Case Study: Thompson Rivers University Bookstore

Searching for a way to counteract declining textbook sales and improve student service, Thompson Rivers University Bookstore signed up to use MBS’ new ordering tool. SimpleSource helped the store save time and get more high-quality wholesale textbooks for a lower average cost.

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TRU Bookstore Increased Used Book Sales 40%

Like many college stores, the Thompson Rivers University Bookstore has weathered a lot of industry changes over the last few years. Searching for a way to counteract declining textbook sales and improve student service, Jon Mackintosh, Course Materials Purchasing Coordinator signed up for SimpleSource with the hope that he could save time and bring more high-quality used wholesale textbooks into the store.

"Tracy Miller [Customer Service Specialist] suggested we try SimpleSource and went over the benefits of the tool. I was doing a lot of manual orders with her where I would send in the same list a couple of times in a week. She said, with SimpleSource, it all would be done automatically for me,” Mackintosh said.

Get more wholesale textbooks from MBS inventory

SimpleSource is a new ordering tool that does not disappoint. It simplifies the wholesale wantlist process. Mackintosh was impressed by the amount of time he saved, his increased margins and the quantity of wholesale books he received when he left his wantlist with MBS for a longer length of time.

“Not only did it save a lot of time, but it also increased our number of used wholesale books and the margin on them. Basically, all the upsides I was told this program would have are actually legitimate,” Mackintosh said. “I get a lot of people who offer a lot of different textbook products and services that are supposed to solve every problem I have, but this one actually is delivering as advertised. That’s a big thing nowadays.

“We started using the tool last fall. It has increased our used book sales by 40 percent over the previous year. I think our used book sales were the highest they have been in about the past five years. Given the current market and how quickly every other aspect of our business changes, it was really impressive for us,” he said. “The tool is extremely easy to use. I am doing the exact same wantlist as I would normally do, but by leaving our bins open with SimpleSource, I am getting way more actual books from MBS inventory than I was in previous terms.”

The tool has helped the store find more of the books it needs at a lower average cost. By bringing more used books into the store, Mackintosh can provide students with their preferred course material format.

“What makes us really happy is it is another tool to help us fight against a changing business. The end user doesn’t seem to like the ebooks as much as they were projected to,” he said. “So, when we give them the option of a new or used physical textbook, we find that’s what they really want.”

Not only did it save a lot of time, but it also increased our number of used wholesale books and the margin on them. Basically, all the upsides I was told this program would have are actually legitimate.

— Jon Mackintosh
Course Materials Purchasing Coordinator, TRU Bookstore

An ordering tool that simplifies college store processes

Mackintosh had no problem learning how to use SimpleSource. The intuitive, user-friendly interface makes it easy to monitor the progress of his wantlist fulfillment in real time.

“It is more user-friendly than your competition. Your competitor gives us the opportunity to leave a bin open as well, but the user interface isn’t as easy as MBS’,” he said. “I like to pop my head in daily and look at the graph. It gives me a visual of how my used book order is increasing. It’s always a brief check in. It doesn’t take a lot of my time.

“Also, the condition of the books is the same as I would expect from MBS. You guys have the tendency to sell a lot of like-new books at used pricing,” he said. “Beautiful looking used books. I find the quality of your books is higher than your market competitors as well.”

SimpleSource has been a great new tool for the Thompson River University Bookstore that has lived up to expectations. Mackintosh recommends other college stores check out SimpleSource.

“I would happily encourage any other store to give this a try. I believe it would solve a lot of their ordering issues when it comes to used texts.”

Thompson Rivers University:

  • Enrollment: 24,000-plus
  • Location: Kamloops, British Columbia
  • Goal for SimpleSource: Increase used book inventory

SimpleSource:

  • Save time
  • Access to more MBS inventory at multi-discounted levels
  • Streamline wantlist process
  • Simplify marketplace sourcing
  • Get one shipment with one invoice
  • Benefit from a fully-integrated wantlist process
  • Real-time wantlist fulfillment updates
  • Ensure no counterfeit books with vetted inventory
  • Control price thresholds
  • No paperwork, agreements or additional fees