As the school year draws near, so does the course materials rush. Along with the pressure to ensure everything arrives before day one, come calls and visits from students, faculty and parents — some polite, some angry, some frantic.
If all faculty ordered adoptions on time, all schools hired at the same time, and all students purchased texts early and enrolled in advance of the semester, rush would be a breeze. But that’s an unrealistic scenario for most colleges and K–12 entities. Faculty members dawdle. Administrators make late hires. Students shuffle classes well into the semester.
If you’ve recently transitioned to an Online Bookstore, late adopters (every school has them) will likely cry out for help even before attempting to navigate the interface solo, thereby adding to the workload.
MBS Direct has 5 tips for handling the rush stress
- Use Service Center — Access real-time data on student orders in your Online Bookstore Service Center. View overall trends in student purchasing behaviors and stay on top of how close you are to the end goal: Students in class with materials day one.
- Call your dedicated Account Manager — Your MBS Direct Account Manager is an excellent resource for administrators and faculty. He or she will have answers any time you're hit with a question that flummoxes you. Meanwhile, instruct students to take inquiries to MBS Direct's 24/7 Contact Center.
- Encourage “out-of-stock” ordering — Tell students to order books even when they’re listed as “temporarily out of stock.” This ensures they’re first in line when the next shipment comes in. Sometimes students wait until the books are listed as in-stock before ordering. This puts them in line behind those who ordered while the title was “temporarily out of stock.” Thus, the materials take longer to arrive.
- Delegate — “Delegation requires time management, thereby increasing your effectiveness, efficiency and productivity,” according to Forbes.com. It will also reduce stress. Ask one staff member to take on Service Center monitoring while another makes Contact Center calls. A third can depart ordering wisdom to students while you handle the VIPs.
- Prepare — Keep essentials on hand: food, hot tea and something that boosts your mood. Rush is, by definition, a busy time. However, with the appropriate preparation and planning, it need not bring chaos.