Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

The Best Advice College Stores Shared With Foreword Online in 2023

Posted by Liz Schulte on 12/18/23 6:15 AM
Topics: wholesale textbooks, college bookstore industry trends, College store solutions

As the end of the year draws to a close, we think back over the past year. We are grateful for each college store that has taken the time to speak with us and share ideas, tools and processes that have helped them reach new heights in 2023. Foreword Online will return on January 8, 2024, but let’s take a moment to look back at some of the best advice shared by college stores this year.The Best Advice College Stores Shared With Foreword Online in 2023

7 ways college stores evolved in 2023

  1. Streamline decision making with business intelligence

    “I look at Dashboard every day. I am still learning a lot of the features, but it gives a great snapshot of our data. In the middle of the month, I do a comparison to see where we are versus where we were the previous year. I like to know in the moment where the store stands. This feature has really helped me save time and gives me a clear picture of the store,” Erin McGonigle, Director, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Bookstore, said. “It’s been great and so helpful. I am a big data person. I love that I can pull so much new data, crunch the numbers and kick things around. For example, I would be able to see if our t-shirt sales are down this year versus last year and get that level of detail I need to pinpoint why.”

    Read more how the UMBC Bookstore utilizes custom reports as well as MBS Dashboard for on-demand business intelligence.

  2. Simplify setting up remote bookstore locations

    “The wireless credit card reader has taken a lot of bulk out of our book bag — we put that mobile solution in a backpack. To have that little bitty credit card reader with a Bluetooth connection that works like a dream speeds up the process and reduces employee anxiety when they are setting up in those remote locations. It has helped us a lot,” Charlie Rutt, Director, University Store at the University of Central Missouri, said.

    Watch the Campus Store Conversation where Charlie Rutt talks about the mobile solutions that improve functionality for his campus store.

  3. Make sure you have the support you need

    “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,” Rita Smith, Campus Store Manager/Food Services, Anoka-Ramsey Community College,

    Read how Anoka-Ramsey Community College helps lower student costs.

  4. Use your available system tools to achieve a high level of accuracy

    “Probably the number one benefit of partnering with MBS Store Technology Solutions has been the array and number of applications that are housed in Arc. It has really allowed our purchasing and accounting teams to work in tandem with one another and achieve a high level of accuracy and control over our inventory,” Craig Bauer, Course Materials Manager, University of Manitoba BookStore, “Honestly, we have such a ridiculously low level of inventory shrinkage, by industry standards. We have our processes outlined and they work time and again. Those processes are possible because of the breadth of applications in Arc — the different accounting-related functions, point-of-sale functions, purchasing functions and the ability to run everything through stock ledger. It's just a powerful set of applications that positions us to perform with a high level of accuracy in our receiving, sales and purchasing. That translates into a really low level of shrinkage, which is terrific for our bottom line.”

    Find out how the University of Manitoba BookStore streamlines college store management with the MBS system.

  5. Get a college store system that meets your store’s needs

    “The more I've used the MBS system, the better I understand and appreciate it. I have had a very favorable experience. It meets all of our needs, the support is so great and the price is right,” Michael Herrick, Director, UMD Stores, said. “The environment is stable, which is a really big thing. We don't have downtime. We just open the store, and it runs. I can focus on store matters instead of worrying about the system that's supporting the business.”

    Read more about the outstanding customer service and reliable college store system functionality that benefits the University of Minnesota Duluth Stores.

  6. Think of out-of-the-box ways to support your school’s initiatives

    “Extensive efforts and progress have been made toward honoring diversity at Klamath Community College. This [the heritage reading program] was a chance to do more. We pursued funding to earmark the purchase of used books at a certain price point. Many students in our community have resource issues, so partnering with the library helped increase exposure for both locations and provided options for students to acquire books. The KCC Librarian and I researched what the U.S. State Department uses to recognize heritage months, and what other colleges around the nation celebrate. From that list we created our Heritage Month calendar.”

    Find out how the Klamath Community College Bookstore supports learning and diversity on its campus with its heritage reading program.

  7. Win back market share by giving students low-cost options

    “It was great being able to meet my margins with book rental. Being able to offer rentals saved the bookstore by allowing us to offer low-cost rental books while meeting our margin. Several years ago, students were shopping online, digital started picking up and industry-wide sales had started declining. Rentals made a huge difference. Students see that low price on our website and decide to shop with us,” Judy Meyering, Bookstore Manager, Ridgewater College, said. “In the last two years, we have had some decline in rental, but students seeing rental as an option still helps us tremendously. We see many repeat rental customers. We have also added some inclusive access options to continue to provide students with more cost-saving solutions.”

    Read how offering rental books lowers student costs and saved Ridgewater College Bookstore.


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