Who said taking bookstore operations online meant you had to lose your physical staff? The College of Idaho and Cox College were both able to maximize savings for their students and minimize headaches for staff by switching to an MBS Direct online bookstore, and both schools kept a physical merchandise store on campus. The result: everybody gets what they want. Students can always be sure to get the right course materials for their class in the cost-saving options they prefer, while the school doesn't have to deal with the hassle of managing inventory. Furthermore, the schools can concentrate on items with higher profit margins like spirit gear that students in turn can try on and touch in-store.
The College of Idaho’s bookstore manager Susan Hunsperger recommended MBS Direct for the school’s bookstore solution after the school could not come to terms on renewing its leasing contract. Hunsperger said the bookstore had worked with MBS in the past for used book purchasing and she felt the service was great. “Most of the kids go online anyway looking for books, and with that, they’re dealing with a company that’s expensive to order from and there is more money spent shipping back and forth, so… it monetarily made a better deal,” Hunsperger said.
Cox College in Springfield, Mo. offers nursing and radiology programs that attract students of all ages and from all over. Students in Kansas City or St. Louis had difficulty making it into the store, and comptroller Deborah Adkins would personally have to take books to the post office and ship them overnight to serve distance students.
Each school felt they needed a change in how their store did business. When they decided on MBS Direct, their dedicated implementation specialists guided them through the process of establishing on online store for their upcoming terms. The College of Idaho and Cox College determined what books would be offered in what format, and MBS Direct handled all of the physical work in course material fulfillment, leaving the schools and their staffs free to focus on other things.
Once they were free from textbook inventory, both schools opted to maintain a brick-and-mortar spirit store on their campuses. The College Of Idaho briefly tried an online solution for its spirit wear, but quickly found its student body expected a more physical experience when shopping for clothes and gear. “We want it now, it’s the now generation,” Hunsperger said. “If they had something coming up and they want something to wear, they’re not going to go online and search through and not be able to touch and feel it and try it on.” The store also sells gameday accessories and books published by students and professors, and uses MBS POS Mobility Suite to sell at sporting events.
The technical and logistical improvements Cox College received have enabled the school to focus solely on merchandise at its campus location, also with the aid of an MBS Point of Sale system. Without all of the books, the store was able to clean up inventory to ensure it is getting the most out of their store space. All of these changes have combined to make the Cox College bookstore a much more efficient and effective entity, with even more room to grow.