and use our same system, POS and back office, to support both businesses. Even though they are separate, it all transitions into one. It's been really nice,” Smith said. “I've worked a lot with Angela (Implementation and Product Manager). She's amazing to work with. She's helped me out with so many different things.”
Making the most of the collegiate retail system
The MBS system offers robust and state-of-the-art hardware and software that are proven to streamline store management. To ensure that she is getting the most out of the system, Smith participates in MBS’ training programs.
“We've done several training sessions with different trainers. Whether learning about textbook adoptions or inventory training, they have all been really helpful. We've done so many. They help us learn the system and, again, any time we have a question the training is always backed up with the support team behind it.”
MBS Store Technology Solutions partners are able to reach out to their dedicated representatives as well as product experts to ensure the system is working optimally for their store.
“They're always there to help with any questions that we have. On the rare instances when you have to leave a message, they always get right back to you. I think again about transitioning to use the system for food service. It wouldn’t have happened nearly so gracefully if they hadn’t been there to support me the whole way and get us up and running,” Smith said.