As an MBS Direct account manager, I am often asked about the best practices of other K-12 schools when submitting their booklists. Schools who submit theirs by April 30th have the fewest challenges.
|Booklist preloaded for the next school year||January 1st|
|Marketing Plan finalized||March 15th|
|Booklist finalized||April 30th|
|Updated enrollments due||June 1st|
|Onsite buyback||Last week of school|
|Bookstore open||School determines this date (July/August)|
The list of books being purchased during buyback is determined by what course materials are submitted. When booklists are submitted by the due date, MBS Direct knows the demand for the upcoming school year and which items to supply for the upcoming selling season. Inventory is shared among all schools and courses are stocked according to historical data taking current enrollment into consideration. Maximizing the used inventory purchased for the upcoming year translates to lower textbooks costs for your students. A timely booklist submission decreases backorders, out-of-stock items and gives our buyers a better picture of the total inventory demand to obtain what you need.
In January, booklists are preloaded for the following term. Only changes to the booklist need to be managed by the school. An efficient internal process ensures the correct materials are listed on the Online Bookstore and students arrive to class with the right books. There are a handful of examples I want to share where schools have had success with their own internal processes for book adoption.
Saint Louis Priory School’s booklist coordinator prints each course listing from Course Director and inserts the printouts into a binder, providing a quick reference when faculty have changes to their course materials.
Hilda Willman, the campus store manager said, “I kick off the process by copying each department's adoptions and giving the chair a packet of what we adopted last year. I use that as the basis to make any changes based on what they tell me.”
Using this method instructors can see the books they have adopted, including the cover of the book, whether or not the book is required and book pricing. Booklist coordinators are able to export a booklist from Course Director which lists the course and book information.
Another proven practice, which works well for larger schools, is providing Course Director access to department heads. Kelly Winkelhake, upper school associate director from Laurel School said she liked that they were able to set up an account for users at the school, like department chairs, so that they could check the booklist within their department. When the booklist coordinator provides access to their department heads, they have the ability to add and remove adoptions and approve each course.
Laurel School uses a backward planning practice and involves their teachers in the review process. Once the bookstore open date is determined, the booklist coordinator arranges a date to open their online bookstore for instructors to review their courses and the materials listed. Since they are teaching the course, they can easily recognize when a book is incorrectly listed. If faculty decides to change a book and forgets to let the booklist coordinator know, there is still time to add the book to the course before it goes live on the bookstore.
While some internal processes differ on the school’s end, the premise remains the same with MBS Direct. Prior to the bookstore opening, schools provide updated enrollment information. As enrollment changes, so do the demand for books. The sooner MBS Direct knows of enrollment changes, the sooner inventory can be ordered. The account manager sends a final booklist to the school along with a reminder to review course materials and a request to send any changes as soon as possible.
MBS Direct works with partner schools to have all course materials and changes submitted prior to the bookstore opening and to have the right course materials delivered on time.