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Rocking Rush: What Seven MBS Direct Employees do to Make Rush Smoother for Everyone

Posted by Dean Asher on Aug 12, 2014 11:00:00 PM
Topics: Higher Ed, K-12, textbook rush, inventory management, mbs direct

While most students are home enjoying the end of their break, the end of summer is a more busy time for those of us in the education and education services businesses. For MBS Direct, the beginning of the new term can mean dealing with inventory, trying to find out if the publisher is going to print that one last trouble title on your book list and ensuring everything ships on time, all before your students return for the next term.

We know how time-consuming beginning-of the-year tasks are for institutions out there, which is why it’s a busy time here, too. Whether they’ve handled a dozen Online Bookstore Openings or this is their first one ever, here are seven MBS Direct employees who put in extra hours and stay glued to their desks to make sure the start of the school year goes as smoothly as possible.

 

Melinda Vahle Melinda Vahle

Melinda Vahle – Client Services Manager

How long have you been with MBS?

I’ve been with MBS for 17 years, and have been in Direct for 15 years.

What do you do during rush season?

I’m in a newer role and do a lot of training for new people to help this time of year. For current Account Managers, I help them in the process with things like daily reports. Even the few minutes they don’t have to do those can help them. I also help our interns get the day-to-day stuff done, everything from looking at lists to updating partner information in our system.

What do you do to make sure everything gets done on time during this busy season?

We all come in early and stay late, and we put effort in helping the newer people realize this is short-term, we’re investing a little more time now to save time later.

 

 

Candice Jackson Candice Jackson

Candice Jackson — Client Services Manager

How long have you been with MBS?

1.5 years.

What do you do during rush season?

Schools always keep a target timeline with their bookstores and I do what I can to keep things running smoothly. Administration may be changing, and one school in May might not even know what staff will be teaching which class and what materials they’ll be using. Rush is a good six weeks of stress that’s hopefully at the end successful and we’re able to meet expectations from partner schools.

 

 

Andy Staggenborg Andy Staggenborg

Andy Staggenborg — Internal Marketing Specialist

How long have you been with MBS?

About seven years.

What do you do during rush season?

In marketing our rush actually starts a little earlier. We do a lot of shipping coupon campaigns to raise awareness among students. Right now, everything gets magnified and we’re extra mindful as we start the school year. We want to make sure students and schools have a positive experience from the beginning.

 

 

Adam Reed Adam Reed

Adam Reed — Partnership Manager

How long have you been with MBS?

About 2.5 years.

What do you do during rush season?

Basically I just try to stay in touch with the schools. A lot of it is making sure to be attentive to their needs and get out in front of them. A lot of problems we face include back orders. It’s unforeseen and we have to see what we can do.

What do you do to make sure everything gets done on time during this busy season?

I try to come in early and stay late if I have to. I try not to leave stuff hanging from day to day.

 

 

Sara LeBel Sara LeBel

Sara LeBel — Implementation Specialist

How long have you been with MBS?

18 months.

What do you do during rush season?

For the partners I’m working with, this is their first rush with us. I work to get them set up, send them marketing materials or schedule it for us to send them out, work with print stuff and getting their first Virtual Bookstore set up. I’ll also do training and work with the account manager on their book lists, check in and make sure everything is set up to do well. If we’re not on top, the school has a bad experience. We don’t want that, especially for their first rush. We want them to have a great experience and make sure they have everything they were sold on during the sales process.

 

 

WrayLynn Williams WrayLynn Williams

WrayLynn Williams — Account Manager

How long have you been with MBS?

I was hired this May, so this is my first rush.

What do you do during rush season?

It’s busy, and a lot of work! Obviously classes start soon and kids need their stuff. I keep track of which schools are starting when and take care of back orders and problem titles so students can have the materials they need by their first classes and be set up for success.

 

 

Kent Hulett Kent Hulett

Kent Hulett — Account Manager

How long have you been with MBS?

I’ve been here for seven years, so this is my seventh rush.

What do you do during rush season?

At this point I’m working with schools’ challenges and problems with publishers in getting books. By the tail end of rush, it’s just wrap-up time. For schools, they’re on summer break, and I work so when they’re coming back, things are starting properly for the school and the students.

About Dean Asher

Dean Asher is a former copywriter with MBS. Though he no longer writes for us, he is still proud of having helped this blog continue to evolve as an industry-leading resource of news and original content.

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