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Communication and Coordination Are Key to a Successful Collegiate Retail System Implementation

Posted by Liz Schulte on 2/7/22 6:30 AM
Topics: future of bookstores, college bookstore system, collegiate retail system implementation

Adopting a new collegiate retail system doesn’t have to be a monumental undertaking. With ample support, unfettered access to product experts and tailored training, your collegiate retail system switch will take your store to the next level. MBS Store Technology Solutions’ implementation team provides all of this and more.

Communication and Coordination Are Key to a Successful Collegiate Retail SystemWe caught up with MBS Store Technology Solutions Implementation and Project Manager Angela Gray to discuss how her team supports new customers and makes sure they are ready to go with their new collegiate retail system.

How does the implementation team streamline a customer’s transition to the MBS system?

When a store transitions to a new system, communication and coordination among the campus stakeholders are essential. We begin with a coordinated kick-off call. Here we discuss the options available to the store and identify the requirements necessary to complete their goals. Identifying these requirements early in the process streamlines the project implementation. We create milestones as well as step-by-step plans and timelines to achieve each project goal. We also assess the resource availability while creating milestones, so we can plan accordingly.

To help ensure things stay on track, we send out reminders and usually set up regularly scheduled meetings to go over what we are working on and to make sure that everyone is ready to move to the next step. Our goal is to work side-by-side with our partners to make sure their milestones and the established timeline stay on track.

What goes into project plan development and how does it help mitigate potential delays?

We develop an all-phase plan. We listen to our partners to understand their specific project goals and help coordinate the resources for each task. We build training for each element into the plan as well as help the store prepare for the new system. Stores have quite a few options, so really no two implementations are the same. It isn’t a cookie cutter solution. Your implementation is designed for your store, your goals and the challenges you may face.

If we know that there are busy times of the year for your store or resource constraints, really anything that could impact the timeline, we incorporate that into the project plan. For example, maybe we will need the support of your campus IT department for one of the goals, but we know that this key resource won’t be available for a window of time. We can build the plan around that obstacle, so it doesn’t interfere with meeting the established timeline

How has the service you provide evolved over time?

To make sure partners continue to get the best service, we look at each project as an opportunity to improve our performance. We closely monitor the various processes we go through to identify how they can be improved and increase efficiency based on our past performances. We also have ongoing training as new features and functionality are added. The college retail industry rapidly changes, so as a department we work to deliver support that surpasses expectations.

How are implementation plans tailored for customers?

It’s not a cookie cutter approach. We really listen to the needs of each customer and ask questions to better understand their resource availability. We work with stores of all sizes. When we develop a plan, it is one that will fit the store we are working with and address any concerns the store might have. This level of personalization is essential. All project stakeholders know what is required and when, they can voice concerns, share their thoughts and really make sure the system is implemented in a way that works for their entire campus group.

What's the fastest implementation you've ever done?

I would say my fastest was completed about a month after the kickoff call. We spoke quite a bit during that time. I’m pretty sure they could recognize my voice over the phone. Everything had to go at warp speed to make the store’s goal. The store’s operations team and the campus teams were all phenomenal to work with. They really supported the campus store. Everyone worked so well together and really took this challenge head on. It was really wonderful to see what they were able to accomplish in such a short time.


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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