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Spotlight Interview: A Whole New Way to Bin and Hold

Posted by Liz Schulte on 1/30/19 5:30 AM
Topics: course materials, wholesale textbooks, sourcing

Recently, we sat down with Corporate Marketing Representative Lillian Brooks to discuss SimpleSource, MBS’ new ordering tool that college stores already love. SimpleSource saves time and money by helping bookstores efficiently source wholesale and marketplace inventory.

A New Way to Bin and HoldWhat does bin and hold mean?

The term comes from when we used to physically keep wholesale orders in their own bin. We added to them as they were reworked until they were ready to be shipped. It's not as literal now, but the concept is the same — leave your order with us, and we'll continue to add wholesale inventory as it becomes available. We constantly receive new inventory in our warehouse.


What sets SimpleSource apart?

SimpleSource is more than just a marketplace sourcing method; it is MBS’ new ordering tool that gives stores access to source more wholesale inventory and the opportunity to source from the marketplace. 

Imagine not having to manage your wholesale orders and marketplace orders separately — that is what sets SimpleSource apart from everyone else. Stores will still submit their wantlist the same way they always have, but now they can add marketplace sourcing into their wholesale order. MBS will ship everything to your store in one order with one invoice.  


How does SimpleSource work?

With SimpleSource, stores set their pricing parameters for MBS sourced books and marketplace sourced books. As a result, by expanding the range of discounts levels they are willing to accept, we can make more wholesale inventory available to the order outside of the traditional new and used wholesale discounts. Once the pricing parameters are set for the order, we take care of the rest. The store’s pricing parameters automatically go into effect on the schedule the store set for that order.


What parameters can stores set for their wantlist?

When you access SimpleSource, you can manage your wantlist, watch wholesale fulfillment increase in real time and even set the percentage of textbooks you want MBS to source from the marketplace for you.

You can select the percentage of your list that you would like MBS to fulfill through our traditional inventory models and the discount tiers you would like to start with. As fulfillment progresses, you can cycle through pricing tiers, providing access to a greater number of books. You can also set the percentage of materials you would like sourced from the marketplace along with your price threshold. It is important to note that marketplace inventory cannot be returned once it has been acquired on your behalf.

You can edit your wantlist specifications, or simply set it and let it go. SimpleSource allows you to follow your order’s progress in real time with a visual display of your results where you can see the average discount on titles, which orders are complete and a breakdown of inventory.

The parameters you select can apply to your entire wantlist, or individual ISBNs can be edited separately within the tool. SimpleSource gives stores more maneuverability to better meet your individual needs.


What does SimpleSource offer stores?

Convenience, plain and simple. As I mentioned above, SimpleSource gives stores the convenience of combining marketplace sourcing along with their traditional wholesale ordering in one order and one shipment. Stores have complete control of their order. They tell us how much they are willing to pay for a book, and it is our job to go out and find that book at that price, saving stores time and money.

More than that, stores no longer have to worry who they are buying from, if they are going to receive the correct book or if that book is counterfeit. MBS not only sources these books for stores but vets every book that passes through our warehouse.


What kind of experiences have stores had using SimpleSource?

The feedback has been amazing. Our customers have access to more inventory. With the flexibility SimpleSource offers, stores have told me how much they love the control they have and the ability to make adjustments throughout their order cycle. What I hear the most from stores is how “simple” SimpleSource actually is to use — which I love to hear!


What are some of the risks associated with the marketplace and how does SimpleSource address those risks for stores?

The biggest risk is buying counterfeit books. Other risks involve receiving damaged books or the incorrect book. SimpleSource eliminates all these challenges for stores. When we bring in sourced books from the marketplace, those books are vetted in our warehouse. We make sure you receive the correct book and that the book isn’t damaged. We also make sure those books are not counterfeit.

All the of the risks that stores take on today when sourcing on their own go away when they use SimpleSource. Not to mention, we bin and hold all your books until the desired ship date.


What level of sourcing experience do stores need to use SimpleSource?

None! As I mentioned earlier, for the stores currently using SimpleSource, the most common thing we hear is how easy it is to use. Once a store sets their pricing parameters, they can literally walk away if they choose and let us continually rework their list and fill their order based on their set parameters. With SimpleSource, the store can interact with the list as much or as little as they need to and still get results. With SimpleSource, you know MBS is working continuously to fill your order and that every book placed in your bin is vetted by MBS.   


How can SimpleSource help stores with a lot of sourcing experience?

We make it easier and help save time! You will no longer get multiple shipments, multiple invoices, receive damaged or counterfeit books — I can go on and on. SimpleSource eliminates those headaches for stores. All you have to do is set your parameters and let us do the work.


What are three things you want all MBS customers to know about SimpleSource?

  1. This tool gives stores a whole new way to bin and hold with the addition of marketplace sourcing.
  2. It gives our customers access to more MBS inventory that traditionally has not been available to them at multiple discounted levels.
  3. It removes the risks. Stores no longer have to worry about who they are buying from, the condition the book arrives in or whether or not the book is counterfeit.


How can customers learn more about SimpleSource?

They can contact their MBS Territory representative, or they can contact me:

With MBS SimpleSource you get a new way to bin and hold, access to more  inventory and simple marketplace sourcing. Learn More

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