Case Study: Madison Area Technical College

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MATC Simplifies Staffing System-Wide Using Data

Smart decision-making resources in-house

Big data is a big deal in retail; so you may assume that you need to go outside the collegiate retail industry to bring it to your store. But, luckily that's not the case. The MBS system puts all of the data your store could ever need right at your fingertips, and using our advanced business intelligence tool, MBS Dashboard, it's easy to take control of it.

Just ask Scott Heiman, manager at Madison Area Technical College Bookstore. Although his store has used the MBS system for less than a year, he's already discovered the power that it holds when it comes to analyzing information.

It all started a few months ago, when Heiman was looking for a way to determine the productivity levels for his store's nine locations.

"I needed a way to analyze sales by hour, so that I could see when each location was the busiest and adjust our hours and staff accordingly," he said. With MBS Dashboard, he not only receives the information he needs, but can also view it in a detailed graph.

"The graph it produces is very helpful. It puts the data in perspective and gives me a fast snapshot of the numbers in the report," he explained.

"I called our Client Representative and asked her what I could do to access that information. When she told me about Dashboard and its POS Productivity reports, I was excited about the possibilities it offered. I started using it a day or two later, and it was perfect."

Decisions lead to profitability

Using this information, he's been able to make key decisions about his business operations.

"In the beginning, I noticed that we consistently had the most transactions between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, so I scheduled extra staff members during those hours," he described. "Now, I run the report regularly to monitor any changes and look for patterns. For instance, if I see that we suddenly have an increase in sales from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., then I can quickly adjust our staff to cover that need and ensure we're always equipped to provide superior service."

Another feature Heiman finds useful is the ability to drill down within the report to view sales by terminal. One of the store's registers is used in an auto parts shop that is managed by the bookstore, but has distinct hours and customers. So, without the ability to specify which POS terminals he needs data on, Scott would see a skewed result.

It's pretty impressive. When you analyze the data and make changes based on it, you realize just how slick it really is.

— Scott Heimen

"I can look specifically at the auto parts store to assess their productivity, and then select which other stores I'm interested in viewing down to the terminal; that's been invaluable," he said.

Heiman also uses the report to monitor the effectiveness of his sales and promotions that are administered through their MBS Mobile POS.

"In the past, if I sent two employees across campus to sell t-shirts for five hours, I'd have to rely on their feedback to determine when they were the busiest, and that may not always be accurate," he explained. "Now, I can analyze exactly how many sales we did and during which hours we processed the most transactions. Let's say I notice that 80% of our sales took place between 12 and 1 p.m. Then, I know that next time I should run my sale for less time and be sure to schedule it around the lunch hour. It's an excellent way for us to more effectively use our resources."

Although Scott has been impressed with the "POS Productivity" reports, he knows he has only just begun to scratch the surface of all that Dashboard can offer his store. In fact, he's eager to explore additional reports in the near future.

"Our Client Representative talked through the many reports that are available, and there were at least eight to ten that I thought could be really helpful, so I'm looking forward to exploring the module as time goes on," he described. "Now that I know what it can do, I always keep an open mind and try to think of how we can use it further."

Overall, he's been impressed with the capabilities offered through MBS Dashboard and would recommend it to other stores who are interested in using their data to improve operations. "It's pretty impressive. When you analyze the data and make changes based on it, you realize just how slick it really is," he said. "It gives me added confidence in the MBS system knowing that it can produce all of the information I need at a moment's notice. I think it's a great tool and I believe we'll be able to use it even more effectively as we learn more about the system."

About Madison Area Technical College:

  • FTE: 17,463
  • 144 career programs
  • Nine locations
  • Implemented the MBS system in 2013

About MBS Dashboard:

  • Contains 14 built-in reports about a variety of retail-oriented aspects
  • Stores can access their data from anywhere
  • Capabilities to drill down on data to gain retail insights