The CU Book Store is known for their innovation and success in reducing course material costs for students. In 2015, the store won the NACS Collegiate Retailer of the Year, and the 2017, it won ICBA’s MVP Store. Recently, the Assistant Director, Academic Resource Support, Jason Katzman decided to try MBS’ new ordering tool SimpleSource.
“I ran some experiments in February to see how it worked and was happy with what I found,” Katzman said. “We turned to the tool for several reasons. Counterfeiting was one. Since MBS is guaranteeing the inventory, that eliminates one potential headache. We were also looking at ways to keep receiving costs down.”
CU Book Store saves time with bin-and-hold
SimpleSource gives stores a whole new way to bin-and-hold. Stores can manage their wantlist, watch their wholesale fulfillment increase in real time, make adjustments to maximize fulfillment and set the percentage of inventory they want to source from the marketplace with one easy-to-use tool. The tool also helps college stores like the CU Book Store cutback on paperwork with a single shipment and invoice, have more control over price thresholds, and access more books.
“Sourcing from the internet is very advantageous for us, but also time-consuming. If there was a way to get the benefits of online sourcing while reducing labor, we wanted to explore that,” Katzman said. “Receiving single orders is very time-consuming, so getting all those orders from MBS saves time.”
Katzman is happy with the number of books the store is getting through SimpleSource and the convenience of being able to monitor his wantlist fulfillment.
“I’m sure this is good for MBS because the success of the tool dissuades me from going to other vendors,” Katzman said. “That’s a tribute to how it’s working. I don’t need to go to other vendors because my fill rate is so high. I get to see in real-time how things are working and what books are being supplied, so that’s great.”
CU Book Store maximizes the number of books they receive with marketplace sourcing
“We’re getting pretty near 50 percent fill rate on our wantlists, which is an outstanding number,” Katzman said. “I like the ability to monitor my orders more than I thought I would. I can easily switch from getting used inventory to new inventory whenever I want rather than launching additional purchase orders, so I like that.”
Every store that uses SimpleSource can choose whether or not to source from the marketplace. Katzman came to the tool with a lot of past experience sourcing textbooks on behalf of the CU Book Store. He said he’s trying a lot of different approaches and testing the parameters to maximize the number of books they receive, and so far, the outcome has been positive.
“Those of us who have done a massive amount of sourcing on the internet know how valuable that is and how some wholesalers just can’t supply books cheaply enough,” Katzman said. “SimpleSource seems to change the economics of the online sourcing proposition. I would definitely encourage others to try it and to leave their wantlists with MBS for as long as they can.”