The lack of communication and direction with a textbook provider can result in poor customer satisfaction, headaches and focus moving away from the educational process. The MBS Direct Implementation Team seeks to not only enhance communication with the provider, but also lay out a map for future success.
The process of on-boarding a new partner is a process of choreographed communications designed to easily move from a previous vendor to the MBS Direct ecosystem. One of the first pieces of communication takes place before meeting the partner. The initial “Getting to Know” call is an internal communication scheduled by a MBS Direct implementation specialist and includes the sales consultant, client services manager and account manager. Each partner has unique needs, and as a result, is assigned a dedicated team to ensure their needs are met.
“We understand the importance of communication,” said Cortney Teague, MBS Direct implementation specialist. “Most stores have left their previous provider due to poor communication.”
During the conversation each member of the team learns more about the partner as well as their specific needs and interests. With the data collected from the internal meeting, the implementation specialist, like Teague, can then set up the initial call with the partner to go over the more detailed timeline and review of the partner’s selected services.
Teague said there are several conversations and email communications, but the idea is to take the implementation plan and break it down into pieces. Each partner is given a specific timeline, outlining the most important needs and next steps.
“The schools feel better when there is a process in place,” Teague said. “It lets them know what’s next, and I give them benchmarks along the way.”
This communication helps with the transition from the sales process to working with MBS Direct day in and day out,” said Sawyer Boehm, MBS Direct implementation manager. “We lay out a plan with key dates and the key players.”
One of the key dates outlined in the first call is the due date for the school booklist. Upon receiving the information needed, Teague said she can easily move on to the next step in the implementation process.
“The conference calls are a huge help for them and for us,” she said. “I am often thanked (by the schools) for making the process easy.”
George Kupstas, Wyoming Seminary bookstore manager, said his school’s first conference call came soon after paperwork was finalized.
“The call helped us understand what was expected,” Kupstas said. “We had to get our faculty into the mindset of deadlines.”
Prior to the partnership with MBS Direct, Kupstas said they managed their textbook sales themselves, with challenges along the way.
“Students would come in, purchase books, see what they need, then shop someplace else for a lower price,” Kupstas said. “We had a huge amount of returns and it just wasn’t worth the hassle.”
Boehm said another benefit to working with MBS Direct is the education the school receives on the tools used to help them during the life of the joint relationships. One of the programs, Course Director, allows faculty and administrative personnel to research books prior to adoption, see updates on edition status and learn more about required titles versus optional purchases, information which provides better purchasing information for students.
Initially Kupstas said their adoption and ordering process involved examining spreadsheets, but those days are in the past.
“We are using Course Director,” Kupstas said. “It’s nice that we have more control of the ordering process.”
The implementation process demonstrates the systems available to the partner that will enable them to keep track of their business, ensure course materials are delivered on time and save students money.
“We had challenges in the past,” Kupstas said, “but (with this new partnership) things are going very, very well.”