With the beginning of each school year, we take the opportunity to meet with each of our partner schools, either as an in-person meeting on campus or as a conference call, to assess the success of the previous year.
"Partnership Reviews are an opportunity to reflect on the performance of the store, analyze how students are shopping and discuss industry trends," said Kelly Jones, MBS Direct's executive director of Client Services "It's a time to ensure we are meeting our partner schools' expectations and also discuss how we can help them with their campus initiatives; whether it be in terms of curriculum options, faculty consulting services, low cost materials, technology implementations or investigating OER solutions. We want to keep the lines of communication open as institutions evolve and change."
Depending on the presentations involved, reviews can last from about 30 minutes to a few hours.
Some of the topics you may discuss include:
- digital content
- increasing student savings
- adoptions (both current and the process in general)
- SSI (Student Savings Initiative)
- marketing your bookstore
- exploring low-cost and alternative content options
In addition to reviewing the performance of your Online Bookstore, your account manager will also share information about additional features and options to help improve its performance in the future, as well as the projects and updates currently in the works at MBS Direct.
Some of the new and upcoming changes to your Online Bookstore:
SFA for Marketplace
This term, student financial aid could be used for the first time to purchase Marketplace titles.
SFA for rental
Rental titles will also soon be eligible for SFA purchases.
A redesigned shopping experience
The new, mobile-friendly Online Bookstore will be available by the end of 2016 and into 2017.
New partnerships mean more options
More low-cost course material and alternative content options are available than ever before. Talk to your account manager to learn how to add these to your existing curriculum.
Preparing for your review
Your partnership review should feel like an open forum — it's the ideal opportunity to bring up any concerns or ask about any topic you'd like to learn more about. As the date approaches, you may also want to consider these three questions:Are you satisfied with the amount of digital content you currently offer?
Would you like to explore alternative or low-cost, non-traditional options?
If student savings is a primary goal for your institution, do you feel that your current strategy is effective?
Finally, here's what a few participants had to say about previous years' reviews:
"Meeting with the company reps helped to put faces to the names and we were able to discuss items beyond the stats in the report. We have a more personal relationship than the business we do together."
—Dennis Matreci, St. John Vianney High School
"The partnership review allowed our institution to see the progress we have made within the past year. We also learned of new features we can offer both students and faculty."
—Nahkia Stevens, Lancaster Theological Seminary
"It was great to talk through all of the concerns and plan ahead as a group. Very helpful process!"
—Gina Blanchard, Mount Vernon Nazarene University
This post was originally published August 27, 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.