The Direct Network


How to Prevent Backorders: Four Proactive Tips for Schools

Posted by Liz Schulte on Jan 16, 2018 5:30:00 AM
Topics: course material fulfillment, student success, prevent backorders

Backorders are frustrating. The students are ready to buy the books — a hurdle in its own right — and now the book isn’t available. Options are limited on what to do next. Do they wait for the book to come in and potentially fall behind in class or look for it from another source? Neither option is ideal for your school or students.

How to Prevent Backorders: Four Proactive Tips for SchoolsHowever, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening. First and foremost, a big piece of preventing backorders will be your course materials partner. Find a partner that maintains great publisher relationships, has the scale and inventory to meet your school’s requirements, and proactively works to prevent backorders from occurring. The partner should be as committed to ensuring your students have their materials as you are.

Once that relationship is in place, these four steps will help you prevent backorders.  

  1. Submit updated enrollments
    Keep the number of students enrolled for the next term updated. Enrollment numbers are used to ensure that enough books are allocated or procured from publishers for your program. Accurate information is necessary to prevent backorders.

MBS Direct maintains a 98% in-stock rate of all materials at the time of purchase.

  1. Turn in booklists on time
    Timely adoptions have a big impact on backorders. When your booklist is submitted by the deadline, the number of titles your school needs can be purchased from the variety of sources available, including buybacks. Potential problem titles can also be identified while there is still time to find the best solution.

“When booklists are submitted by the due date, we know the demand for the upcoming school year and which items to supply for the upcoming selling season. A timely booklist submission decreases backorders and out-of-stock items. They give our buyers a better picture of the total inventory demand to obtain what you need.” MBS Direct Account Manager Dusti Mitchell

  1. Select current editions
    This issue connects back to turning in your booklist on-time. While previous editions are a great way to save students money, the older an edition is the more likely it is to become problem titles. Titles with limited copies available can leave students without access to the right book or extend wait times.

“No expensive backorders. No problems with implementation, backorders or any customer service issues. MBS Direct has been really top-notch. It has been a great partnership, especially from the technology and service perspective.” Visions In Education Director of Business and Technology Tom Tafoya.

  1. Stay in contact with your account manager
    Communication with your account manager is key. Keep an open dialogue going, and update them as you have more information about enrollments and adoptions. This will help the account manager identify and work through potential problems before they become an issue.

Choose the Right Course Material Provider

About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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