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PCC Bookstore Grows with MBS

Posted by admin on 5/5/11 11:00 PM
Topics: digital content, mbs direct, textbook rental, college retail, MBS Systems, MBS Systems inSite, college store stories, sustainability, MBS POS, MBS Systems Users Symposium

Portland Community College Bookstore strives to support the college mission by providing exceptional service, reasonably priced items and an overall desire to help students in any way they can. However, with 4 metropolitan campuses, their mission is no easy task. That’s why, for the past 19 years, they have worked alongside MBS to stay on the cutting edge and expand their store with the latest technology.

“We originally chose MBS because they had the best products for a multi-campus environment,” explained Laurie Bales, bookstore manager. “Now, with a student credit FTE of over 26,000, our business has fortunately grown quickly. MBS has proven to be able to help us navigate this growth and become more efficient and effective.”

To best meet the needs of their large student body, the store implements only the most innovative programs and services. “We use inSite for the web and faculty adoptions, and were part of a pilot program, offered at only 10 schools in the nation, when eBooks were first introduced,” she said. “Our online presence has helped us serve our distance learning students better.”

Even with these in place, PCC Bookstore still has to be mindful of growth and maintaining the capacity to service any increase in demand. That’s why one of their main concerns is finding new ways to continually bring value to the institution as course materials evolve.

A suite of MBS Systems solutions, including TextAid, T2, A/R, GM and GL modules, as well as the touch screen MBS POS terminals, have helped the store overcome this issue. In fact, with these applications in place, PCC Bookstore found compliance with HEOA to be relatively easy using the MBS system. “We were already in a position to offer students the information they needed for their course materials and the costs associated with them,” added Bales.

Based on their continued success, PCC Bookstore now considers MBS to be a strategic partner in accomplishing their long-term goals. “While each store will always have their own priorities, MBS listens and prioritizes their users’ needs. They are receptive and responsive, which makes a good partner,” Bales explained.

Moreover, as a store that prides itself on innovation, PCC Bookstore upholds the same values as MBS. “MBS devotes a lot of resources to research and has a proven track record in innovation. They aren’t satisfied to rest on their laurels; they continue to look to the future and what’s coming next. ” she said. “inSite, rental programs, hosted websites, Xplana, Mobile POS, and partnerships with companies like Verba are just some of these examples.”

The same can clearly be said for PCC Bookstore who, even with their current retail success, is always looking for further ways to improve. “We want to position ourselves to be relevant through product mix, convenience, and being a resource for our campus community,” Bales added. “From network constraints to online offerings and knowledgeable staff, we need to continue to evaluate our position.”

To other college retailers looking for ways to enhance their store’s success, Bales suggests attending the annual MBS Systems Users Symposium offered every fall. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for store staff to learn and network,” she explained.

As for the future, PCC Bookstore has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Next, they plan to pursue some of MBS’s newest online solutions. “We are seriously investigating using the MBS Hosting Model, to remove our store back-office server. This service will ultimately save us time, money and worry! Updates will be done automatically, security will be ensured and maintenance costs should go down,” said Bales. “We are also investigating mobile POS. The opportunity for us to go to events on campus and sell bookstore items would be a big asset.”

To implement any of these Systems and Wholesale services in your store, talk with your MBS representative or send questions to

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